Aesthetics Today

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Kent, Aesthetics Today will begin with a symposium on June 5 aiming to generate discussion concerning the most general principles and questions preoccupying philosophical aesthetics today. The symposium will be followed on June 6 by a postgraduate/early career workshop co-sponsored by Debates in Aesthetics (formerly the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics). Both events are supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and the Analysis Trust.

Session 1: Film, Art, and the Third Culture Jerrold Levinson (Maryland), Catharine Abell (Manchester), Dominic Topp (Kent), Murray Smith (Kent).

Session 2: Conversations on Art and Aesthetics Michael Newall (Kent), Derek Matravers (OU), Dawn Wilson (Hull), Hans Maes (Kent).

Session 3: Roundtable – Aesthetics Today Jerrold Levinson (Maryland), Catherine Abell (Manchester), Dominic Topp (Kent), Murray Smith (Kent), Michael Newall (Kent), Derek Matravers (OU), Dawn Wilson (Hull), Hans Maes (Kent)

Aesthetics Today will take advantage of the publication this spring of two books by the co-directors of ARC: Hans Maes’ Conversations on Art and Aesthetics, and Murray Smith’s Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film (both published by Oxford). Both books are characterized by their broad scope. Maes’ volume is comprised of extended interviews with ten eminent aestheticians (Noël Carroll, Gregory Currie, Arthur Danto, Cynthia Freeland, Paul Guyer, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Jerrold Levinson, Jenefer Robinson, Roger Scruton, and Kendall Walton), in which Maes probes them on their own arguments as well as their views on aesthetics and the philosophy of art as a discipline, thereby engaging them in discussion of a wide range of specific debates in contemporary aesthetics. Smith’s monograph seeks to defend a naturalistic approach to aesthetics, principally through the exploration of film as a medium of art, but with a sustained comparative dimension incorporating discussion of literature, music, painting, and photography. In elaborating and defending a version of naturalized aesthetics, Smith inevitably addresses fundamental questions concerning the assumptions, methods, and boundaries of aesthetics. Both works connect fundamental principles with concrete cases in a wide range of artforms, and together we hope will form a strong platform for discussion of the general state of aesthetics today. The symposium on June 5 will bring together four invited speakers (Catharine Abell, Manchester; Jerrold Levinson, Maryland; Derek Matravers, OU; Dominic Topp, Kent; and Dawn Wilson, Hull) with ARC faculty, as well as postgraduate students working in aesthetics and related disciplines at Kent and beyond. The postgraduate/early career workshop taking place the following day, June 6, will feature research presentations by Ryan Doran (Antwerp/Sheffield), co-editor of the BSA journal Debates in Aesthetics and Alaina Schempp (Kent), editorial assistant of Film Studies(MUP). The workshop will conclude with a forum on publishing in aesthetics and related fields.   The postgraduate/early career workshop on June 6 is co-sponsored by Debates in Aesthetics (formerly the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics). Both events are supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and the Analysis Trust. Debates in Aesthetics is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for articles, interviews and book reviews. Published by the British Society of Aesthetics, the journal’s principal aim is to provide the philosophical community with a dedicated venue for debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. The British Society of Aesthetics (BSA) aims to promote study, research and discussion of the fine arts and related types of experience from a philosophical, psychological, sociological, historical, critical and educational standpoint. The Analysis Trust is committed to implementing and maintaining the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme for learned societies and journal editors. Analysis is the most established and esteemed journal for short papers in philosophy.

Aesthetics Today

June 5-6, 2017

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Kent, Aesthetics Today will begin with a symposium on June 5 aiming to generate discussion concerning the most general principles and questions preoccupying philosophical aesthetics today. The symposium will be followed on June 6 by a postgraduate/early career workshop co-sponsored by Debates in Aesthetics (formerly the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics). Both events are supported by the British Society of Aesthetics.

Aesthetics Today will take advantage of the publication this spring of two books by the co-directors of ARC: Hans Maes’ Conversations on Art and Aesthetics, and Murray Smith’s Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film (both published by Oxford). Both books are characterized by their broad scope. Maes’ volume is comprised of extended interviews with ten eminent aestheticians (Noël Carroll, Gregory Currie, Arthur Danto, Cynthia Freeland, Paul Guyer, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Jerrold Levinson, Jenefer Robinson, Roger Scruton, and Kendall Walton), in which Maes probes them on their own arguments as well as their views on aesthetics and the philosophy of art as a discipline, thereby engaging them in discussion of a wide range of specific debates in contemporary aesthetics. Smith’s monograph seeks to defend a naturalistic approach to aesthetics, principally through the exploration of film as a medium of art, but with a sustained comparative dimension incorporating discussion of literature, music, painting, and photography. In elaborating and defending a version of naturalized aesthetics, Smith inevitably addresses fundamental questions concerning the assumptions, methods, and boundaries of aesthetics. Both works connect fundamental principles with concrete cases in a wide range of artforms, and together we hope will form a strong platform for discussion of the general state of aesthetics today.

The symposium on June 5 will bring together four invited speakers (Catharine Abell, Manchester; Jerrold Levinson, Maryland; Derek Matravers, OU; and Dawn Wilson, Hull) with ARC faculty, as well as postgraduate students working in aesthetics and related disciplines at Kent and beyond. The postgraduate/early career workshop taking place the following day, June 6, will feature a research presentation by Ryan Doran (Antwerp/Sheffield), co-editor of the BSA journal Debates in Aesthetics. The workshop will conclude with a forum on publishing in aesthetics and related fields.

Monday June 5 10.30am – 5.30pm, followed by symposium reception and dinner
Tuesday June 6 10am – 2.30pm

Both events are free but registration (via the website) is required. A limited number of postgraduate/early career ‘underemployed’ bursaries are available to help defray the costs of travel and accommodation. Anyone interested in applying for a bursary should send a short statement of interest (up to 200 words, including name, status, title of ongoing or completed PhD, and an indication of how the conference relates to your interests) to: dwrb2@kent.ac.uk

Further details will be posted at the event website: http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/aestheticstoday/​

Shaun May – Autism and Comedy

Autism and Comedy: A Peg for Some Thoughts

 Wednesday 1st March, 5pm – 7pm, Keynes Lecture Theatre 2, University of Kent

An Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) seminar with:  Dr Shaun May, University of Kent, UK

In this presentation Shaun will outline the key conceptual, ethical and philosophical questions that he hopes to address in his next book, Autism and Comedy. As the title suggests, the central focus of the book will be on autism spectrum conditions and the way that they are represented in contemporary comedy. Perhaps the most obvious ethical question that arises from this topic is the ethics of jokes about autism, for which the material of comedian Frankie Boyle is particularly ripe for exploration. However, there are other, more fundamental, philosophical questions: First, in the case of fictional characters, on what grounds are we justified in claiming that a certain character is autistic? Second, what role (if any) does authorial intention play in this? Third, given that diagnostic criteria have changed markedly in recent decades, is it conceptually valid to ‘retrospectively diagnose’ a character?

The purpose of this mapping of the conceptual terrain is not to provide firm answers to these questions, as this would not be possible given the early stages the book is in, but rather to stimulate discussion that might push thinking further. Addressing these questions is necessary groundwork for the central project of the book – engaging with what we might call the aesthetics of comedy on the spectrum.

Biography

Shaun is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent and author of two books, A Philosophy of Comedy on Stage and Screen (Bloomsbury) and Rethinking Practice as Research and the Cognitive Turn (Palgrave). Prior to joining the University of Kent, he was a post-doc in the philosophy department of the University of Liverpool and he taught at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the Royal College of Art. He was the primary investigator of the BA/Leverhulme funded project Comedy on the Spectrum, and he is organising a festival of arts by and for autistic people in April 2017 funded by Arts Council England. (www.autismartsfestival.org)

Art, Aesthetics and Beyond: 3rd BSA PG Conference

FRIDAY 27th JANUARY 2017

10:00 – 10:40
Kentaro Tanabe, Ritsumeikan (Japan)
Diana Raffman on Nuance Ineffability

10:40 – 11:20
Sasha Lawson-Frost, UCL (UK)
Art as a Process – Art and History in Hegel’s Aesthetics

11:20 – 11:35
Break: coffee/tea and biscuits 

11:35 – 12:15
Olli Aho, Jyvaskyla (Finland) 
Responding to the Movements of Others – Improvisation as a Form of Habituality

12:15 – 12:55
James Rimmer, Leeds (UK) 
Group Creativity, Skill, and Achievement

13:00 – 13:45
Lunch: provided for paying delegates 

14:00 – 14:20
*Reverse Presentation*
Stanisław Święcicki, Leeds (UK)

Improvisation and Creativity

14:20 – 14:40 
*Reverse Presentation *
Olimpia Cali, University of Kent (UK)

Considerations for a Cognitive Approach to Audience Studies

14:40 – 15:00
*Reverse Presentation *
Caterina Moruzzi, Nottingham (UK)

Intentionality, Artworks and, AI

15:00 – 15:20
*Reverse Presentation *
Sam Tornio, University of Kent (UK)

Toward a Poetics of Snapchat

15:20 – 15:35
Break: coffee/tea and biscuits 

15:35 – 16:15
Tomasz Szubart, Jagiellonian University (Poland) 
What Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience Could Bring Into the Problem of Musical Meaning?

16:15 – 16:55
Clotilde Torregrossa, St Andrews/Stirling (UK)
A Defence of Experimental Philosophy in Aesthetics

17:00 – 18:15
Keynote – Stacie Friend, Birbeck (UK)
Elucidating the Truth in Criticism 

19:30
Dinner at Cafe du Soleil
Reservation needed, see registration

SATURDAY 28th JANUARY 2017

Location: Keynes Lecture Theatre 1
Directions and accessibility information: here

09:30 – 10:45
Keynote – Jesse Prinz, CUNY (USA)
Art and Wonder

10:45 – 11:25
Jamie Cawthra, York (UK)
What are Fictional Worlds?

11:25 – 12:05
Jack Davis, UCL (UK)
The Appearances of Fictional Worlds

12:05 – 12:20
Break: coffee/tea and biscuits 

12:20 – 13:00
Rob Duffy, Fordham (USA)
Does Fiction Express Truth? Paul Ricoeur on Literary Meaning

13:00 – 13:40
Alexander Westenberg, Notre Dame (Australia)
The Elenctic Narrative

13:40 – 14:30
Lunch: provided for paying delegates 

14:30 – 15:10
Leen Verheyen, Antwerp (Belgium)
The Ethical and Aesthetic Value of the Novel. A Ricoeurian Approach

15:10 – 15:50
Dieter Declercq, University of Kent (UK)
Defining Satire (And why a Definition Matters)

15:50 – 16:05
Break: coffee/tea and biscuits 

16:05 – 16:45
Alessandro Cavazzana, Ca’Foscari (Italy)
What About Visual Metaphors?

16:45 – 17:25
Kris Goffin, Antwerp/Ghent (Belgium)
Rational Emotivism

17:25 – 18:00
Panel Discussion
With: Jesse Prinz, Stacie Friend, Tom Laver (Assistant Collections Curators at Towner Art Gallery), and members of the Aesthetics Research Centre 

December 8-12: Anne Eaton

Thursday 8th: Taste in Bodies and Fat Oppression

Monday 12th: Propaganda, Pornography, Pictures, and Persuasion

It is a curious fact about the philosophical literatures on both propaganda and pornography that they tend to talk about these phenomena as if they were primarily linguistic. Yet by far most pornography today is pictorial and most propaganda has a significant pictorial component. This paper aims to shift the focus in the conversations to pictures and begins to think through some of the implications of this shift singulair dosage. In particular, I’ll be developing a peculiarly pictorial model of persuasion that better suits the work that pornography and propaganda can do. Along the way, I’ll use some examples of highly persuasive pictures from the Italian Renaissance.

June 24-25: Just A Game? The Aesthetics and Ethics of Video Games

IMG_5053

Kendall Walton
IMG_5051

Katherine Thomson-Jones

 

24-25 June 2016

A philosophical conference on the aesthetics and ethics of video games. 24-25 June 2016, University of Kent, Canterbury.

Video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. Many of them possess a wide array of artistic and aesthetic qualities and there is growing consensus now that they constitute an emerging new art form. At the same time, video games have raised important ethical questions and the debate on their moral status and impact has now gone well beyond the traditional academic context and community.

This international conference, organised by the Aesthetics Research Centre, will seek to explore relevant connections between the ethics and aesthetics of video games, thereby also drawing on insights from the philosophy of mind, philosophy of information, and feminist philosophy.

Schedule

Day one

9.15 – 9.45 Registration (coffee & tea provided)

9.45 – 10.00 Welcome

10.00 – 11.00 Shelby Moser, University of Kent. Can My Avatar Teach Me?: VR Gaming and Empathy.

11.00 – 12.15 Jon Robson, University of Nottingham, The Beautiful Gamer? On the Aesthetics of Videogame Performances.

12.15 – 2.00 Lunch (not provided)

2.00 – 3.30 Paper Sessions

2.00 – 2.30  C. Thi Nguyen, Utah Valley University. Games and the Aesthetics of Instrumentality.

2.30 – 3.00  Jack Davis, UCL. Fictional Immorality.

3.00 -3.30 Stephanie Patridge, Otterbein University. Where Are All the Women? On Videogames, Gender, and Invisibility.

3.30 – 4.00 Break (coffee & tea provided)

4.00 – 5.15 Mari Mikkola, Humboldt-Universität (Berlin). Objectification and video games: A Feminist Examination.

5.15 – 6.30 Aaron Meskin, University of Leeds. Videogames and Creativity.

7.30   Conference dinner at The Parrot

Day two

10.00 – 12.00 Paper Sessions

10.00 – 10.30 James Camien McGuiggan, University of Southampton. Manipulation and Indeterminacy in Video Games.

10.30 – 11.00  Kathryn Wojtkiewicz, City University of New York Graduate Center. More than Moral: Sexism as an Aesthetic Flaw in Video Games.

11.00 – 11.30 Al Baker, The University of Sheffield. The Extra Credits Machine: Videogame ontology and the role of the player

11.30 – 11.45 Break (coffee & tea provided)

 11.45 – 12.15  Nicolas Olsson-Yaouzis, UCL. Should feminists play Grand Theft Auto V?

12.15 – 12.45 Richard Woodward & Nathan Wildman, University of Hamburg. Video Games, Interactivity, and Fictional Incompleteness.

12.45 – 2.15 Lunch (not provided)

2.15 – 3.30   Katherine Thomson-Jones, Oberlin College. Understanding Interactivity in Art, Videogames, and Art Mods.

3.30 – 4.45 Kendall Walton, University of Michigan. Me, Myself and My Avatar.

 5.00 Wine reception (complimentary)

 

May 22: Matters of Fact and Fiction

A one-day symposium on the work of Stacie Friend

1.pm: Welcome
1.30pm – 2.30pm: Comments by Margrethe Bruun-Vaaghe & Derek Matravers 2.30pm – 3.30pm: Response Stacie Friend & Discussion
3.30pm – 4pm: Coffee
4pm – 5pm: Comments by Paloma Atencia-Linares & Shen-yi Liao
5pm – 6pm: Response Stacie Friend & Discussion