Arts & Cultural Studies Review, 2/2019
Call for papers
The Policies and Strategies of the Resistance, the Protest Practices
Protest cultures, while dynamic and active, are often perceived as irrational and emotional. Sometimes, they are also exoticised in a way that often leads to their romanticisation and heroisation (Dimitrios Theodossopoulos). As the result of such discursive actions, the protest movement is often subdued by pacification and partially depoliticised; meanwhile, it is backed by deeply engaged individuals, for whom the resistance is the part of an identity that is not inherent in political constructs other than those of their own choosing. This diversification of perspectives, which is characteristic of the contemporary socio-political landscape, leads us towards difficult questions about how, in today’s culture, we should define resistance and determine the nature of protest cultures today. Is it still possible to do so, or should we find the new categories and reference points that would more accurately reflect the internal differentiation and ambivalence of resistance structures and strategies? How we should identify (and define) the practices of protest, opposition and contestation? These questions are worth asking primarily in relation to the growing growing movement of social unrest: political, economic, social and cultural. From the Green New Deal of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her supporting movement of activists, through the gilets jaunes in France, to the American rooted alt-right, neoreaction and “dark enlightenment,” the characteristics of these movements escape conclusive interpretation. In this context, however, we can still hear the voices of the emancipatory movements of the previous decades: movements for the emancipation of non-normative forms of sexuality, the civil and human rights movement, as well as the feminist and ecological movements. Can these perspectives be connected, or are they completely different discourses and areas of the practices, which show a new way of thinking about resistance and protest in their local conditions?
The gesture of protest is not always connected to opposition and conflict in the binary form: us (I) – them (he/she). It can be also a form of elimination of this opposition through its transgression or subversive re-reading. A good example of such a gesture is the concept of “minor literature” from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, which describes a situation in which minority groups use the language of the majority to express (and not to lose) their own identity. Another example of such a defusing of binary oppositions is the valorisation of the socially excluded space, by making it, following the example of bell hooks, the space of “Radical Openness,” thereby opening the way for a renegotiation of its status. To catch all the nuances, we invite authors to reflect upon the subject of protest and resistance in the wider spectrum of cultural and art studies, as well as performance studies, political science, technology studies and sociology.
The view of protest as an expression of the need to change existing paradigms, theories or methodologies allows us to include, under the term “protest,” the shifts in thought, practices and forms of action that give rise to new paradigms and understandings – such as, say, the establishment of salons for artists rejected from traditional academies, manifestly breaking with tradition through the proposition of radical, new styles. In this vein, the academic tradition also relies greatly on the “gesture of protest” that creates new movements, methodologies and research schools. For a consideration of this generative potential of protest, then, we encourage authors to analyse the “afterlife” of protests, resistance and revolutions, which often solidifies into forms no less hegemonic than those against which they were born.
We would like to devote the next issue of “Przegląd Kulturoznawczy” to tackling these questions. We look forward to receiving historical studies, as well as analyses of contemporary protests and attempts to define the meaning of dominant and oppositional cultures. We are particularly interested in reinterpretations and rereadings of both historical and contemporary phenomena of protest and resistance, and, especially, of their underlying processes and strategies: models of operation and organisation, and strategies for the distribution of knowledge and information that enable communities and individuals to oppose the dominant narratives. We would also like to reflect upon the ways in which discourses of resistance stop being grassroots movements and are slowly taken by the ideologies they are opposed to. This context pushes us also to ask the question about the emancipatory potential of contemporary protest cultures. We would also like to suggest a closer look at the phenomena that are usually hidden in the shadow of the cultural studies analyses and try to face the difficult topics, that often requires a specific “resistance” towards the methods and interpretative tools.
We would also like prospective authors to consider the idea of protest and resistance in regards to the following issues, that should be treated only as an invitation for further research, and not something that has been imposed by the editors to narrow down the subject matter:
- Radical discourses as the discourses opposing the dominant world picture (the radical right-wing movements, anti-scientism, anti-vaccination, conspiracy theories): their organisational strategies and alternative circuits of knowledge;
- Strike, march, occupation – strategies and traditions of resistance; public space, urban space as a spectacles of protest and opposition;
- No-waste and zero-waste movements, DIY, reuse and repair, low-tech, boycott and buycott – various strategies to oppose consumerist policies;
- Alt-right, neoreaction, “dark enlightenment” as resistance movements;
- Slow: life, food, fashion, science as lifestyles/resistance styles;
- The myth of “digital revolution”, delusions of algorithmic cultures
- Women, the disabled, minority communities – traditions of the opposition of excluded groups in a new light: decolonization of feminism and queer theory, intersectional feminism, history of technology from the point of view of the disabled; xenofeminism
- Resistance and protest in the context of contemporary philosophical readings: posthumanism and transhumanism, deep ecology, concepts of bioethics, accelerationism, new theories of work and power
- Art in the face of today’s forms of protest
The main editor and supervisor of the thematic issue is prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Radkiewicz (ISzA UJ)
Please submit texts of no more than 40,000 characters by 10th June 2019. You can find more information about the editorial requirements on our website: https://culturalstudiesreview.eu/information-for-authors/ .
Please submit your work to our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arts & Cultural Studies Review is an open-access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to cultural studies research in all its diversity, publishing a wide range of texts: from theoretical papers on the philosophy of culture to empirical research concerning specific areas of cultural practices. Our primary goal is to become a space for an academic discussion about the ever-changing phenomenon of culture. We are interested in presenting not only the original research papers but also reviews of books significant for the development of our discipline as well as interviews and debates relevant to contemporary humanities.