Photograph of Hannah Arendt, NYC, 1944. Courtesy of the Estate of Fred Stein (


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 and email the completed application and the essay (in a .doc or .pdf format) to

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 and Barry Sanders, Founding Co-Chairs, 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 about last year’s competition, please see





Submissions are invited for the Design History Society Essay Prize, established in 1997 in order to maintain high standards in design history in higher education. Two prizes are awarded annually; one to an undergraduate student and the other to a postgraduate (MA or PhD).

Competition requirements:

1. The entrant must have been a current or graduating student (full or part-time) within the academic year 2012/2013.
2. The essay should be written in English.
3. The length of the essay should be between 6,000 words and 10,000 words, including footnotes (for postgraduate students this may take the form of a free-standing essay or a thesis chapter re-worked into a free-standing essay). A word count must be provided with the essay and on the submission form.
4. The essay (including illustrations) should be submitted electronically as a PDF.
5. The essay should not have been previously published.
6. The essay must be accompanied by an academic nomination. Copies of these guidelines can be forwarded to tutors on request.

The Prize includes:
· A bursary of £300 given by the Design History Society
· One year’s membership of the Design History Society (includes subscription to The Journal of Design History)
· Free place at the Design History Society conference Towards Global Histories of Design: Postcolonial Perspectives 5 – 8 September 2013, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India, plus free place at the conference gala dinner.
· ONLY if attending Towards Global Histories of Design conference, £200 towards travel costs to Ahmedabad, India.
· £100 worth of Oxford University Press publications
· 5 Paperbacks in the Oxford History of Art series

Application forms are available from the

DHS Essay Prize Officer:

Dr Annebella Pollen

The closing date is 14th June 2013
Essays received after the deadline will not be considered.


Prada Launches Writing Contest

By Anthea Quay, 18 Apr 2013

Italian luxury fashion brand Prada has launched an international literary contest—in partnership with Italian publishing house Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore.

In a quest to discover new talent, the contest encourages budding authors to submit essays on the subject: “What are the realities that our eyes give back to us? And how are these realities filtered through lenses?”

The subject was inspired by a metaphor of prescription glasses—“as a tool through which to see and investigate new creative worlds, and enhance the individual interpretation of reality”, according to British VOGUE—and stems from Prada’s “curiosity to explore innovative languages by means of forms of expression leading to the written word”.

Interested contesters must be 18 years of age or older at the time of submission, and are only permitted to submit one piece of writing—entries can be submitted at from now till 18 June 2013.

Winners will be announced 31 December 2013, and have a chance to receive €5,000 and have their written submission published as a digital book on the Prada website.

What do you think of a fashion brand launching a writing contest—is this something more fashion brands will soon explore?

[via UK, image via Prada]


Gentletude International Typography Awards


…big news just in for Graphic Design Communication and Chelsea. The Gentletude Design Award is an international award for typhographic design students, both undergraduate and graduates within 4 years of graduation), who study or studied in England, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Argentina, or Japan. In November we submitted 18 entries and achieved 10 finalists of 14. We now have the results from the jury in Italy and our students have been awarded first, second and third prizes!

The Award is organised by the NGO Gentletude, a not-for-profit organisation founded by Cristina Milani. The award aims is to encourage a new generation of designers to be creative at an international level and to encourage a broader community of practice.

Our students implemented the the alphabet to create a message elaborating the term ‘gentletude’ and including the words ‘Kindness’ and ‘Attitude’. A key criteria required messages to be shared by smartphone, so it was important to consider technological constraints when creating work. The idea was that the recipient of the message will reflect on kindness as an option for a better life.

Please see:
First prize is 1,000 Euro and second 500 Euro. There will now be extensive home and international press coverage. The first prize winner is Joe Hayes.

Keep an eye on the Graphic Design Communication blog –

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