Call for Papers: The Art of Transculturality: New Frontiers in Postsocialist China’s Avant-garde and Urban Culture

St. Gallen, Switzerland
27-29th Jul 2016
Deadline: 15th Dec 2015

This workshop aims to explore innovative ways of looking at the dynamics of transculturality in postsocialist China’s avant-garde and urban culture by bringing together artists, writers, art curators and scholars. Avant-garde literature and art today exist at the margins of China’s officially ordained culture.

Transcultural trends transform China’s local culture in the age of globalisation. In twenty-first century China the new media — in particular Web 2.0 — offer an emerging public sphere that challenges the mechanisms of government censorship, allowing transcultural trends across China’s virtual frontiers. Web-based discourses traverse the borderlines between China’s officially ordained culture, the globalising world, and Chinese vernacular culture.
China’s new generation of avant-garde writers and artists push the boundaries of vernacular culture. They appropriate artistic and literary languages from the post/modern Western avant-garde movements to reflect on reform-era China’s transformation and the Maoist heritage.
The papers will investigate such forms of transculturality in avant-garde Chinese literature and art, focussing in particular on performance and conceptual art. Participants will look critically at the processes of appropriation of
transcultural trends and the interpretation of avant-garde languages in contemporary China. During the workshop Chinese avant-garde artists will present and discuss their artistic production and methods. The workshop will shed new light on the transcultural trends and proactive interaction with non-Chinese communities and histories in China’s avant-garde literature and art.

We invite paper proposals on topics relating to China such as:

• Avant-garde literature and art
• Politics and culture of postsocialism
• Transculturality
• Art criticism and theory
• Reception of avant-garde art and writing
• Curating avant-garde art
• Publishing avant-garde literature
• Experimental art and literature
• Literary and artistic communities
• Performance art
• Conceptual art
• Online literature
• Art and the Web
• Art and globalisation
• New urban culture
• Clash and cooperation between the avant-garde and the state
• Literature, art and dissent
• Mao and the avant-garde
• Popular culture and the avant-garde



Convenors: Prof Daria Berg and Dr Giorgio Strafella


University of St. Gallen, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of Chinese Culture and Society

Deadline for submission of title and abstract (350 words): 15 December 2015. Please attach a short biographical note.

Conference dates: 27-29 July 2016

Papers will be submitted to an international peer-reviewed publication. For this purpose we expect participants to give us first refusal on their papers.

Dr Giorgio Strafella


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