CPCL Vol 5, no 1. Call for Papers. Aesthetics of the Anthropocene


The European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, Vol 5, no 1. 

Edited by Pierpaolo Ascari, Andrea Borsari.

Download a PDF version of this call.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the notion of Anthropocene has progressively asserted itself in literature and in public discussion, changing the way in which the past, the present condition and the future scenarios of the planet are represented. In the attempt to attribute a beginning to the geological protagonism of human beings, the scientific community has referred from time to time to the explosion of the atomic bomb, to the industrial revolution or to the "long sixteenth century", without excluding the possibility that the origins of the Anthropocene can be traced back to the time when men began to master fire. However, what is difficult to question today is the prevailing role assumed by human action, since the birth of industrial capitalism and the system of life related to it (for which we also tend to speak of Capitalocene), on the reproduction of the life cycle on earth and, through the use of fossil fuels, on the climate of the planet.

The relationship between aesthetics and the so-called Anthropocene does not only concern the last twenty years, but can also refer to the way in which philosophical reflection, literature, social formations and art history have engaged a series of problems. Only today do we start to understand the complexity of this problems in their systemic scope.

This Call for Paper has a number of objectives. It aims (1) to investigate the ways in which the Anthropocene is interpreted by current artistic productions or film, television and variously narrative and performative representations. It seeks (2) to understand the latencies or prefigurations of the Anthropocene in past forms of knowledge and expression. It invites reflection on (3) how to actualize the conceptual and metaphorical heritage elaborated by the philosophical-aesthetic tradition in the course of its history, beyond the simple reference to the "sublime". As well as on how to integrate or modify that heritage for the rendering of the perceptive-sensitive relationship with the new reality of the world that is configured today.  The Call for Paper also poses additional research questions, such as: (4) How is the Anthropocene manifested and perceived in everyday information on climate change related disasters and their increase (typhoons, desertification, burning forests)? (5) What do the simulations of future scenarios that we make in correspondence with the debate on the climate crisis and the Anthropocene tell us about ourselves as humankind through self-representation images and their implications?

Finally (6), the Call for Paper aims to address a range of new phenomena related to the architectural-urban sphere. They can be analyzed from the point of view of the aesthetic-perceptual consequences of the Anthropocene and of the pandemic emergency partly related to it, even with reference to local examples. These phenomena include, for instance, the transformations of the urban landscape and their perception, in the wake of the clamor aroused by the return to the city of the so-called "nature that takes back its spaces". As it happens with news like wild boars in Rome and Genoa, ducklings in the center of Turin or pumas in Santiago de Chile. And they also may include the spread of electric scooters and the considerable increase in bicycle travel, especially in countries and cities where it was less practiced. Other examples for this kind of analysis can be provided by some of the changes in the built environment, such as buildings covered by thermal coats or the unprecedented number of construction sites and scaffolding. In this context, articles could also explore a further transformation of the city concerning the tendency of the public space, mostly in central and historical areas, to be subjected to private commercial use. This loss of free space transforms entire portions of streets, squares and arcades into a landscape of outdoor seating and table service.

The contributions requested should refer to one or more of the six thematic points and approaches mentioned above.
Vol 5, no 1 timeline

-        Jan 2022. Launch of Call
-        Mar 2022. Deadline for paper submission
-        April-May 2022. Peer-review process
-        Jun-Aug 2022. Copy editing and proofreading
-        Sep 2022. Publication

CPCL accepts full papers, written in English, 6,000 words maximum, including footnotes and bibliography. Manuscripts should be submitted online at cpcl.unibo.it. CPCL does not accept e-mail submissions.

For more information, consult our focus and scope and author guidelines.