Debates in Aesthetics is Looking for a New Editor

The journal is currently edited by Sarah Kiernan and Claire Anscomb. Anscomb will be leaving the Journal later this year and so they are seeking a new editor to work alongside Kiernan, from late 2022. This post represents a unique opportunity to gain professional experience in all aspects of managing an academic journal, including editing and managing anonymised peer-review. The editors of DiA have broad discretion over the journal’s editorial policy and a budget to employ proof-readers and award an annual prize. DiA produces two issues a year, one of which is a special issue devoted to the work of a well-established philosopher in the field. The successful candidate will shadow the current editors from Summer 2022 in order to familiarise themselves with the journal’s editorial processes.

The editorship entails a variety of tasks and responsibilities: considering submitted manuscripts for review, seeking appropriate peer-reviewers, preparing manuscripts for proofreading, editing, typesetting, publishing content online and updating social media. As editor you will become an ex officio member of the Trustees Committee of the British Society of Aesthetics and are required to make bi-annual reports to the Trustees Committee on the operations of the Journal. The position is unpaid; however, the editors have access to an annual travel fund from the BSA for travel and accommodation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Aesthetics. In addition, the editors get a full conference package, including accommodation, at the annual BSA meeting in Oxford.

The candidate should be registered (or about to be registered) as a postgraduate research student at a British university. The ideal candidate will be organised and have some familiarity with peer-review practices. Website management (in particular WordPress) and/or publishing will be an advantage.

To apply, please send anonymised versions of the following in .pdf format to editor “at” debatesinaesthetics “dot” org

  • An anonymous academic CV
  • A writing sample of not more than 3000 words
  • A brief statement (of between 500 and 1000 words) outlining why you would make a good editor for DiA, including any improvements or other changes you would make if you were awarded the post

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2022 and it is anticipated that Zoom interviews will be held for the post in May 2022. We especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups in the philosophical community. If you have any further questions, please direct them to the current editors: editor “at” debatesinaesthetics “dot” org.

Essay Prize

We are pleased to announce that Harry Drummond is the winner of the 2021 Debates in Aesthetics Essay prize. Drummond’s essay ‘Architectural Value and the Artistic Value of Architecture’ was published in our latest issue and is available on our website; read it here. The British Society of Aesthetics generously awards the winning essay £250.

In the essay, Drummond seeks to demarcate architectural value from artistic value. He motivates the necessity of this project by showing that, within philosophical discussion of architecture as an artform, architectural value and artistic value are often referred to interchangeably with no explicit differentiation between them. Nevertheless, a convergence between these two values is seldom supported or argued for overtly, so Drummond refers to the assumption of their equivalence as the implicit claim. Drummond argues against this implicit claim with the goal of showing that architectural value has an independent significance that extends beyond what is attributed to architecture by virtue of its classification as a subgenre of the arts. In doing so, Drummond presents an important advance in conceptual refinement in thinking about the arts.

Harry Drummond is currently an AHRC NWCDTP funded PhD student, cross-institutionally supervised by Dr. Vid Simoniti (University of Liverpool) and Dr. Cain Todd (Lancaster University). His research focuses on interpersonal aesthetics and the possibility of shared aesthetic experiences, with a focus on relational and participatory art.

The Debates in Aesthetics Prize (formerly the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics Prize) is awarded to the best paper by a postgraduate student or early career academic. For this award all papers from our last two published issues were taken into consideration. The papers were judged by the current, and previous, editors of the journal. The next prize will be awarded to the best paper in our forthcoming special and general issues, more information about which will be shared soon.

The previous winner of the prize was Yorick Berta, for the paper ‘Sensory Augmentation and the Tactile Sublime’ (Published in Vol 15 No 1, read it here).

Call for Papers

We are pleased to invite submissions for our next General Issue. 

For this issue we welcome original articles, book reviews, and interviews from postgraduate and professional philosophers on any topic in philosophy of art or aesthetics. Submissions should be accessible and concise – around 3,000-3,500 words for articles and interviews and around 1,000-1,500 words for book reviews. All submissions should be anonymised for blind review and in Word Document Format (.docx). All submissions by early career researchers and postgraduate students will be eligible for the Debates in Aesthetics Prize. 

Deadline for Submission: 31 July 2021

Submission guidelines


3,000-3,500 words
The journal publishes articles on a wide range of topics, from defining satire to photography, musical expression, feminism, fictional truth, aesthetic realism, or expressive qualities in animals, and more… For this issue we welcome work on any topic from philosophical aesthetics.


3,000-3,500 words
Sometimes the finest philosophical discussion happens in conversation. The journal has Sometimes the finest philosophical discussion happens in conversation. The journal has published some excellent interviews with philosophers in the past, including Angela Leighton, Noël Carroll, Alexander Nehamas, and Dominic McIver Lopes. If you are particularly interested in someone’s work, interviewing them could be a great opportunity to not only learn more about their philosophy, but also exchange ideas, and examine the hidden assumptions or implications of their work. We are happy to provide feedback on interview proposals. Prior to submission, please ensure that your interview has been read and approved by the interviewee. We especially encourage interviews with philosophers from underrepresented groups.

Book Reviews

1,000-1,500 words
The journal also welcomes book reviews or critical summaries on books relevant to our field. These should be on a recent publication, and around 1,000-1,500 words. If you would like to review a book, it might be worth looking at publisher’s websites, such as Oxford University Press or Routledge, for new and upcoming releases in aesthetics.

New Editor

The editors of Debates in Aesthetics are delighted to introduce their new co-editor, Sarah Kiernan. Sarah completed her MA on Kantian aesthetics at the University of Auckland before coming to Birkbeck, University of London where she is currently completing her PhD on Hegel’s aesthetic philosophy and modern art. We thank our outgoing editor Eleen M. Deprez for her hard work, and wish her all the best for the future.

Essay Prize

We are pleased to announce that Yorick Berta is the winner of the 2020 Debates in Aesthetics Essay prize. Berta’s essay “Sensory Augmentation and the Tactile Sublime” was published in our latest issue and is available on our website; read it here. In his article Berta presents an insightful and highly original argument about the possibilities of technologically enhanced experiences. The British Society of Aesthetics generously awards the winning essay £250.

In the essay Berta explores a range of devices that transform or “augment” our sensory perception. An example he discusses is Moon Ribas’ Seismic Sense: a sensor worn by the artist that vibrates when an earthquake occurs somewhere in the world. This device, Berta says, not only notifies or alerts the artist of an earthquake happening, but gives rise to an affective experience (one of feeling “close”, “connected”, or even “being there”). Seismic Sense, and the other devices Berta discusses, illustrate that our brain can adapt to new sensory stimuli. In the final section of his article Berta pushes further and argues that devices like Seismic Sense can facilitate aesthetic experiences of the sublime.

Yorick Berta is an independent scholar and writer based in Vienna. He is starting a PhD project this autumn at the University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz. Berta will be looking at the use of organic and decaying materials in the art of the 60s, for example in movements like Fluxus or Land Art or in the oeuvre of artists like Dieter Roth, Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Rauschenberg. Exhibited inside the white cube, artworks made out of chocolate, yeast, or cheese enter a highly ambiguous relationship with their institutional frame, posing questions regarding the attribution of value to art, the distinction of art and life and the legitimacy of conservation endeavours. In his research Berta will frame these artworks as a form of non-human agency entering the Western art system.

The Debates in Aesthetics Prize (formerly the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics Prize) is awarded to best paper by a postgraduate student or early career academic. For this award all papers from our last published issue were taken into consideration. The papers were judged by members of the editorial board, the editors, and previous editors of the journal. The next prize will be awarded to the best paper in our next general issue, for which we are currently inviting submissions (deadline 31 July 2020), see the call for papers here.

The previous winner of the prize was Lewis Coyne, for the paper ‘Heidegger and the problem of the Sublime’ (Published in Vol 10 No 1, read it here).

Coming soon

  • A call for papers for a special issue of Debates in Aesthetics on the subject of the ‘New Theory of Photography’. Those interested in contributing to the issue will be invited to respond to an article, written by Dawn Wilson (University of Hull), on the topic. Wilson will produce a critical response to all accepted papers. The CFP, along with Wilson’s article will be circulated soon.