CFP: Special Issue of ARTS on "Dance and Abstraction"


Dear Colleagues,

Our proposed Special Issue focuses on the relationship between dance and abstraction broadly understood, encompassing explorations of non-objective form and "pure dance"; mediation and substitution; systems of economic circulation or technological data; racial constructs and the operations of subjecthood. The group of essays gathered here, which examine case studies spanning from the 1920s to the 1980s situated in diverse locales across Europe, Brazil, and the United States, collectively provide a historical grounding for current artistic practices and scholarly conversations on the issue of embodiment. In dance, visual art, and film prior to the 1980s, the body was often used in impersonal ways, as a manipulable and abstractable material, by artists who exploited both its general, universal qualities and its imbrication in the specificity of lived experience. Many works produced in this period also used the body to explore modern concepts of what makes a human being or experimented with bodies and forms of embodiment as they figured in collective political formations. The essays in this Special Issue show that abstraction, when conveyed through or combined with the performing body, is a crucial vehicle through which ideas motivating political and artistic practice have been given form over the past hundred years. Collectively, they provide a new framework for understanding both dance and abstraction, advancing the scholarly discourse on embodiment in the fields of art history and dance studies, and are intended to promote further dialogue between the two fields.

Dr. Juliet Bellow
Dr. S. Elise Archias
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.