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Call for papers: Resistance, Art and Aesthetics

Annual Conference of the Nordic Society of Aesthetics

Södertörn University Stockholm, 8–10 June, 2022

Keynote speakers: Howard Caygill, Kingston University, London

Jan Slaby, Freie Universität, Berlin

Petra Bauer, Royal Academy of Art, Stockholm

The notion of resistance is central to art and aesthetics. Throughout history, resistance has been enacted in artistic practices as well as formulated in aesthetic theory, even as a resistance in itself. It has emerged as a conceptualization and theme in various art forms and as art forms resisting their own conceptualization. Resistance is furthermore vital to a theory that aims to critically analyze art and its relation to history and society. This conference will explore resistance as a concept of and in art and aesthetics that encompasses a wide span of, at times, conflicting questions and topics.

Already within itself the discipline of aesthetics displays various modes of resistance: feminist and de-colonial scholars challenge given frameworks, reconfiguring critical frameworks. Resistance can further be related to an expanded notion of aesthetics, resisting boundaries and conceptualizations from within the inside of aesthetic traditions. To this scope of expansion belongs, for instance, the aesthetic of the everyday and the ordinary, the relation between aesthetic experience and the environment, and the dismantling of boundaries between art forms.

Moreover, as regressive and authoritarian political movements have become influential on a global scale, art’s ambition to engage in political forms of resistance has produced new forms of appearance. Today, art is looking at new ways of intervening into the social fabric, and new ways of resisting and re-conceptualizing the understanding of the relation between art, aesthetics and society.  At the same time, “new” forms of artistic production may hark back to earlier traditions and to histories of resistance. 

The conference invites papers that address topics relating to the aesthetics of resistance, understood in a wide sense that include:

  • Artistic practices as interventions into the social. 
  • Environmental engagements as reconfigurations of art and aesthetics.
  • Aesthetic autonomy as a mode of resistance.
  • Resistance as a topic in art and aesthetic theory.
  • The meanings of resistance historically.
  • Aesthetic experience as a disturbing force.
  • The relation between aesthetic experience and the work of memory and counter-memory.
  • Critical aesthetics and post-critical challenges.
  • The political and institutional situation of the discipline of aesthetics today.
  • Resistance, sensibility, materiality: aesthetics against the immaterials.
  • Theoretical and conceptual resistance within art and aesthetic perspectives.
  • New ways of thinking the scope of aesthetics, art, and aesthetic experience in the discipline of aesthetics.

Information about the conference will be announced on the website of the society:

Proposals can be addressed to:

The time allocated for a paper is 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion. PhD students are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal. Please send abstracts not exceeding 300 words no later than 15 February 2022.

We also encourage panel proposal. The time allocated for a panel consisting of 3–4 contributions is 90 minutes, including time for discussion.

Selection will be based on quality, relevance to the conference theme, and program considerations. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 15 March 2022.

Conference fee, standard: 50 EUR. PhD Students and scholars without institutional affiliation: 30 EUR. A small supplementary fee might be added, in which case it will be announced beforehand. The fee includes one year membership of The Nordic Society of Aesthetics and one year subscription to The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics.

The Organizers: Cecilia Sjöholm, Åsa Arketeg, Cecilia Cavalcante Schuback, Mats Dahllöv, Aris Fioretos, Rebecka Katz Thor, Irina Seits, Gustav Sjöberg, Erik Wallrup, Kim West, Josefin Wikström.