CFP: Journal of Surrealism and the Americas Issue on Fashion and Surrealism

Journal of Surrealism and the Americas 
Issue on Fashion and Surrealism, Spring 2021
Jennifer R. Cohen and Michael Stone-Richards, Guest Editors 

The editors announce a call for papers for an issue on Fashion and Surrealism. 
Deadline for abstracts: 15 Feb 2021

The arrival of Surrealism in the United States was, from the outset, intertwined with fashion and fashionability. Even before the first large exhibition of Surrealism stateside at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1931, Frederick Kiesler had proposed surrealist art as exemplary for shop window design in his book Contemporary Art Applied to the Store and its Display (1930). Scholars have explored the ambiguity of the fashion-world fanfare that surrounded and even featured in important museum exhibitions in New York, including Salvador Dalí’s meticulously planned art-fashion syntheses and stunts. André Breton famously struggled with the notion of Surrealism as a brand or trademark, especially around the emergent category of the surrealist object, displaying an ongoing ambivalence with regard to the dissemination of surrealist ideas and paving the way for a complex ethics of consumption. This internal dilemma—often externalized within the history of the movement in the form of expulsions—has made for a double-sided historiography of Surrealism, characterized by an embrace of fashion as a surrealist medium, on one hand, and a distancing tendency that designates fashion as outside of the movement’s defining achievements.

In this issue of Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, we seek to explore Surrealism, fashion, and fashionability in both its mainstream and counter-cultural guises, probing the close relationship fostered by Surrealists and surrealist-inspired artists alike with aspects of fashion ranging from aesthetics and philosophy to commercial culture and lifestyle. Particular consideration will be given to papers that offer an innovative approach on the following themes, using theoretical, historical, and/or materials-based methods:

  • The role of fashion in the practice and historiography of Surrealism in the Americas
  • Surrealists and the fashion industry, including fashion photography, design, and merchandising
  • Surrealist-designed textiles
  • The phenomenon of “surrealist-inspired” art and design; unauthorized and vernacular Surrealisms
  • Surrealism and subculture
  • The role of department stores in the reception of Surrealism
  • Surrealism in fashion magazines of the Americas
  • The role of American galleries and museums in fostering a relationship between fashion and Surrealism
  • Critical theory, fashion, and Surrealism
  • Surrealist lifestyle and aesthetics; questions of taste
  • Surrealist exhibitions and the critique of commodity culture
  • Decoration, design, and domesticity within the culture of Surrealism

Feature articles should be from 8,000 to 10,000 words and double-spaced (including endnotes). All submissions should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style. Please include an abstract and a short biography at the beginning of your essay/submission (each 250-300 words). Foreign language contributions (in French, German, and Spanish) are accepted, but we require a two-page single-spaced English language abstract with any foreign language submission. 

The JSA is a refereed ejournal, published annually, and has been supported by grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The current issue, detailed guidelines for authors, as well as our image guidelines, are available on the JSA website:

Please send proposal abstracts (1-2 pages) to:
Deadline for abstracts: February 15, 2021; complete submissions must be received: April 30, 2021