CFP: ARTS Special Issue: Dance and Abstraction

Deadline: Oct 11, 2019

Our proposed Special Issue for the journal ARTS focuses on the relationship between dance and abstraction broadly understood, encompassing explorations of non-objective form and "pure dance"; mediation and substitution; systems of economic circulation or technological data; racial constructs and the operations of subjecthood. The group of essays gathered here, which examine case studies spanning from the 1920s to the 1980s situated in diverse locales across Europe, Brazil, and the United States, collectively provide a historical grounding for current artistic practices and scholarly conversations on the issue of embodiment. In dance, visual art, and film prior to the 1980s, the body was often used in impersonal ways, as a manipulable and abstractable material, by artists who exploited both its general, universal qualities and its imbrication in the specificity of lived experience. Many works produced in this period also used the body to explore modern concepts of what makes a human being or experimented with bodies and forms of embodiment as they figured in collective political formations. The essays in this Special Issue show that abstraction, when conveyed through or combined with the performing body, is a crucial vehicle through which ideas motivating political and artistic practice have been given form over the past hundred years. Collectively, they provide a new framework for understanding both dance and abstraction, advancing the scholarly discourse on embodiment in the fields of art history and dance studies, and are intended to promote further dialogue between the two fields.

Please consider submitting a proposal for inclusion in this special journal issue on the theme of "Dance and Abstraction":

CFP: ARTS Special Issue: Dance and Abstraction. In:, Feb 22, 2019 (accessed May 26, 2019), <>.

Contributor: Juliet Bellow, American University

Contribution published: Feb 22, 2019

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