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Call for Papers Archive

Works of literature, visual art, drama, dance, and music have long been addressed to readers, viewers, and listeners, both real and imagined. Whether implicit or explicit, the ways artists address, court, and affect their audiences are crucial to understanding their work. But while traditional ideas about audience often denote passive reception or disinterested judgment, certain artistic forms recast the observer as an active participant and/or collaborator in the construction of the art object‚??s meaning. This proposed panel for MLA 2018 will attend to such artist-audience exchanges with focus on the ways in which modern and postmodern art enjoins our attention to the contours of the artist-audience relationship through the encouragement of interactive responses.

We therefore seek papers that take diverse approaches to the questions: how do modern and contemporary artworks‚??including poems, paintings, works of fiction, performances, and other objects‚??solicit audience collaboration and/or participation? What do these types of interaction reveal about the historical development of aesthetics (literary or otherwise) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries?

Potential topics may include:
- the boundaries between witnessing and participation in interartistic collaborations;
- parody, erasure, or revision as types of audience response;
- site-specific and/or immersive performance adaptations of literary works;
- ekphrastic poetry as a form of collaboration between poem/poet and visual artist/object;
- open forms and the public (or counterpublic) sphere;
- reader-response, reception, and semiotic methods of literary analysis;
- the artist as audience in documentary realism and reportage;
- the role of institutions (e.g. museums, libraries, and archives) in artist-audience interactions;
- the politics of collaboration and/or participation;
- audience interaction in new media.

Please submit 250-word abstracts, CV, and A/V needs by March 15, 2017 to Alexandra Gold ( and Frank Capogna (

Conference Location: New York, United States
Conference Starts: January 04, 2018
Conference Ends: January 07, 2018

CFP Submission Deadline: March 15, 2017

For more information, contact: Frank Capogna