2018 and Volume 16 ushered in a new chapter for this journal with the change of
editorship from Arnold Berleant to me, Yuriko Saito. I felt the weight of
responsibility for maintaining the legacy built by Arnold. The learning curve
was steep but the experience has been both rewarding and educational. With the
help and support from the many people mentioned below, we were able to complete
Volume 16 successfully and now begin Volume 17. Last year’s experience as
Editor convinced me more than ever that Contemporary
Aesthetics makes a unique contribution to aesthetics discourse and I am
renewing my resolve for CA to keep serving
the profession of aesthetics.
striking about CA’s authorship and readership is our truly global reach. With Volume
16 alone, the authors hail not only from English-speaking countries but also
from China, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Singapore, Slovakia, and Spain.
Their disciplinary backgrounds are also diverse: art history, criminology, humanities,
law, music, philosophy, psychology, social sciences, studio art, and visual
studies. Such geographical, cultural, and disciplinary diversity has always been
a hallmark of this journal, due in part to its open-access availability, but more
importantly because of Arnold’s tireless effort to build and promote an
inclusive venue for intellectual exchange. Such diversity provides a rich opportunity
for widening our horizons while reminding us of the specificity, and sometimes limitation,
of our own perspectives.
committed to continuing our efforts to promote this diversity in academic exchange.
One initiative I am starting in this regard is to invite scholars to write a
short summary of recent books on aesthetics that are not available in English.
Although our authors and readers are not confined to Anglophones, CA is an English language publication. As
such, lively activities in aesthetics discourse outside of the English domain
are not easily accessible to many readers. This is quite unfortunate but a
reality we face. One way of rectifying this situation, at least to some degree,
is to make available a summary of recent works published in languages other
than English. This is the next best thing to having an English translation of
the entire book. I am therefore inviting readers who have read good works in
aesthetics published recently that are not available in English to submit a
short (300-800 words) summary to us. For examples, please see: https://contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=804 and https://contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=856.
volume starts with a big bang, so to speak. Quite fortuitously, the first
article and the two Short Notes with which we begin Volume 17 all
happen to address the aesthetics of the cosmic sphere. Somehow the stars have
lined up to facilitate this coincidence! This celestial scope of aesthetics
underscores the recent development in aesthetics that highlights the ubiquity
of aesthetic materials, from terrestrial to celestial. While we look up at the sky and reflect on its
aesthetics, we also look down and gain an aesthetic experience from mundane
objects with which we literally interact on a daily basis. The case in point is
the utility tunnel access cover (a.k.a. manhole cover) that we chose for the
cover image for this volume. (For those who are interested, there is an amazing
collection of such images at http://462photoblog.net/?page_id=16. Just click on “Japan” at top right.
I thank our editorial board member, Mădălina Diaconu, for finding this link.)
years, we have published papers exploring subject matters that are usually not addressed
in aesthetics, such as laundry-hanging, domestic chores, cockroaches,
conversation, weather, MRI, and, most recently, dust and trauma. Together they
indicate that there is virtually nothing that is not worthy of aesthetic investigation.
We hope to continue publishing papers that open such new and unexpected fields
of aesthetic inquiry as well as those works that explore well-trodden issues
from a new perspective.
fortunate to receive support from a number of distinguished scholars who volunteer
their time to review submissions. We are particularly grateful to their
dedication to writing a thorough review that helps authors even if their
judgment is to reject. For Volume 16, we had the privilege of receiving such
service from the following reviewers: Arnold Berleant, Riva Berleant, Nathalie Blanc, Emily
Brady, David Brubaker, John Carvalho, Daniel Cavicchi, Peter Cheyne, Tim
Costelloe, Mădălina Diaconu, Ivan
Gaskell, Darren Hick, Sherri Irvin, Jennifer Judkins, Michael Kelly, Deborah
Korsmeyer, Tom Leddy, Katya Mandoki, Kevin Melchionne, Aaron Meskin, María del Carmen Molina Barea,
Barbara Montero, Eric Mullis, Yrjö Sepänmaa, Sandra Shapshay,
Larry Shiner, Brian Soucek, Julie Van Camp, Pauline von Bonsdorff, Barbara von Eckardt, Mary
Wiseman, and Xin Wu.
also want to thank our editorial board members for their continuing support and
wise counsel. In particular, I thank John Carvalho, Associate Editor, for
giving me steadfast assistance by pitching in even during the busiest time of
the semester, as well as lending not only his academic expertise but also
work for this year would not have been possible without the generous help of
the previous editor, Arnold Berleant. He was most patient and supportive during
this transitional year as I was finding my way. Although I need to cut the
apron strings to release him from the running of this journal, I have to
confess I have not been able to do so completely yet. He always responded to my
queries and requests with good cheer by sharing the rich reservoir of his
experience, for which I am most grateful.
would not have been able to function without the work of our most capable
assistant, Lynnie Lyman. I call her my lifeline. She created a system for me to
work entirely through electronic means, used her amazing organizational skills
to make my work so much easier than if I were to do it alone, and she always
works proactively by anticipating issues before I even think of them. She has
been a dream assistant and I can’t thank her enough.
should also express my appreciation for our copy-editor, Anne Berleant, whose
work is indispensable for our journal but remains invisible to the readers. Her
work is meticulous and speedy, but most importantly, her editing keeps the
author’s style and voice. In particular, those authors whose native language is
not English benefited greatly from her thorough editing.
I thank you, the readers, for supporting CA by using our articles both for teaching
and your own research, as well as by making generous donations, all of which are
indispensable for this journal’s operation. We will try our best to keep
publishing good works in aesthetics that are worthy of your continuing support.