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ARTH 804G/4 - Writings on Art

Readings in Continental Aesthetics


Contemporary writing about art often assumes familiarity with a broad range of philosophers, but art history students have comparatively few opportunities to encounter such texts first-hand.  This reading-based course will explore a broad spectrum of writings by major figures in continental aesthetics, from Kant to Rancière, with an emphasis on the twentieth century.  The aim is to develop a familiarity with philosophers who have been particularly influential on our understanding of modern art and experience. Following the lead of Clive Cazeaux in the Continental Aesthetics Reader (the course text), the class engages less with questions about the nature of art and beauty than with issues about the relations between 'subjective experience and the condition of belonging to the world' (Cazeaux, xvi).  Student presentations will contribute to the development of an introductory context for each reading.  

By participating in this course, you will have the opportunity to:
-Gain a broad-ranging frame of reference for the philosophical underpinnings of contemporary art writing.
-Encounter philosophical texts first-hand, rather than through secondary explanations.
-Develop techniques of close reading.
-Gain experience positioning your own voice in relation to theory.

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