Call for Papers

Kitsch. Past, Present and Future

 

A ubiquitous phenomenon that exposes its significances as it repels surprisingly any totalizing definition and focuses intently on the historical mutations of taste despite its ahistorical kernel that has assisted its progress through the ages, kitsch is, without doubt, one of the fascinating aspects of present-day (anti)cultural reality. As an object or a category of objects or, among others, as a certain type of relationship between object and consumer, attitude and social phenomenon, kitsch is to be found everywhere and yet in no precise place. There are certain traits that define it but they do not work unerringly in each aesthetic paradigm: cheap and inferior imitation, an act of delusion and self-delusion, gregarious conventionalism, facile clichéization

From an aesthetic viewpoint, kitsch is arts’ enemy. It is detrimental to the realm of art because it sells emotions as if they were artistic and alters the principles of aesthetic experience. From an ethical standpoint, kitsch is one of the ways in which evil is spread all over the world. Mass production of low-quality artistic products by means of assembly-line techniques and the compulsion to consume them are not justifiable at all. On the other hand, from a sociological perspective, viewed as a social symptom, kitsch is to be apprehended in a key of serious responsibility since it synthesizes, and not in a discreet manner, vast psychological and aesthetic mutations. The current overproduction of kitsch is probably an indication of a society that is at once hedonistic and neurotic, rejecting the complexity of the real and concealing it under jolly glimmering images. 

Meridian critichttp://meridiancritic.usv.ro, invites interested researchers to send their contributions that are dedicated to the following topics: 

  • The (anti)art of kitsch
  • Hypostases of artistic and social kitsch
  • Kitsch and the dynamics of literary forms 
  • Genres of paraliterature 
  • Sentimentality and nostalgia in kitsch productions
  • Kitsch and consumerism
  • Entertainment culture 
  • Modern and postmodern kitsch 
  • The kitsch-camp relationship
  • Etc.

Articles on related topics are equally accepted.

Articles may be written in Romanian, English, French, or German. Abstract (no more than 200 words), full article (maximum 7,000 words) and a brief presentation of the author (a bio-note of no more than 400 words) will be sent at: daniela.petrosel@usm.ro or meridian.critic.flsc@gmail.com     

For further details concerning style and templates, follow the format of the samples given at:  http://meridiancritic.usv.ro/index.php?page=norme-de-redactare  

Deadline for full article submission: 31st of May 2022.

Meridian Critic Call:

POP CULTURE IN POST-COMMUNISM AND BEYOND

Western pop culture was one of the cultural factors that significantly contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Pop music and video industry, Hollywood movies, commercial products (Levi’s jeans, Adidas or Nike sneakers, Coca Cola), fashion magazines, etc. were, for Eastern Europeans, embodiments of the dream of freedom and prosperity. One may therefore say that, in relation to the communist camp, Western pop culture had an intensely subversive character. The state of affairs in the post-communist period is different, with pop culture becoming the dominant culture. In the last 30 years, the transformations have been major and diverse. They have led to the exacerbation of the “high culture” crisis, to the dramatic decrease of local pop-culture audience and to imposing new cultural currents that have a global impact. We can talk about an influence of Western pop culture on Romanian music (new musical currents have been adopted, such as hip hop), but also on literature, with the new generations markedly influenced by this type of culture. These transformations have also led to the emergence of new institutionalizations and social practices, specific to a consumer society: the re-signification of urban environment through advertising, the development of mall-culture, picnics or car tourism. The global expansion of online media has only amplified the influence of pop culture beyond the national broadcast sources (television and other local media). It has boosted the advance of online social networks and has profoundly influenced youth culture.

Meridian Critic welcomes articles that employ new interdisciplinary approaches, integrated within but not limited to the following thematic fields:

- the influence of pop culture on literature and other cultural fields (music, art, cinema, etc.);

- pop culture as discourse (axiological, ideological aspects, etc.), transformations in the last 30 years, hybridizations of pop culture in post-communism;

- media, advertising and pop culture in post-communism;

- “post” discursive paradigms: post-communism, postcolonialism, postmodernism, post-truth.

Articles can be written in Romanian, English, French or German. Papers (maximum 7000 words), accompanied by abstracts in English (maximum 200 words) and a short presentation of the author (a biographical note not exceeding 400 words), will be sent to the addresses arthur.suciu@usm.ro and meridian.critic.flsc@gmail.com. For details on the rules and writing style, follow the instructions on the journal's website: http://meridiancritic.usv.ro/index.php?page=norme-de-redactare. Deadline for submission of the full article: May 31, 2022.