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The interest in aesthetics in philosophy, literary and cultural studies is growing rapidly. This book contains exemplary essays by key practitioners in these fields which demonstrate the importance of this area of enquiry. New aestheticism remains a troubled term and in current parlance it already comes loaded with the baggage of the 'philistine controversy' which first emerged in an exchange that originally that took place in the New Left Review during the mid-1990s. A serious aesthetic education is necessary for resisting the advance of 'philistinism'. Contemporary aesthetic production may be decentred and belonging to the past, but that is not a reason to underestimate what great works do that nothing else can. Despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics 'is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s'. The book focuses on the critical interrogation of the historical status of mimesis in the context of a gendered and racial politics of modernity. Throughout the history of literary and art criticism the focus has fallen on the creation or reception of works and texts. The book also identifies a fragmentary Romantic residue in contemporary aesthetics. The Alexandrian aesthetic underlies the experience of the 'allegorical'. 'Cultural poetics' makes clear the expansion of 'poetics' into a domain that is no longer strictly associated with 'poetry'. The book also presents an account of a Kantian aesthetic criticism, discussing Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and Critique of Judgement.

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From content warning to censorship
Jack Halberstam

’s professors were undergraduates and graduate students, classrooms were very different places. Wooden desks screwed to the floor were the norm rather than light and mobile desks on wheels. Professors lectured in poorly lit and poorly ventilated great halls, and students wrote notes by hand and could only fact check later by taking laborious trips to the library. People smoked in classrooms, for God’s sake! Visual imagery in the art history classroom depended upon carousels of slides, and film courses depended upon after-​hours screenings of mostly canonical films. And now

in The power of vulnerability
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Bill Prosser

age.39 In brief, a largely short-term and ‘political’ tactic has grown into an endemic attitude whereby there is always some kind of discrepancy between the visible work and its meaning. Further, as Maclagan makes clear,40 this gap has been widened by Freudian theory, which postulates an apparently novel but in fact relatively restricted symbolism that has a degree of overlap with the figurative and emblematic interpretative traditions within art history. Both writers agree that the ‘form’ of images has been ignored in examinations of ‘content’, and offer similar

in Beckett and nothing
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Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

scholarship in anthropology, archaeology, history, art history, science and technology studies, and across other disciplines, treats objects not as mere inert possessions or carriers of symbolic meaning, but rather as agents of social relations that communicate with people in various ways, not the least of which is sensory qualities.4 KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 1 20/01/2020 11:10 2 Comradely objects Design history and the study of materialities This non-anthropocentric, post-humanist paradigm offers new perspectives to scholars of design, as well as critical and

in Comradely objects
Laura Suski

Languir’s compelling art history of childhood, Imagining Childhood , offers us an important reflection in its concluding line that images in the Western tradition have ‘always made plain that we are all childlike’. 55 Our ethical encounter with our own children is always an ethical encounter with our own childhoods. If contemporary parenting cultures turn us inwards, and if political consumption leads

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek

3 Ewa Plonowska Ziarek Mimesis in black and white: feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance As Sarah Worth suggests, despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics ‘is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s’, and thus still open to contestation and new formulations.1 In this context it might seem paradoxical that one of the founding texts of feminist aesthetics, Rita Felski’s Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change, proclaims its impossibility

in The new aestheticism
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Janet Wolff

with the colour model) the image, confronting us in grey and perhaps also blurred, makes us think differently about its moral and political content, as well as its nature as painting and representation – a familiar avant-garde strategy. When I think about it, too, my academic life over more than thirty-five years was always somewhere between disciplines – sociology, cultural studies, art history, aesthetics – and institutionally nearly always in an interdisciplinary unit or project. A scholarly dilettantism (shared with many colleagues and friends over the years

in Austerity baby
The key role of the Italian antiquarian market in the inception of American Classical art collections during the late-nineteenth century
Francesca de Tomasi

3 ‘More for beauty than for rarity’: the key role of the Italian antiquarian market in the inception of American Classical art collections during the late-nineteenth century Francesca de Tomasi Introduction It is very surprising that there has been a buyer of such vases unless we assume that they were destined for some American museum; since everybody knows that the Americans, without any particular knowledge of art history and without leaving their country of origin, buy art on commission. They trust the archaeological knowledge of the people they appoint for

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
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Working memory
David Calder

Claire Cochrane and Jo Robinson (eds), Theatre History and Historiography: Ethics, Evidence and Truth (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 147–62; Heike Roms, ‘Mind the Gaps: Evidencing Performance and Performing Evidence in Performance Art History,’ in Claire Cochrane and Jo Robinson (eds), Theatre History and Historiography: Ethics, Evidence and Truth (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 163–81; and Rebecca Schneider, Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (New York: Routledge, 2011).  7 See Jean Fourastié, Les trente glorieuses

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Holly Dugan

similarly in the past, resonating across cultural, chemical and art histories to create an aesthetic effect. Vision and olfaction have been linked in the past and remain linked in the present, a point brought home when one adds to this discussion the numerous pre-modern art objects associated with the history of perfume, many of which are on ‘display’ in museums because of their ornate materiality. Objects like gold censers, elaborately embroidered leather gloves, ceramic potpourri vases, ivory snuff boxes, silver vinaigrettes and the more familiar crystal and glass

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660