Surrealism is a movement in poetry, literature, art, political thought, and other forms of cultural expression that began in France in the 1920s, but that quickly became international in scope. Founded near the centenary mark of this vital and ongoing movement, the International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) is attentive to surrealism’s history and widespread influence in contemporary writing, art, philosophy, film, political thought, and popular culture. The scholarly study and teaching of surrealism extends correspondingly to arts and humanities fields and departments worldwide.

The International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) proposes to integrate the field of surrealism studies worldwide by organizing events and managing channels of information that facilitate cross-disciplinary and inter-regional communication and exchange. This will be accomplished through the organization of international symposia and state-of-the-field workshops; the curation or support of museum exhibitions; and the publication of research findings in a scholarly journal and book series. Our print and online initiatives will serve as a platform for information regarding contemporary research on surrealism as well as exhibitions, events, and pedagogical practices related to surrealism. Eventually, we aim to develop a permanent intellectual infrastructure for the ongoing study of surrealism, broadly considered, across media, scholarly disciplines, nations, and languages.

Our mission is to foster the exchange of ideas between and among practicing artists and writers and the scholarly community for whom surrealism (past and present) is a field of ongoing inquiry. We are committed to maintaining an intellectual environment characterized by respect and a dedication to social justice that is inclusive of linguistic and methodological differences; committed to welcoming younger scholars, artists, and students; attentive to differences in institutional resources, and mindful of the racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, cultural, class, and geographical backgrounds of our membership. We likewise affirm our unwavering support for #Black Lives Matter as well as for social justice movements around the world.

The ISSS began its inaugural membership year in 2018.