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GERMAN-CFP-L  May 2008

GERMAN-CFP-L May 2008

Subject:

CFP: Adorno and America (Special Issue of Telos) 7/15/08

From:

Joshua Rayman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 18 May 2008 00:44:28 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

Adorno and America

 

Theodor W. Adorno's years in the USA represent a pivotal period in his life and 
career. Many of the writings that established his lasting significance as one of 
the outstanding critical thinkers of modernity are works of exile: In Search of 
Wagner (written in the UK), Minima Moralia, Dialectic of Enlightenment, The 
Philosophy of New Music, and The Authoritarian Personality (all written in the 
US). This issue of Telos will reconsider Adorno's American experience from 
both intellectual and biographical perspectives, as well as from the interplay 
between historical and philosophical concerns. Adorno's biographer Detlev 
Claussen has argued that Adorno's American experience fundamentally shaped 
the development of his philosophy. Which elements of Adorno's American 
experience in particular warrant scholarly examination in light of their larger 
critical significance? What lessons can we draw from his collaborations and 
intellectual friendships with American scholars and fellow exiles? How can we 
account for the dialectical tension between Adorno's bleak views of many 
American institutions and social customs (the culture industry, the hegemony 
of empiricist social science, the perils of McCarthyism), and his lesser known 
embrace of America's democratic culture and his appreciation of more humane 
forms of social interaction? Adorno observes in American society the 
thorough "penetration ... [of] humaneness in people's immediate behavior." For 
Adorno, America not only represents "purely a society of exchange," but also a 
democracy in which "there is an infinitely greater proximity between the 
political form of democracy and the people's feeling of life" (from Adorno's 
1959 lecture "Kultur and Culture"). What are, broadly, Adorno's American 
lessons (positive and negative) and how are they articulated in his writings 
during and after his time in exile? And, more specifically, what can Adorno 
teach us about America that is still relevant today, and what are, from our 
historically distanced point of view, the limits and shortfalls of Adorno's 
critique of America?

 

We invite scholars from all disciplines to contribute to this issue. We seek 
contributions that will shed light on the complexity of Adorno's life and work in 
America and the impact of the American experience on Critical Theory; we 
encourage contributions that do not rehearse the cliché of Adorno as a 
detached European mandarin of high culture.

 

Possible subjects for this issue include: Exile, Dialectics, Collaboration, 
Empirical Research, Pragmatism, Music, Film, Culture Industry (i.e., popular and 
mass culture), Thomas Mann, Hanns Eisler, Max Horkheimer, New Deal Politics, 
McCarthyism and American Institutional Reception, Anti-Semitism.

 

Possible works include: Authoritarian Personality, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 
Composing for Films, Minima Moralia, Philosophy of New Music, as well as 
various correspondences and minor works.

 

Please send abstract (no longer than 500 words) by July 15, 2008, to Joshua 
Rayman ([log in to unmask]) and Ulrich Plass ([log in to unmask]). 
Completed articles should be no longer than 8500 words (including notes) and 
will be due by June 1, 2009. The volume is scheduled to appear in December 
2009.

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html

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