Open Cultural Studies seeks submissions for a themed issue, Capitalist Aesthetics. Assessing a world marked by what Hal Foster bleakly calls “total design” and by what Jacques Ranciere more optimistically calls the “aestheticization of common life,” this issue welcomes articles that explore the aesthetic configurations through which the economic logics of late capitalism are crystallized today. It invites work that treats the stylistic and formal dimension of cultural objects, and the verdictive and affective dimensions of cultural discourse or experience, as valuable “cryptograms” of contemporary ideological formations and the economic relations they sustain. In the process, it will foreground the fact that—despite widespread suspicion, post-Bourdieu, of the discourse of the aesthetic—scholars associated with cultural studies, from Raymond Williams to Rosalind Gill, have developed a powerful set of critical tools for analyzing aesthetic configurations, both as vehicles of ideological and economic domination, and as sources of subversion, pleasure, critique, and renewal.

Essays on any topic related to the intersection of capitalism and aesthetics are welcomed, including:

  • Aesthetic manifestations of capitalism
  • Genres and forms of capitalist mediations and expressions
  • “Post-Capitalist” aesthetics: Designing the future
  • White-collar aesthetics: Corporate aesthetics, from the bank to the boardroom
  • Aesthetic subversion or critique of capitalism
  • Aesthetics and techno-science: Datafication of aesthetics
  • Aesthetics as domination or liberation: Between autonomy and heteronomy
  • Digital aesthetics and “platform capitalism”
  • Beyond “zany,” “cute,” and “interesting”: Late capitalism’s (other) aesthetic categories
  • The aesthetics of the Capitalocene: Eco-catastrophe and environmental activism as late-capitalist spectacle
  • Capitalist structures of feeling, capitalist affects
  • Neoliberal aesthetics
  • Representations of capitalism
  • Late-capitalist temporal aesthetics, from speed to slowness
  • The “creative industries” and the “cultural economy” as late-capitalist aesthetic formations

Submit your proposals to by 15 March 2018. Full papers will be due by 1 June 2018.