CFP: Journal of Surrealism and the Americas Issue on Salvador Dalí, Fall 2021; Guest Editor Elliott H. King


The editors announce a call for papers for a special Salvador Dalí issue of the JSA.

Dalí offered major contributions to Surrealism in the 1930s, including his theorization of the surrealist object and the paranoiac-critical method—both subjects that are far from exhausted. More controversially, he can be credited with disseminating a certain understanding of Surrealism through popular consumption, designing sets and costumes for theatre and ballet, Hollywood film scenarios, jewelry, clothing, and home décor; publishing articles, poems, and books, and illustrating dozens more.

Joined with the anti-automatic precision of his painting and irresolute (if not reactionary) politics, these ventures ultimately placed him outside Surrealism’s collective and revolutionary character—a paradox since Dalí quickly became the most readily identifiable artist of the surrealist movement, particularly in the United States. This status only further crystalized over ensuing decades as he appeared on televised talk shows, gameshows, and in advertisements while his paintings veered into grand religious, scientific, and self-aggrandizing themes that kept him in the public eye. Today, his moustache and soft watches are core signifiers—in many respects, clichés—for Surrealism in popular culture.

Dalí’s enduring position in contemporary visual culture suggests his importance is not limited to his decade of direct association with the Paris Surrealists, and that a broader, critical reading of his significance in an American context has the potential to drive scholarship fruitfully beyond (auto)biographical constructions and well-rehearsed narratives of "orthodox"/"dissident" polemics within the surrealist movement. Long derided as academic "kitsch," Dalí’s work—including that tied directly to mass culture—begs to be reexamined through more contemporary frameworks and theoretical models, as does his wavering association with Surrealism.

For this issue of JSA, we invite papers exploring any aspect of Dalí’s relationship with the United States. Studies that consider Dalí’s artistry beyond painting and sculpture—e.g., writing, fashion, design, architecture, music—are also welcome. Particular consideration will be given to papers that offer an innovative theoretical approach to Dalí’s work and relevance. Potential themes might include:

  • The role of American galleries and museums in presenting and promoting Dalí’s art
  • Dalí’s American patrons, society portraits, and other commissioned projects
  • New interpretations and/or renewed focus on rarely studied artworks and writings
  • Dalí’s religious works in an American context
  • Dalí’s relationship with Surrealism and other artists in the US
  • Dalí and subculture/counterculture
  • Dalí’s navigation of high/low art
  • Dalí’s designs, or Dalí-inspired art and design
  • Dalí’s purposeful construction of his self-image
  • Dalí’s relationship with photography
  • Cinematic projects, magazine covers, and other popular media
  • Dalí’s graphic works, sculptures, and other multiples
  • Dalí’s influence, past or present

Feature articles should be from 8,000 to 10,000 words and double-spaced (including endnotes). All submissions should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style. You will be asked to include an abstract and a short biography with your final essay/submission (each 250-300 words). Foreign language contributions (in French, German, and Spanish) are accepted, but we require a two-page single-spaced English language abstract with any foreign language submission.

The JSA is a refereed ejournal, published annually, and has been supported by grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The current issue, detailed guidelines for authors, as well as our image guidelines, are available on the JSA website:

Please send proposal abstracts (1-2 pages) to:

Deadline for abstracts: July 15, 2021; complete submissions must be received: November 1, 2021