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

Articles

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.

Interviews

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 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.