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Surrealism and the Americas: new historiographical perspectives

Le surréalisme et les Amériques : nouvelles perspectives historiographiques

El surrealismo y las Américas: nuevas perspectivas historiográficas

Thematic workshop of the bi-annual Congress of the Institut des Amériques

Atelier thématique du Congrès bi-annuel de l’Institut des Amériques

Taller temático del Congreso bianual del Instituto de las Américas

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Published on Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Abstract

As we celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the first Surrealist Manifesto (1924), it is in fact appropriate to revisit this long historiographical tradition that considers this collective adventure as an exclusively French (if not Parisian) one, of the interwar period, centered around the charismatic figure of André Breton. By example of the Americas, we wish to propose a new theoretical definition of the movement in favour of its specific variations and manifestations in order to better question the very notions of centre, periphery, heritage or descendance and, in this way, bring to light the new actors of global Surrealism.

Announcement

Congrès 2025 Institut des Amériques

Aimed at fostering interdisciplinary approaches, the Institut des Amériques (IdA) congress brings together specialist speakers from the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean every two years.

A complete list of past congresses is available online. In 2023, the congress was held in Lyon in June, at Université Lumière Lyon 2 and Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3. In 2025, the Campus Condorcet in Aubervilliers was chosen to host the scientific event from October 1-3.

The Scientific Advisory Board of the IdA 2025 Congress has selected 12 thematic workshops. You can now submit your paper proposals so that the coordinators of each workshop can subsequently select 5.

Argument

The history connecting Surrealism to the Americas is a long and winding one, full of projections, idealizations and, sometimes, frustrations. From the 1930s on, the so-called “New World” fascinated Surrealist artists who were interested in cultures deemed as “primitive,” from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The Second World War and the ensuing exile of a number of European intellectuals in New York, Mexico and Haiti marked a significant turning point in the movement wherein the unprecedented convergence of Surrealism and the Americas was solidified.

It thus seems necessary to examine the conditions of the movement’s circulation, reception, and redefinition in light of its internationalization: in what way do the artists of these regions renegotiate the fundamental principles of Surrealism? How do they position themselves within and around the movement? Conversely, how much does this encounter with the Americas ensure a renewal of Surrealist form and thought? The goal of this thematic workshop is to study the richness of the expressions and manifestations of Surrealism on the other side of the Atlantic, and to explore the numerous places in which the history of the movement was written, in a perspective that is simultaneously transhistorical and transnational.

This reflection will concern the spontaneous emergence of new groups and artistic movements—such as the Brazilian Anthropophagous movement, the Chilean Mandrágora, the Québécois Automatists or the Chicago Group—as much as specific figures whose trajectory condenses these ideas of circulation, such as the Peruvian poet César Moro, the African American surrealist Ted Joans or the Hungarian-Chilean-Canadian artist Susana Wald.

As we celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the first Surrealist Manifesto (1924), it is in fact appropriate to revisit this long historiographical tradition that considers this collective adventure as an exclusively French (if not Parisian) one, of the interwar period, centered around the charismatic figure of André Breton. By example of the Americas, we wish to propose a new theoretical definition of the movement in favour of its specific variations and manifestations in order to better question the very notions of centre, periphery, heritage or descendance and, in this way, bring to light the new actors of global Surrealism.

How to submit an application

- Title

- Argument (4000 characters maximum)

- 5 key words - A few lines of bio-bibliographical information

- Contact details

To submit your application, please visit the Congress 2025 website. You'll find the full call for papers and the submission guide. We accept papers in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Deadline for submissions : July 15, 2024

Organization

Célia Stara (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) and Brianna Mullin (University of Toronto).

Places

  • Campus Condorcet - 8, cours des Humanités
    Aubervilliers, France (93)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Monday, July 15, 2024

Keywords

  • Surréalisme, Amériques, XXe siècle, historiographie

Contact(s)

  • Célia Stara
    courriel : celia [dot] stara [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Brianna Mullin
    courriel : brianna [dot] mullin [at] mail [dot] utoronto [dot] ca

Information source

  • Célia Stara
    courriel : celia [dot] stara [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Surrealism and the Americas: new historiographical perspectives », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, July 09, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/11zgg

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