CFP: Aesthetics & Visual Culture


International conference
October 20–21, 2009

Deadline for Abstracts: June 20, 2009

Place: Conference Centre of the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and organized by the Institute and the Aesthetics and Film Studies Departments of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Call: The contemporary situation in humanities and social sciences is often characterized by the so called “visual turn”, or the increasing emphasis of theory on the power and scope of the visual in everyday life, science, and art. Reflection of this increased influence of image, pictoriality, and visually mediated information and expression has resulted also in the formation of the notion of visual culture and the field of Visual Studies. The rise of Visual Studies involves several fundamental problems related to the status of aesthetics. Theoreticians of visual culture often suspect philosophical aesthetics of committing the sins of ahistorism and blindness towards cultural differences; according to the culturalist perspective, aesthetic experience is to be conceived as conforming to the ruling cultural ideology. Aesthetics is also often seen as irresponsive to the challenges of new media, post-conceptual art practices and the digital revolution. On the other hand, aesthetic vocabulary has far from vanished from contemporary debates on the nature and various shapes of our visual experiences, a fact especially pertinent where a dissatisfaction with vulgar value relativism prevails. The driving thought behind this conference has been to provoke a debate among scholars coming from different quarters on the aesthetic dimension of the visual.

Therefore, participants from different fields – aesthetics, film studies, art history and theory, literary theory and philosophy, but also culture studies, visual and media studies, sociology, psychology and cognitive science – are invited to participate.

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