2nd Global Conference: Beauty: Exploring Critical Issues

2nd Global Conference: Beauty: Exploring Critical Issues
Friday, September 21, 2012 - 7:30am to Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 1:00pm


2nd Global Conference
Beauty: Exploring Critical Issues

Friday 21st September – Sunday 23rd September 2012
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for papers:

“The first real problem I faced in my life was that of beauty,” wrote the poet-playwright- novelist Yukio Mishima, in Temple of the Golden Pavilion as he pondered beauty’s relevance, meanings, and the spell it cast over him. Beauty is complicated by the word beauty itself. Limited or overloaded, beauty has been celebrated as essential or denounced as irrelevant. The existence of beauty has been challenged, called a search for El Dorado. Some find no beauty in life, a recurring motif in subcultures, music lyrics, and the notes left by suicides. Others dismiss that perspective, arguing that common sense, experience, and multidisciplinary research reveal the reality and centrality of beauty in our lives. But what exactly is beauty? Speculations about the nature of beauty are various and contradictory. Some philosophers have argued that it will remain a mystery. Other theorists have held less modest beliefs, arguing that beauty expresses a basic spiritual reality, has universal physical properties, or is an experience and construction of mind and culture. The beauty ‘project’ will explore, assess, and map a number of key core themes.
These will include:

1. Understanding Beauty
- Defining beauty
- Theorising beauty
- Power of beauty
- History of beauty
- Politics of beauty
- Culture of beauty
- Religion of beauty

2. Experiences of and Representations of Beauty
- Pursuit of beauty
- Expressions of beauty
- Appearance of beauty
- Making beauty
- Documenting beauty
- Emotion and beauty
- Beauty and seduction
- Representing beauty in art, literature and popular culture

3. Beauty and Nature
-Beauty and the natural world
-Beauty and the Sublime
-Beauty and desire
-Science and mathematics of beauty
-Medical aspects of beauty

4. Beauty, Culture, and Identity
- Beauty subcultures
- Beauty and social stratification: gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, age, etc.
- Beauty collectors
- Beauty specialists
- Beauty disciples
-Enhancing the body beautiful: cosmetics, tattoos, piercings, surgical interventions, and other forms of body modification

5. The Business of Beauty
-Beauty and consumer culture
-Beauty and cultural capital
-Beauty professions and trades
-Beauty cities
-Beauty marketing and forecasting
-Professional beauties (models, actors, celebrities, beauty pageants etc.)
-Fashion and beauty
-Glamour and beauty

6. Diminishing the Beautiful
-Beauty and transgression
-Beauty and ugliness
-Beauty and aging
-Defiling the beautiful
-Destroying the beautiful
-Beauty and death
-Beauty and decay

Papers will be accepted which deal with related areas and themes.
The 2012 meeting of Beauty will run alongside a second of our projects on  Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners and we anticipate holding sessions in common between the two projects.  We welcome any papers or panels considering the problems or addressing issues that cross both projects

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 16th March 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 22nd June 2012. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords
E-mails should be entitled: Beauty Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Dr Jacque Lynn Foltyn

Project Leader
Professor of Sociology, Dept of Social Sciences, College of Letters and Sciences, National University, CA, USA
E-mail: jfoltyn@nu.edu

Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road,
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
Email: beau2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Critical Issues series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the project, please visit:

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.


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