[artinfo] Essay Contest on Critical Theory

Sarah Kantrowitz sarah.e.kantrowitz at gmail.com
Tue May 14 12:27:18 CEST 2013

The Hannah Arendt Prize: Call for Submissions

Original Writing on Critical Theory and Creative Research

Award presented by the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research Program

Entry submission: essay of 1,500 words or less
Application deadline: Friday, May 31, 2013
Theme: On Art and Disobedience; Or, What Is an Intervention?
Cash award: 5,000 USD

Winner announced by Saturday, August 31, 2013

Please note that essays over the limit will be disqualified.

The Hannah Arendt Prize in Critical Theory and 
Creative Research is an annual competition for 
those interested in the juncture of art and 
creative research and in the principles at the 
heart of the arts and humanities, including 
sense-based intelligence; the reality of 
singular, nonrepeatable phenomena; ethical 
vision; and consilience between inner and outer, 
nature and reason, thought and experience, 
subject and object, self and world.

Application for the prize is open to the general 
public. Download the PDF application on our site 
and email the completed application and the essay 
(in a .doc or .pdf format) to 
<mailto:ctcrprize at pnca.edu>ctcrprize at pnca.edu.

Explication of theme:

"To disobey in order to take action is the byword 
of all creative spirits. The history of human 
progress amounts to a series of Promethean acts. 
But autonomy is also attained in the daily 
workings of individual lives by means of many 
small Promethean disobediences, at once clever, 
well thought out, and patiently pursued, so 
subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely. 
All that remains in such a case is an equivocal, 
diluted form of guilt. I would say that there is 
good reason to study the dynamics of 
disobedience, the spark behind all knowledge."

--Gaston Bachelard, Fragments of a Poetics of Fire

Intervention is an omnipresent if not ubiquitous 
word in contemporary discourse, but what forms 
does it take in the age of genetic engineering 
and real-time media? Is the concept a decoy or 
distraction in the face of futility? A cover or 
compensation for hopeless battles and set-ups? Is 
it simply working to slow down the Inevitable, a 
notion that in and of itself works as a major 
obstacle to critical thought and action? Or is it 
something more serious, more durable, and more 
dangerous? What is the relation of critique and 
intervention, theory and practice? And what role 
does art play in what Bachelard called "creative 
disobedience," acts of Prometheanism "so subtle 
at times as to avoid punishment entirely"? Might 
art now comprise one of the last forms of 
political stealth, working in increasingly 
sophisticated time-based ways? What kinds of 
thought and action are powerful and compelling 
interventions today, whether one-off spectacles, 
sabots, monkey wrenches, sleepers, gummy bears, 
or Trojan Horses?

Along with Anne-Marie Oliver, Founding Co-Chair, 
MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, 
Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Barry 
Sanders, Founding Co-Chair, MA in Critical Theory 
and Creative Research, Pacific Northwest College 
of Art, the judges for 2013 include

Claire Bishop, Professor of Contemporary Art, 
Theory and Exhibition History, Graduate Center, 
The City University of New York
Judith Butler, Professor of Rhetoric and 
Comparative Literature, The University of 
California, Berkeley, and Hannah Arendt Professor 
of Philosophy, Europäische Universität für 
Interdisziplinäre Studien/EGS
Barbara Duden, Professor Emerita, Leibniz Universität Hannover
Julia Kristeva, Professor Emerita and Head of the 
École doctorale Langues, Littératures, Images, 
Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7, and recipient 
of the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought
Heike Kühn, Film Critic
Martha Rosler, Artist and contributor to the 
Hannah Arendt Denkraum (on the occasion of Hannah 
Arendt's 100th birthday)

For information on last year's competition, 
please see 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research
The MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research 
(CT+CR), the first of its kind in the U.S., is an 
accelerated, 45-credit, seminar-based program 
(one year + summer intensive) that prepares 
students for opportunities at the intersection of 
art, theory, and research. Located in the 
metropolitan heart of the Pacific Northwest, a 
major center of creative risk-taking and social 
experimentation, the program combines the study 
of critical theory as a mode of socio-political 
critique concerning human meaning and agency with 
creative research as a largely process-driven 
form of inquiry, pushing both theory and research 
in new directions within the context of a 
21st-century art school. The program is devoted 
to people and ideas and to a rethinking of the 
present and future of cultural production; of 
arts-based research and research-based arts; of 
curatorial practice, documentary, and the 
Archive; and of social and political 
reconfiguration in relation to major sites of 
contemporary contestation. The program offers 
competitive scholarships and a range of 
internships, with think tanks, nonprofits, 
governmental agencies, museums, publication and 
design studios, and alternative art spaces around 
the city and elsewhere. For additional 
information, visit 

About PNCA
As Oregon's flagship college of art and design 
since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has 
helped shape Oregon's visual arts landscape for 
more than a century. PNCA students study with 
award-winning faculty in small classes. In the 
last seven years, PNCA has doubled both the 
student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled 
its endowment, and added innovative undergraduate 
and graduate programs. PNCA is now embarking on 
its boldest venture yet by establishing the 
Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and 
Design as an anchor for the College's vision of a 
new campus home on Portland's North Park Blocks. 
Focusing on the transformative power of 
creativity, the capital campaign, Creativity 
Works Here, was launched in June 2012 with a lead 
gift from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE 
Foundation of $5 million. PNCA's new home will be 
a bustling hub for creativity and 
entrepreneurship, reflecting the influential role 
of art and design in the 21st-century economy, 
both in Portland and beyond. For more 
information, visit <http://pnca.edu>pnca.edu.

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