CFP: Debates in Aesthetics

Submission deadline: January 14, 2019

Topic areas


  • Debates in Aesthetics is inviting short papers in response to “Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics”, a new article by Professor Paul C. Taylor (Vanderbilt University), specially written for Debates in Aesthetics.   
  • The editors invite papers of up to 3500 words, that directly engage with Taylor’s article. Accepted papers will be published alongside the target article and a response by Taylor. A digital proof of “Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics” can be dowloaded on our website.
  • The Debates in Aesthetics essay prize will be awarded to the best paper by a postgraduate student or early-career researcher in this issue. The winner of this prize will be awarded £250. More details on the prize can be found on our website:    
  • ABSTRACT Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics  – Paul C. Taylor  
    This essay uses the concept of reconstruction to make an argument and an intervention in relation to the practice and study of Black aesthetics. The argument will have to do with the parochialism of John Dewey, the institu- tional inertia of professional philosophy, the aesthetic dimensions of the US politics of reconstruction, the centrality of reconstructionist politics to the Black aesthetic tradition, and the staging of a reconstructionist argument in the film, “Black Panther” (Coogler 2018). The intervention aims to address the fact that arguments like these tend not to register properly because of certain reflexive and customary limits on some common forms of philosophical inquiry. The sort of professional philosophy I was raised to practise and value tends not to be particularly inclusive and open-minded, especially when it comes to subjects that bear directly on the thoughts, lives, and practices of people racialized as black. Black aesthetics, by contrast, is an inherently ecumenical enterprise, reaching across disciplinary and demographic bound- aries to build communities of practice and exchange. Hence the need for an intervention: to create the space for arguments and the people who work with them to function across disciplinary and demographic contexts.
  • About the Author
    Professor Paul C. Taylor is the author of Race: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2013), On Obama (Routledge, 2015), and Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics (Wiley Blackwell, 2016). The latter was awarded the ASA monograph prize in 2017. He is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

  • About Debates in Aesthetics  
    Debates in Aesthetics is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for articles, interviews and book reviews. Published by the British Society of Aesthetics, the journal’s principal aim is to provide the philosophical community with a dedicated venue for debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. 

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