Call for pa­pers

Tracing Dis­gust
In­ter­na­tional se­mi­nar 18.-20.3.2020
Uni­ver­si­ty of Jy­väs­ky­lä, Fin­land

We often recoil at the thought of mold gathering at the dishes used for eating, of bad breath on a person we do not specifically like, or of a spider walking across our body. Disgust, exemplified in these classic illustrations, is probably the most visceral of basic human emotions, with a function for an organism’s preservation, and some argue that it engages in particular the so called lower senses: taste, smell and touch. It is also one of the recognized ”moral emotions,” functioning symbolically on social and cultural scales and serving, for example, as an instrument of political discourses. This can be traced in different examples, such as the discrimination of sexual minorities or the populist rhetorics related to the recent refugee crisis.

In a more deconstructive vein, disgust has also facilitated the criticism and resistance of prevailing norms and hierarchical constitutions often reiterated in its moral uses. In countercultural movements, such as artistic avantgarde or punk, or in children’s culture, disgust, disgustingness and varied kinds of disgust-objects from slime toys to disgust-evoking sweets serve also as sources of pleasure. In art and popular culture, instead, disgust has proven to be a welcome enhancement to spectacle-seeking entertainment. Disgust, manifested not only in our instinctive recoiling from danger and decay, but also in these varied kinds of symbolic discourses and cultural products aiming to provoke, agitate or bring about enjoyment, is thus more than the biological mechanism seeking to protect animals from particular kinds of dangers, or a negative emotion negatively felt.

We now invite researchers from a variety of fields ranging from sociology, cultural studies and philosophy to biology and other natural sciences to reflect on the different varieties and functions of disgust in a three-day seminar at the University of Jyväskylä 18-20 March 2020.

Themes addressed may vary, including yet not restricted to:

  • conceptualizations of disgust

  • disgust’s relationship to other emotions and affects

  • disgust’s moral, social and/or biological aspects and uses

  • disgust, decay and biological, cognitive, socio-cultural or symbolic dangers

  • disgust and it’s uses as low or high culture

  • disgust and disgust-objects as humour or art

  • disgust and disgust-objects as pleasure and entertainment, for instance in popular cultural phenomena, transgressive art, extreme cuisine or children’s culture

  • disgust’s and disgust-objects’s relationship to cultural change, for instance in political discourses, hate speech and their rhetorics

  • countercultural disgust and its potential for change

  • disgust, ethnic minorities and refugee crisis

  • disgust, gender, sexuality and LGBTQI

  • disgust and death

  • disgust and climate change

  • disgust, foodways, food identities and food economies

  • disgust, social class and social hierarchies

  • disgust and identity

The proposals for a presentation (no more than 300-500 words) and additional information (such as contact details, affiliation and a short biography), should be sent by using our abstract system by December 11th, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 20th, 2019. The language of the 20 minute presentations will be English. You may access the abstract system through these web-pages starting November 1st.

The conference is organised by the Disgust Network and the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä. If you have any inquiries, you may contact us through email:

Helsinki Airport in July 2017

Helsinki Airport in July 2017


CFP, International Assocation for Aesthetics (IAA)


July 5-7, 2018

Organizers: International Association for Aesthetics, The Finnish Society of Aesthetics & The Department of Art at Aalto University

Invited Keynotes:

Yuriko Saito (Rhode Island School of Design)
Elisabetta di Stefano (University
of Palermo)
Jack Halberstam (Columbia University)

Department Keynotes: Ossi Naukkarinen & Kevin Tavin (to be confirmed)

Aesthetics is a marginal discipline. We often have to defend its existence in departments, where the main focus is on literature, philosophy or art history. It is not surprising that the margins of aesthetics have not been thoroughly discussed. What are the schools of philosophical thinking or the
methodologies we haven’t yet turned enough of our attention to? Who and where are the outsiders who will, in the long run, leave an interesting trace on the profession?

The aforementioned questions are of course future-oriented. The future of aesthetics has been discussed in various conferences and books. Aesthetics in them is still often seen as more autonomic that it actually is institutionally speaking. What if the future of our discipline was more about collaboration with other disciplines? What are the research topics of future aesthetics? What kind of challenges and possibilities does the changing world pose upon aesthetics? How does aesthetics react, for example, to the increasing
pervasiveness of technology or to the challenges of climate change?

This role, task or maybe even responsibility aesthetics could take up is of course quite pedagogical to some extent. How to distribute the vast knowledge of philosophy of art to disciplines and practices which could have more use of aesthetic theory? And what could aesthetics itself learn
from other disciplines, which actually use aesthetic theory in their own way: cultural geography, media studies and art education are examples of disciplines where aesthetics already has a role, but often in a practical way, in a way which differs from what professional aestheticians think of as
aesthetics. Could aesthetics find new strategies for survival in the changing academic world through new interactions and could those interactions broaden the scope and community of aesthetics itself?

We aspire to bring together different ways of approaching aesthetics, using aesthetics and being in dialogue with theories of aesthetics, and invite anyone interested in these issues to send an abstract (max 200 words) to us no later than 15.1.2018 (

The selection of abstracts will take place no later than January 31. The accepted participants will get information about hotels, spaces and other practicalities no later than March 15. The deadline for the fee is May 15 and the final schedule will be published in the end of May. The fee of the conference is 160€ (PhD students / unemployed 80 €). The fee includes a lunch on each day of the conference and coffee during the breaks. There will be a separate conference dinner (cost not included) organized for those who are interested in it (50€).

Note: The conference hosts three special sessions. 1)
Rediscovering Russian Aesthetics, organized
by the Russian Society of Aesthetics. 2) A separate track for the session on Environmental Aesthetics. For this one: please send abstracts with an e-mail titled ”ICA2018: Environmental Aeshtetics” directly to if you are interested to present a paper in this session. (The proposals should otherwise follow the general instructions. N.B. The papers sent for
the special track might become accepted also in the general sessions. 3) There will be a session dedicated to traditional Indian Aesthetics, chaired by S. Bhuvaneshwari. If you are interested to send an abstract to this session: please use the normal mailing address (, but
write “Indian Aesthetics” in the subject area.

The organizers:

International Association for Aesthetics:

Finnish Society for Aesthetics:

The Department of Art at Aalto University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture:










Call for Papers



4th-6th May, 2018

University of Warsaw


Keynotes: David Davies (McGill University, Montreal), Tomas Kulka (Charles University, Prague)


Granting that we are constantly bombarded with various forms of popular culture with little room for reprieve, how is it that the popular discourse of philosophical aesthetics seems to offer little insight to the increasingly pervasive artist renderings of the ‘lower’ art forms? Recently, aestheticians and philosophers have been turning their gaze to new domains of human creative activities, i.e., comics, advertisements, pornography, popular music, video games, etc. Yet – the question still burns regarding the relationship between aesthetics of the canonical, high culture and low, popular culture. Do they have different methodologies or just different subjects of inquiry? We warmly invite papers that reconsider the value and methods of aesthetics of popular culture and art – broadly understood – by exploring new concepts and fields of inquiry.


Given the explorative mandate of the papers — no specific methodology or philosophical orientation is required in submissions.


Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the newly emerged peer- and blind-reviewed open access online journal Popular Inquiry: The Journal of Kitsch, Camp and Mass Culture.


The conference will be hosted by the University of Warsaw, Poland and it is co-organized with the department of art of Aalto University, Finland.


Suggested topics (which should not be seen as restrictive, but more as an invitation):


– avant-garde popular culture

– art from the point of view of popular culture studies

– aesthetic properties and concepts of popular culture

– popular culture, aesthetic education and art schools

– official popular culture (nazism, socialism, etc.)

– popular culture in post-communist countries

– the relation of aesthetics and cultural studies

– popular culture as a shared outsider (Americanization)

– European aesthetics of popular culture

– kitsch, trash, camp

– video games, digital art, popular film & television

– urban/public space

– the art/craft distinction

Please send a title and a 500 word abstract, suitable for blind review, in either Word or PDF format, to For each talk, there will be time for a 30-minute presentation, with another 15 minutes designated for discussion. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2018. Notification of acceptance will be sent by February 20, 2018. The conference fee for both established academics and PhD students is 40 Euros. There is also a separate (optional) fee for the conference dinner of 50 Euros.


Committee: Adam Andrzejewski (University of Warsaw), Karan August (independent scholar), Max Ryynänen (Aalto University), Mateusz Salwa (University of Warsaw)