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New e-journal explores the New World’s impact on Surrealism


December 22, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. – Claudia Mesch, art history professor in the Herberger College School of Art at Arizona State University, along with co-founding editors Amy Winter, Ph.D., director of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, New York, and Prof. Samantha Kavky of Penn State University, posted the first issue of Journal of Surrealism and the Americas. The open-access e-journal published at http://jsa.asu.edu in December 2007. Its focus is the impact of the New World, including Latin America and the Caribbean, and its indigenous cultures on European and American surrealists. Their real and fantasized travel to the New World resulted in major shifts across many fields, including anthropology, psychoanalysis, literature and visual art.

According to the editors, the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas encourages global participation, especially from indigenous populations, and extends beyond art into literature, anthropology and cinema studies, particularly as they apply to Surrealism.

“My hope is that the journal expands knowledge of the New World’s influence on Surrealism and creates a critical forum not only for scholars, but also for the public, where the post-colonial impact of Surrealism on native cultures is examined and debated,” Mesch says.

The journal’s readers and authors include an international roster of literature and film scholars, art historians, anthropologists and major curators. Famed Surrealism scholar Whitney Chadwick notes that the journal is “interesting and timely.” Katharine Conley, associate dean of humanities at Dartmouth, calls the on-line publication “…an exciting development in Surrealist Studies.”

Journal of Surrealism and the Americas was inspired by the international conference, “Surrealism and the American West,” hosted at ASU in October 2006 and hopes to continue the public and scholarly momentum it generated. Like the conference, the journal features contributions from around the world and publishes submissions in several languages, including French, German and Spanish, as well as English. 

The first issue features an article by Céline Mansanti of the Université de Nantes in France. She questions the critical neglect of A Novelette, a lesser-known work by William Carlos Williams, considered by Jacqueline Saunier-Ollier to be “the work by Williams that was most influenced by Surrealism.” Julia Pine from Carlton University, Canada, examines the changing relationship between Salvador Dalí and André Breton when the two relocate to America from war-torn Europe in the 1940s. An essay by Sandra R. Zalman from the University of Southern California investigates the relationship between Surrealism’s art, its critical reception, and its popularity in American culture, a relationship strengthened by Dalí. Also included in the inaugural issue are book, exhibition and film reviews.

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas is refereed and published biannually with support by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. A special issue of the journal, Surrealism and Ethnography, edited by Amy Winter, publishes in June 2008. Submissions are accepted online at http://jsa.asu.edu.

The School of Art is a division of Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University. Its printmaking, photography and art education programs are nationally ranked in the top 10, and its Master of Fine Arts program is ranked eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. The school includes four student galleries for solo and group shows by graduate and undergraduate art and photography students: Gallery 100, Harry Wood, Northlight, and Step. To learn more about the School of Art, visit http://art.asu.edu. 

Media Contact:
Laura Toussaint 
480.965.8796
laura.toussaint@asu.edu