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