[Msa-discuss] CFP, MSA 16: Complexity Aesthetics: The Arts and Humanities as Complex Adaptive Systems

Jason Hoelscher jason.hoelscher at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 13:35:01 EDT 2014

*Conference*: Modernist Studies Association: MSA 16: Confluence and
Division, Pittsburgh, P

November 6-9, 2014

250-word abstract by April 27, 2014 to Jason Hoelscher (IDSVA, SCAD)
jason.hoelscher at gmail.com

*Complexity Aesthetics: The Arts and Humanities as Complex Adaptive Systems*

In recent years, models of complex adaptive systems have enhanced
understanding of fields as diverse as biology, information theory,
sociology, city planning and economics. Incorporating emergent phenomena,
networks, contagion theory, self-organizational swarms, interfaciality,
autopoiesis (biological, social and conceptual), recursive causality and
more, complex adaptive models would seem also to offer compelling
frameworks for the consideration of the arts and humanities, in terms of
practice, criticism and history.

Exploring MSA 16's theme of *Confluence and Division*, this panel will
consider the following questions: Can the contemporary art world, now
allegedly absent a dominant discursive framework, justifiably be considered
a complex adaptive system? Do emergent properties scale across domains,
e.g. from the microscale subjective experience of literature to the
macroscale crystallization of genres, styles and discourses? How does
network topology correlate with narratives and metanarrativity? How might
we articulate the differential tensions between non-deterministic swarm
formation and medium-specific or genre boundary differentiation? Where to
position critique within a system of dynamic feedback equilibria among and
between creative fields? This session invites paper proposals that address
the topics and questions above, or those of the arts and humanities in
relation to complexity theory in general.
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