The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Monday, April 07, 2008

CFP/Publication: The Politics of Cultural Programming in Public Spaces

Forwarded by Robert Gehl:

Open Call for Contributions: The Politics of Cultural Programming in Public Spaces

A collection of academic essays, edited by Vicki Watts and Robert Gehl

Note: This collection of essays is based on 2007's Politics of Cultural Programming conference at George Mason University. Click here for information on that event.

In our digital media saturated lives, where we spend increasing amounts of time in “virtual worlds” such as Second Life or online on blogs and video sites, it can be easy to forget about public spaces. Unlike content in virtual worlds, cultural programs in public spaces are events that are lived and experienced bodily and sensuously. Museum exhibits, public music performances, sports, art festivals – these events are truly immediate, which is to say that they are lived bodily by those that participate in and produce them. The editors are seeking contributions of approximately 5,000 words to a new book, already under contract, which examines the peculiar spaces where audiences and exhibits/performers/objects meet, and asks how these meetings determine subjectivity.

Institutions that fall within the purview of the book include: museums, festivals, the performing arts, sporting events, multicultural and/or ethnically specific celebrations, gigs and club nights, and tourist spectacles. The book is tentatively arranged into 3 sections: "Building Culture in the City"; "Programming Art, Faith, and Politics in the Museum"; and "Embodying Culture in Events, Spectacles and Festivals".

Questions to be considered might include:

How do we understand labor in the context of cultural events?

What are the ideological stakes of cultural programming, and what is its political economy?

How do cultural institutions interpellate performative identities of race, class, gender and sexuality?

What kind of subject and desire does cultural programming produce?

How does cultural programming mobilize and/or effect embodied subjectivity?

Please e-mail a 1-page abstract of your chapter, along with an indicative bibliography of not more than 1-page in length to Vicki Watts.

Abstracts and bibliographies to be received by April 21st.

Contributors will be notified whether they have been accepted for publication by May 7th. First drafts of chapter contributions will be expected by the beginning of July.

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