CONF: SURREALISMS: 2nd Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) 2019

University of Exeter, College of Humanities, UK
29th August – 1st September

Proposal deadline: March 1st, 2019

The radical imagination and global influence of surrealism continue to inspire and resonate in our contemporary moment across geo-political, disciplinary, and medium-specific boundaries. As a collaborative practice, a subject of scholarly research, and a form of adventurous play, surrealism bridges the fields of art history, literature, creative writing, film studies, performance, dramatic arts, philosophy, critical theory, and popular culture.

The International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary and inter-regional exchange by organizing events and facilitating channels of information worldwide. The mission of the ISSS is to incorporate and promote new scholarship on global surrealism as well as to introduce new ways to approach its various literary and artistic expressions. In addition, we seek to foster exchanges between practicing artists, writers, surrealists and the scholarly community for whom surrealism (past and present) is a field of ongoing inquiry.

Following the success of our inaugural conference at Bucknell University Humanities Center in 2018, we are delighted to invite proposals for SURREALISMS 2019, which will take place at the University of Exeter, UK. The conference will include scholarly papers and roundtable discussions in addition to film screenings, poetry readings, theatre, and an exhibition. The conference will also engage with the rich legacy of the surrealist exhibition The Enchanted Domain, which was held across the Exeter City Gallery and Exe Gallery in 1967. The Enchanted Domain exhibition included performances, lectures, film-shows, which were attended by, among others, Robert Benayoun, George Melly, Conroy Maddox, Patrick Hughes, E.L.T. Mesens, and Roland Penrose. SURREALISMS 2019 welcomes scholarship on this 1967 exhibition, an under-researched area in the movement’s history, in addition to other current research in the field(s) of surrealism studies worldwide.

We are interested in presentations that investigate regional activities in surrealism across the world, including, for example, Latin America, North Africa, East Asia and Europe, as well as transnational collaboration between and among individual artists or groups. We are interested in the full range of mediums across all geographical locations and within all relevant temporal frames, as well as including political, philosophical and critical engagement with surrealisms past and present. Our goal is to promote new directions in surrealist scholarship, artistic practice and research, bringing surrealist groups and tendencies across continents and archipelagos into conversation.

Proposals for individual presentations (20-minutes) should include a 250-word abstract along with title, affiliation, and contact information. Pre-organized panel submissions, which we invite with enthusiasm, might include three or four presentations per panel and should include an additional paragraph describing the rubric and proposed title of the panel. Roundtables and alternative format panels are encouraged. We welcome proposals from independent artists, filmmakers, poets, and writers interested in presenting their work in a scholarly context. We welcome submissions from graduate students for whom surrealism is central to their research. The conference supports and welcomes submissions in French and Spanish; however please note that these must include a précis or translation in English. We stipulate that any individual may only present on a maximum of two panels/events during the conference (f or example presenting a paper, and participating on a roundtable) to ensure space for a full range of delegates and discussion.

We welcome short film submissions (experimental, animation, documentary, audio-visual essay etc.) of no longer than 12 minutes. These should be submitted along with title, affiliation, and contact information as a digital file or live link.

Proposals should reach by MARCH 1st, 2019

Conference Coordinators:

Felicity Gee, Exeter University 
Jonathan Eburne, Pennsylvania State University
Elliott King, Washington and Lee University
Effie Rentzou, Princeton University
Abigail Susik, Willamette University