Call for Papers

Art as a Remedy for the Corruption of Consciousness

Human Affairs is an international journal for humanities and social affairs, with a special emphasis on philosophy, which was founded in 1990. It focuses on contemporary human affairs, with the goal to advance human self-understanding and communication. Beginning with issue 4 in October 2019, the journal publishes an annual issue dedicated exclusively to philosophy. It is edited at Keele University, UK, by James Tartaglia and Stephen Leach (Consciousness and the Great Philosophers (Routledge 2016), The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers (Routledge 2018)). Each issue focuses on a particular topic of contemporary philosophical interest and combines invited papers with an open Call for Papers.

In The Principles of Art, R.G. Collingwood makes the bold claim that art is “the community’s medicine for the worst disease of the mind, the corruption of consciousness.” He defines “corruption of consciousness” as a culpable failure to conceptualize clearly one’s experience by repressing, projecting, or editing the felt or affective components of that experience. This occurs when one starts to become conscious of how one feels but is uncomfortable with the fact that one feels that way and overlooks or denies the feeling, leading to a misconstrual of one’s own experience. Because Collingwood held all “higher” mental activities, including reasoning, to be based on how we conceive our felt experiences, the corruption of consciousness threatens to infect these higher cognitive levels by giving them a false picture on which to build. Since this is essentially a failure to express one’s feelings to oneself, and since Collingwood held art to express the felt dimensions of experience, he took good artworks to exemplify for their audiences the workings of an un-corrupted consciousness and thereby to work against this corruption and its cognitively, morally, and politically negative consequences.

In this issue of Human Affairs, we invite papers that take Collingwood’s claim as a starting point to investigate the ways in which art can be valuable, e.g., socially, politically, morally, cognitively, etc. Papers need not (though they may) focus on Collingwood’s philosophy directly, although they should be framed in terms of the idea of his described above, and the broad question of why art is valuable or important as a part of human life. This could take the form of a comparative discussion of similar ideas in other thinkers (philosophers or artists) or philosophical traditions, especially as concerns art’s political value or its connection with truth, clear thinking, mental well-being, etc. Among questions that might be addressed are:

  • How might Collingwood’s concerns with the negative social and mental effects of bad art and the positive effects of good art be echoed in other thinkers (e.g., Adorno, Murdoch, Nussbaum, Scruton, etc.)?
  • How does Collingwood’s notion of the value of art relate to current debates about art’s political role, its cognitive value, the relation between artistic and moral value, etc.?
  • How might current social and political conditions be similar to the conditions of Europe in the 1930s that Collingwood was writing in and reacting against, and what relation might art have to these conditions today?

We invite extended abstracts of 1000 words (maximum – excluding bibliography, if you include one). Authors of the abstracts we select will be invited to submit a full paper (4000 words maximum, excluding bibliography). Papers will be subject to peer-review, and those selected will be published alongside invited papers by David Collins, Vitor Guerreiro, Chinatsu Kobayashi and Mathieu Marion, James Camien McGuiggan, Peter Skagestad, Philip Smallwood, and Iris Vidmar Jovanović.

  • Abstracts are to be submitted online:
  • In the manuscript central select the symposium ‘Art as a Remedy for the Corruption of Consciousness’
  • Deadline for Abstracts: 31 December, 2023
  • Deadline for Full Papers: 31 May, 2024

Generative AI in the Social Sciences and Humanities: Exploring New Frontiers

Human Affairs, an indexed journal published by De Gruyter, invites proposals for the symposium on the Transformation of Social Sciences and Humanities with Generative AI.

Generative AI, with its ability to mimic human creativity and generate content autonomously, has a potential to bring transformative changes in various domains. This symposium aims to foster interdisciplinary discussions on the implications, challenges, opportunities, and limitations presented by Generative AI in shaping the future of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Generative AI encompasses a wide range of techniques, including language models, image synthesis, music composition, and more. This symposium invites researchers, practitioners, and scholars from diverse backgrounds in the social sciences and humanities to submit their original theoretical contributions, research papers, and case studies on topics related to Generative AI.

Contributions may address but are not limited to the following themes:

  • Social Behavior: Social behavior is profoundly influenced by AI-generated content, which is becoming increasingly prevalent in online interactions, social media, and digital communication platforms. This theme delves into the impact of AI-generated content on individuals and society as a whole. It may explore how exposure to AI-generated content can shape emotions, attitudes, group dynamics, and behaviors.
  • Education and Learning: Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize education and learning. What are the challenges, benefits, as well as risks of using AI in the classrooms (for students and/or for teachers)? What are the ethical considerations of using AI in educational contexts? In what ways can generative AI empower learners with disabilities and special educational needs?
  • Identity and Gender: AI-generated identities and characters in media and literature have the potential to challenge traditional notions of identity and representation. This theme may explore how AI-generated content may impact gender representation, identity construction, and the portrayal of marginalized groups.
  • AI in Creative Arts and Literature: Exploration of generative AI in art creation, literature generation, and the preservation of cultural heritage. Contributions may also investigate the interplay between human creativity and AI-generated creations.
  • Cultural Heritage and Preservation: Utilizing generative AI to preserve and reconstruct cultural heritage through the generation of historical texts, art pieces, virtual heritage sites, and the challenges involved in ensuring accuracy and authenticity.
  • Philosophy and Ethics: Philosophical inquiries into the nature of creativity, consciousness, and the ethical implications of AI-generated content. Contributions may explore the role of generative AI in challenging traditional philosophical topics, including epistemologies of social sciences and humanities.
  • Social Policy and Ethics: Discussions on the ethical aspects of AI adoption in production of knowledge and social policy, including AI-generated content in political campaigns, misinformation dissemination, and considerations of bias and accountability.
  • Digital Humanities: Collaborations between AI technologies and digital humanities, including data analysis, information retrieval, text digitization, and new methodologies enabled by generative AI.
  • Historical Research: The application of AI technologies in historical research, including analysis of vast historical datasets, generating historical narratives, and offering new perspectives on historical events.


Submission Guidelines:

We welcome original, unpublished papers that contribute to the theme of the symposium. Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Papers should be written in English and follow instructions for authors:
  • Papers are to be submitted online: In the comment to the editor, please refer to the symposium “Generative AI in the Social Sciences and Humanities”
  • All submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process by an international panel of experts.
  • Accepted papers will be published in the symposium issue 2/2024


Important Dates:

Paper Submission Deadline: 30 October 2023

Symposium Date: May 2024



Dr. Kamila Urban: