Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Affirmations enters the field of modernism at an agreeably obtuse, antipodean angle; uneasy about the predominantly empiricist motives of the ‘New Modernist Studies’, and uncomfortable with the Anglo-American axis of its theatre of operations, we seek to recuperate the theoretical and translocational logic of modernity itself. Neither are we platitudinously complacent with the doxa of a third-generation critical theory, since negative hermeneutics is itself subject to a law of diminishing critical returns. Rather, we want to take up Alain Badiou’s Nietzschean call for an ‘affirmationist’ intervention in the field. Modernism seems unduly deformed by the particularist, empiricist, and sociological matrices of its current methodological acceptation. What happens if we restore to it the character that it itself repeatedly proclaimed for its task: “the impersonal production of a truth that is addressed to all”? Deleuze, too, sought a more joyous relationship with modern art and literature, seeing art as well as philosophy as creative practices, energetic constructions of novelty in the face of a subsuming nihilism. Even Adorno, that most melancholy of critical theorists, outlined the affirmative dimension of aesthetic praxis, in his posthumous work: “The iridescence that emanates from artworks, which today taboo all affirmation, is the appearance of the affirmative ineffabile, the emergence of the nonexisting as if it did exist. Its claim to existence flickers out in aesthetic semblance; yet what does not exist, by appearing, is promised. The constellation of the existing and nonexisting is the utopic figure of art.” And further: “Rabid criticism of culture is not radical. If affirmation is indeed an aspect of art, this affirmation is no more totally false than culture—because it failed—is totally false. … Affirmation does not bestow a halo on the status quo,” insists Adorno; “in sympathy with what exists, it defends itself against death, the telos of all domination.” Modernism is affirmative, not in any kind of accommodation with the reigning order of things, then, but precisely in the sliver-like gap it institutes between what is and what is not (yet). This embattled, minimalist “utopian dimension” is what sets modernism, as a suite of artistic and philosophic practices, apart from all other movements in the history of aesthetics, and in acute dynamic tension with nihilism. And it is what this journal is above all committed to honouring and restoring to cognition, against the grain.


Section Policies


  • Sean Pryor
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

We review articles through a process of double-blind peer review. Typically, each article will be rendered anonymous and read by two qualified reviewers in a field relevant to the topic of the paper. Our reviewers are selected from an international cast of established scholars in a range of disciplines, who conduct reserach in fields related to the broad scope of the journal. A list of contributing reviewers will be published from the third issue and kept current, to acknowledge the range and reputability of our reviewing process. In most cases, reviews will be requested and returned within 4 weeks of the receipt of a submitted article. Reviewers are asked to asses the scholarly stature, originality, relevance, and presentability of the articles they review.


Publication Frequency

Affirmations: of the modern is published twice annually. It appears in two collective issues each year, which are numbered '1' and '2' of an annual volume, and given page numbers running across both numbers. Number 1 appears mid-year, and number 2 towards the end of the year.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



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