Carnegie Mellon University

Outrage! Art, Controversy, and Society

Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN: 978-0-230-35397-8
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Richard Howells (King’s College London), Andreea Deciu Ritivoi and Judith Schachter (Centre for the Arts in Society, Carnegie Mellon University, USA)

Outrage! Art, Controversy, and Society is a book about controversy in the arts, and especially the extent to which such controversies are socially rather than just aesthetically conditioned. Contributions reflect the interdisciplinary expertise of seventeen contributors from different fields (art, art history, visual studies, cultural studies, anthropology, literature, theatre and performance studies, rhetoric, German studies, English, Hispanic studies, musicology, and philosophy). The collection offers a unique perspective on art controversies through its analyses of diverse instances in a global context. Unlike most discussions of art controversies, which tend to focus on a particular period and the artistic objects produced in it, we offer both contemporary cases and historical ones. We trace the historical roots of contemporary phenomena we would otherwise take for granted (such as the role the media play in an art controversy). Finally, in this volume the key conceptual terms defining the topic of study, “controversy” and the “public,” are themselves scrutinized and carefully unpacked, rather than taken for granted or assumed to have a clearly defined analytic purchase.