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CFP: Special Issue of The Space Between on Dada and Surrealism in America

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2017
Full name/name of organization: The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945
Contact email: janine.utell@gmail.com
Special Issue: Call for Essays

Dada and Surrealism: Transatlantic Aliens on American Shores, 1914 – 1945

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2017

Please submit full essays of 6,000-7,500 words in Times New Roman 12 pt. font, with MLA citation style, to the guest-editor James W. McManus (jmcmanus@csuchico.edu) by December 31, 2017. Queries or proposed topics are welcomed and can be sent for feedback prior to that date.

This special issue will present new scholarship addressing diverse responses to and reactions against Dada and Surrealism in various regions across America during the period bookended by the two world wars. America became a foster home to both movements that were born in Europe and migrated to America. Transatlantic aliens, each gave shape to dialogical/dialectical exchanges between art and contemporary American culture. Expanding their presence across the continent, both movements, uprooted from their native cultures, found themselves absorbing and in turn being reshaped by the host culture, itself reflecting the diversity of regional characteristics.

Escaping the terrors of the Great War, the Dadaists came first, taking root in New York from 1915 with the arrival of the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Mina Loy and Edgard Varèse. Surrealism, which made its initial appearance in Paris in 1924, by the early 1930s began to insert itself into American culture through the influence of important figures like “Chick” Austin, Julien Levy, Alfred Barr, and Grace McCann Morley. By the late 1930s and early 1940s the destructive forces of World War II pushed artists, writers, and intellectuals out of Europe, scattering the likes of Maya Deren, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Hannah Arendt, Jacqueline Lamba, Laurence Vail, Max Ernst, and Darius Milhaud across the American continent.

During these decades Dada and Surrealism had established a presence, through contributions from exiles/emigrés and their American counterparts. At times both movements were graciously accepted, as with Alfred Barr’s monumental 1936 exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism. At others they were grudgingly rejected, demonstrated by Clement Greenberg’s acerbic condemnations of Surrealism’s worth.

We are seeking studies that consider ways that Dada and Surrealism pushed up against and/or added to the social and political environment in America during the period bracketed by the two world wars; taking form through a number of lenses – among them the visual arts, architecture, photography, film, advertising, theatre, collectors, dealers, small magazines, journals. writing, poetry, criticism and critical theory.

NOTE: The journal is now published online. This gives authors the opportunity to accompany their essays with visual and audio material drawn from a variety of platforms.

Authors are responsible for securing permission to use images, including any costs. Authors need to submit documentation of permission being received at the time of acceptance.