ISSUE SIX: AESTHETICS OF HETEROGENEITY

Globalization has brought the world together by creating a new scope for sharing commonalities. But human history has always witnessed conflicts among global communities due to differences. An array of global conflicts has been creating numerous events of diaspora for the last few centuries. Not only diasporic event influences the sociopolitical condition of a country, but also it plays a vital role in reshaping the cultural existence of a social life. Mediation between identities, ambivalence regarding the self, conforming to the hybridity, etc. are what diaspora brings to the cultural reality.

These become the themes explored in diaspora arts. For artists who migrated from one part of the world to another, art practices provide an outlet to express their personal experiences of dislocation, rupture as well as freedom. Moreover, being at the frontier of cultural collision also provides these artists with an opportunity to question the boundary of cultural homogeneity and engage with the reshaping of the cultural environment in both the host and the home country.

The initial usage of the term “diaspora” was generally accepted as the Jewish dispersion outside ancient Palestine after the Babylonian exile and then extended to the scattering of people away from their homeland. However, the notion of having one singular identity in terms of attachment with the homeland was challenged. In “Cultural identity and Diaspora,” Stuart Hall proposed an understanding of diaspora experience “not by essence or purity, but by the recognition of a necessary heterogeneity and diversity” which is “constantly producing and reproducing themselves anew, through transformation and difference.”

Inspired by this dynamic view towards diaspora and its Greek origin speiro meaning “to sow” or “to disperse,” this issue of the CMA Journal will broadly examine the multicultural influence on diaspora artworks as well as the issue of the aesthetics of heterogeneity in the arts.

Studies of all sorts of creative incorporation of the diaspora artists’ own cultural experience into their art creation will be welcomed in this issue, no matter if it is a direct expression of traumatic diaspora experience of dislocation, an exploration into the issue of identities, or a subconscious fusion of cross-cultural aesthetics in the works.

Moreover, studies of heterogeneity in artworks beyond the realm of diaspora art are also welcomed. For example, the American video artist Bill Viola explores universal human experiences, such as, birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness, in his art practices. He is deeply influenced by both Eastern and Western art and traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. Even without diaspora experience, it is possible for someone to feel a deep connection with another culture and incorporate that connection in artistic expressions.

Subjects may explore but are not limited to the following questions:

  • Regional diaspora art study
  • Diaspora experience in contemporary arts
  • Multicultural influence in contemporary arts
  • The transportation and transformation of certain art techniques
  • Aesthetics in a cross-cultural perspective
  • Case study of artworks with heterogeneous aesthetics
  • Artist case study

We invite contributions including:

  • Scholarly papers addressing aesthetics of heterogeneity in contemporary arts
  • Exhibition reviews and critiques
  • Book reviews

Submission Process

  • Submissions should be no less than 500 words and no more than 5000 words.
  • All submissions should follow a Chicago Style in-text format.
  • Submission deadline: February 18, 2019
  • Papers submitted after the deadline will not be considered for review.
  • Please submit your paper in MS-Word (*.doc or *.docx) format.
  • Please email your submission to: cma_journal@sfu.ca with the subject heading ‘Attn: Issue 6’.
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