Dominic Topp – Nouveau cinéma: from fragmentation to unity, or What Cahiers du cinéma did next…

Wednesday 9th December, 5pm – 7pm. in GLT3

Dr Dominic Topp, School of Arts, University of Kent

In the mid-1960s a new generation of critics at Cahiers du cinéma, who had taken over from the ‘young Turks’ of the 1950s, moved the journal away from the veneration of Hollywood auteurs and the exploration of mise en scène for which it is still best known. Instead, they began to write about and to actively promote what they dubbednouveau cinéma (new cinema). This term was applied to the work of a wide variety of filmmakers from many different countries, but broadly speaking it can be seen as designating a modernist film practice. Drawing on examples from films by, among others, Věra Chytilová, Agnès Varda and Jerzy Skolimowski, this paper will describe some of the features of nouveau cinéma as they were outlined by Cahiers critics such as Jean-Louis Comolli, Noël Burch and Serge Daney: discontinuity and ambiguity at the levels of both subject matter and form, a creative tension between fragmentation and unity, and a reflexivity that could be understood as self-critical, and even oppositional, in nature. It will suggest that the concept of nouveau cinéma can be understood as an interpretative schema that allowed Cahiers readers to make sense of a diverse range of challenging new films by considering their formal and stylistic practices as their true subject matter, and offered a set of viewing strategies by which formal experimentation and political engagement could be seen not as mutually exclusive but as profoundly interrelated.

 

Sarah Cardwell: research seminar

 

Monday 26th October, 5pm – 7pm. in KS14

IMG_1623
Sarah Cardwell (right) in discussion with Margrethe Bruun Vaage

‘Framing television: the dramatic implications of aspect ratio’

Within television studies, and even within television aesthetics, ‘aspect ratio’ is frequently overlooked or naively characterised. Yet it plays a fundamental, determining role in forming and framing television’s dramatic spaces and in turn, its stories and meanings. A balanced reappraisal of television’s varied aspect ratios and its impact upon TV’s unique dramatic and aesthetic possibilities can enhance our close analyses and further our understanding of television’s fascinating ‘art history’.

In this paper I will challenge some residual myths, misunderstandings and preconceptions about TV’s aspect ratios and their spatial properties. I would like to counter prevailing pro-widescreen rhetoric, by tracing some of the dramatic and aesthetic qualities of 4:3 that have been lost in the movement to 16:9; in pursuit of this, I’ll consider the example of Marion and Geoff (BBC, 2000 & 2003). I aim to make the case for more overt and sustained attention to be paid to aspect ratio within television aesthetics.

Dr Sarah Cardwell is Honorary Fellow in the School of Arts, University of Kent, where she was previously Senior Lecturer. She is the author of Adaptation Revisited (MUP, 2002) and Andrew Davies (MUP, 2005), as well as numerous articles and papers on film and television aesthetics, literary adaptation, contemporary British literature, and British cinema and television. She is a founding co-editor of ‘The Television Series’ (MUP), Book Reviews editor for Critical Studies in Television, and on the advisory board for the new series ‘Adaptation and Visual Culture’ (Palgrave Macmillan).

Ted Nannicelli: Making Do With Agency

Agency, Authorship and the Appreciation of Television

Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, University of Queensland
22 June 2015, MLT2

Chair: Murray Smith

Ted

Abstract

This paper addresses a puzzle regarding the creation and appreciation of television. Recent scholarship has made it clear that the material production of television is a fundamentally collaborative enterprise. Particularly in the case of serial television drama, an astonishing number of “above the line” workers like writers, producers, and directors and “below the line” workers like cinematographers, art directors, sound designers, and editors contribute to the creation of an overall series. This essentially collaborative nature of television production has led some theorists to conclude that television (and sometimes film) is therefore essentially collectively authored (Caldwell 2008; Gaut 2010). While others have questioned whether such contributors have the proper control or authority to be regarded as authors (Livingston 2009), I focus on another problem with this view — namely, the problem of properly attributing blame to those individuals responsible for the relevant features of artistically and ethically flawed works. However, even weaker views (e.g. Livingston 2009), according to which film is only sometimes collectively authored, don’t translate as satisfactory accounts of collective authorship in television. I argue that inasmuch as Livingston’s account of joint-authorship is indebted to Bratman’s work on shared agency (1999, 2014), it cannot account for collective creation in hierarchically-organized groups like television production teams. And yet it seems like the appreciation of television as an art form requires some concept of authorship. I offer a number of desiderata any account of television authorship must meet, and I suggest that although authorship rarely obtains in television, we can, in most appreciative contexts, make do by simply speaking of “agency.”
Ted Nannicelli is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Queensland. He is the author of A Philosophy of the Screenplay (2013) and co-editor of Cognitive Media Theory (2014). He is currently working on a new book, Appreciating the Art of Television: A Philosophical Perspective, to be published by Routledge.

21 May: A Symposium on Villains

Grimond lecture theatre 2, Programme

Little has been said about the appeal of villains, and the important role they play in stories. In what sense can we be said to enjoy the villain’s transgressions – and do we enjoy all sorts of transgressions? In this interdisciplinary symposium we will address what a villain is, which acts or character traits we perceive as villainous, how villains are portrayed and how we feel about villains in various art forms and media, such as in film, television series, video games and theatre.

Generously sponsored by Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, the Aesthetic Research Centre and the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image at the University of Kent

7-8 February 2015: Interact!

‘INTERACT! British Society of Aesthetics Postgraduate Conference’ was a two-day event where postgraduates were able to present their research, share ideas and interact with each other and established members of the academic community. The conference allowed remote participation, all presentations were recorded and can now be viewed online.

Programme

Saturday 7th February

09:30 – 10:25 Registration

10:25 – 10:30 Welcome watch
Opening words by Michael Newall, Head of History and Philosophy of Art, University of Kent

10:30 – 12:00 Session 1 watch
Chaired by: Michael Newall, University of Kent

  • Affective Representation of Aesthetic Properties ⎮Kris Goffin, Ghent University
  • The Role of Emotions in the Experience of Inanimate Objects’ Expressiveness ⎮Marta Benenti, University of Turin
  • The Temporality of Aesthetic Experience: A Neurophilosophical Approach ⎮ Carlos Vara, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 Session 2 watch
Chaired by: Sara Janssen, University of Kent

  • The Diversity of Counter-Moral Fictions and the Ethical Criticism of Art ⎮Adriana Clavel Vazquez, University of Sheffield
  • Can we be Romantic about Narratives? Rediscovering a Context for Actual Intentions in Aesthetics⎮Mary Edwards, University College Cork
  • Ryle on Make-believe: An Evaluation of the Treatment of Imagination in The Concept of Mind for Aesthetical Theories of Fiction⎮Guillaume Schuppert, Les Archives Henri Poincaré

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee&Tea

15:00 – 16:30 Session 3 watch
Chaired by: Margaret Schmitz, University of Kent

  • What Constitutes Architecture’s High Art Status ⎮Rebecca Wallbank, Durham University
  • On the Difference between Categories of Artworks and Nature; A Critique of Allen Carlson’s Unified Aesthetics ⎮ Mami Aota, The University of Tokyo
  • Structural Monism for Musical Works ⎮ Nemesio Garcia-Garril, University of Granada

16:30 – 17:00 Coffee&Tea

17:00 – 18:30 Keynote – Professor Dominic McIver Lopes watch
Chaired by: Shelby Moser, University of Kent
‘Aesthetic Experts, Guides to Value’⎮Professor Dominic McIver Lopes, University of British Columbia

19:00 Conference Dinner

Sunday 8th February

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee

10:30 – 12:00 Keynote – Professor Elisabeth Schellekens watch
Chaired by: Mark Windsor, University of Kent

  • On Sensible and Intelligible Beauty ⎮Professor Elisabeth Schellekens, University of Uppsala & University of Durham

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 Session 4 watch
Chaired by: James Finch, University of Kent

  • Aesthetic Powers and Adverbials ⎮James Matharu, St Cross College, University of Oxford
  • Wink-Wink, nudge-nudge. Visual indicators of irony in cartoons. ⎮Dieter Declercq, University of Kent

14:00 – 14:30 Coffee&Tea

14:30 – 15:30 Session 5 watch
Chaired by: Dr. Margrethe Bruun-Vaage, University of Kent

  • The Phenomenology of Dance: Husserlian and Post-Husserlian Approaches ⎮Emma Lowe, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Technology’s Instances: The digital Re-configuration of Dance Work Ontology⎮Hetty Blades, Coventry University

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee&Tea

16:00 – 17:15 Panel Discussion: ‘How to Publish and Career Advice’
Chaired by: Dr. Margrethe Bruun-Vaage, University of Kent

  • Doctor Jonathan Friday, University of Kent
  • Professor Dominic Lopes, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Elisabeth Schellekens, University of Uppsala & University of Durham
  • Professor Murray Smith, University of Kent
  • Watch the career advice video, with: Stacie Friend, Bence Nanay, Andrew Huddleston, Berys Gaut, Eileen John, Robert Stecker, Christy Mag Uidhir, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Dan Cavedon-Taylor, Katherine Thompson-Jones, David Davies, Derek Matravers, Aaron Meskin, John Hyman, Simon Fokt, Yuriko Saito, and Kathleen Stock.

17:15 – 18:15 Wine Reception

IMG_7174

 

26 – 27 June: Aesthetics, Normativity, and Reason

26th June – 27th June 2015

Sophie-Grace Chappell (r), Sara Janssen (l)
Sophie-Grace Chappell (r), Sara Janssen (l)
Graeme A Forbes
Graeme A Forbes
Levno Plato
Levno Plato
Maria Alvarez
Maria Alvarez
Aaron Ridley
Aaron Ridley
Nils-Hennes Stear
Nils-Hennes Stear
María José Alcaraz León
María José Alcaraz León
Andrew Huddleston
Andrew Huddleston
John Hyman
John Hyman
Conference dinner (clock-wise from left to right) Elisabeth Schellekens-Dammann,  María José Alcaraz León, Graeme A Forbes, Aaron Ridley, Michael Newall, Michael Smith, Sara Janssen, Katrien Schaubroeck, Hans Maes, Dan Cavedon-Taylor, Murray Smith
Conference dinner (clock-wise from left to right) Elisabeth Schellekens-Dammann, María José Alcaraz León, Graeme A Forbes, Aaron Ridley, Michael Newall, Michael Smith, Sara Janssen, Katrien Schaubroeck, Hans Maes, Dan Cavedon-Taylor, Murray Smith

Keynote Speakers

Maria Alvarez (King’s College London)
Carla Bagnoli (University of Modena and University of Oslo)
Sophie-Grace Chappell (Open University)
John Hyman (Oxford University)
Aaron Ridley (University of Southampton)
Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann (University of Uppsala and University of Durham)
Michael Smith (Princeton University)

More information

www.anr-conference.uk

Sara Janssen, Postgraduate Research student History and Philosophy of Art, University of Kent
Simon Kirchin, Reader in Philosophy, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Kent, s.t.kirchin@kent.ac.uk
Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer History and Philosophy of Art, Director of the Aesthetics Research Centre, University of Kent
Paloma Atencia-Linares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)