Appel à contributions : Conférence « Beauty », 15-17 septembre 2013

« Beauty »

3rd Global Conference
Mansfield College
University of Oxford, UK

15-17 September 2013


« The first real problem I faced in my life was that of beauty, » wrote the poet-playwright- novelist Yukio Mishima, in Temple of the Golden Pavilion as he pondered beauty’s relevance, meanings, and the spell it cast over him. Beauty is complicated by the word beauty itself. Limited or overloaded, beauty has been celebrated as essential or denounced as irrelevant. The existence of beauty has been challenged, called a search for Eldorado. Some find no beauty in life, a recurring motif in subcultures, music lyrics, and the notes left by suicides. Others dismiss that perspective, arguing that common sense, experience, and multidisciplinary research reveal the reality and centrality of beauty in our lives. But what exactly is beauty? Speculations about the nature of beauty are various and contradictory. Some philosophers have argued that it will remain a mystery. Other theorists have held less modest beliefs, arguing that beauty expresses a basic spiritual reality, has universal physical properties, or is an experience and construction of mind and culture. The beauty « project » will explore, assess, and map a number of key core themes. These will include:

1. Understanding Beauty
– Defining beauty
– Theorising beauty
– Power of beauty
– History of beauty
– Politics of beauty
– Culture of beauty
– Religion of beauty
– Beauty Myths

2. Experiences of and Representations of Beauty
– Pursuit of beauty
– Expressions of beauty
– Appearance of beauty
– Making beauty
– Documenting beauty
– Emotion and beauty
– Beauty and seduction
– Representing beauty in art, literature and popular culture

3. Beauty and Nature
– Beauty and the natural world – Beauty and the Sublime – Beauty and desire – Science and mathematics of beauty – Medical aspects of beauty

4. Beauty, Culture, and Identity
– Beauty subcultures
– Beauty and social stratification: gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, age, etc.
– Beauty collectors
– Beauty specialists
– Beauty disciples
– Enhancing the body beautiful: cosmetics, tattoos, piercings, surgical interventions, and other forms of body modification

5. The Business of Beauty
– Beauty and consumer culture
– Beauty and cultural capital
– Beauty professions and trades
– Beauty cities
– Beauty marketing and forecasting
– Professional beauties (models, actors, celebrities, beauty pageants etc.)
– Fashion and beauty
– Glamour and beauty

5. Diminishing the Beautiful
– Beauty and transgression
– Beauty and ugliness
– Beauty and aging
– Defiling the beautiful
– Destroying the beautiful
– Beauty and death
– Beauty and decay

Presentations will be accepted which deal with related areas and themes. The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 22nd March 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 21st June 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords, E-mails should be entitled: Beauty3 Abstract Submission.

Please Note: In [your] e-mail please attach TWO versions of your abstract as follows: 1) One with title and body of abstract only (no identification of the author—this version will be for our blind peer review process). 2) The other with the following information about the author(s): affiliation, email, title of abstract, title and body of abstract.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Jacque Lynn Foltyn
Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the « Critical Issues » series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.


Priory House
149B Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
United Kingdom
tel +44 (0)1993 882087
fax +44 (0)870 4601132 

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