Censorship and Self-Censorship: Special Issue of "Between," Journal of the Italian Comparative Literature Association (Compalit)

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This issue aims to investigate the interplay between censorship and self-censorship in a variety of domains, from literary works to audio-visual media, from criticism to cultural mediation, in order to re-examine the relationship between censorship and artistic expression. We will focus our investigation on the following themes:

1. Censorship and literary systems
Censorship arises from an incessant negotiation process between regulative forces and creative energies that not only aims to silence opposing voices, but also procedurally establishes the possibilities of artistic expression. The dialectic relationship between institutional and pre-emptive censorship (Lavagetto) can be identified at both a micro and a macro level of literary creation; accordingly, the mechanics of censorship and self-censorship permeate literary works in each of their phases, from composition (the constantly narrowing choice between different possibilities, as already argued by Maria Corti), to canon formation and, in general, mediation and transnational communication between literary systems (Even-Zohar).

2. Censorship and visual systems
Cinema, visual arts, and live performance often deploy images of sex, violence, horror, and death. Although stemming from marginal cinematographic genres (exploitation, extreme horror, hard core, etc.) and provocative artistic movements, these images are absorbed by the mainstream, enabling the entrance of what is historically relegated to the regime of “ob/scenity” into the regime of “on/scenity”, according to the distinction proposed by Linda Williams. Moreover, the convergence between digital media and the web encourages new reception practices and the emergence of new kinds of audience¬; these participatory communities generate their own content and prompt a continual and interesting negotiation process between obscenity and prohibition, which challenges the space of control of censorship.

We will welcome contributions on any aspects of censorship and self-censorship, such as but not limited to:

- The relationship between literary work and literary system
- Canon formation and the function of criticism
- Visible and invisible censorship
- Cultural mediation: publishing (translation, editing) and marketing (publication, circulation) dynamics
- Hierarchies between genres, registers, and expressive forms
- Democratic censorship and totalitarian censorship
- Images and political censorship
- The interplay between art and politics, and art and public morals
- Film genres and censorship
- Gender discourse and censorship
- New media, new audience, and censorship

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short biographical note to Antonio Bibbò (antoniobib@gmail.com), Stefano Ercolino (stefano.ercolino@virgilio.it), and Mirko Lino (miroslawit@yahoo.it) by September 15, 2014. Notification of acceptance will be given by September 30. The deadline for submission of accepted papers, which will be subject to peer review, and metadata is January 15, 2015, according to the instructions available at http://ojs.unica.it/index.php/between/pages/view/Submissions
Final articles must not exceed 40,000 characters (spaces included). We accept submissions in English, French, and Italian.

Antonio Bibbò (Università di Genova – Università dell’Aquila)
Stefano Ercolino (Freie Universität Berlin)
Mirko Lino (Università di Palermo)