Then I suggest ways in which we might begin to theorize iconicity. Structuration et perception — la forme et le timbre. Cognition et inconscient. Perception et enjeux de pouvoir. Anne Moeglin-Delcroix. L'invention du ready-made par l'art contemporain. L'importance de l'invention du ready-made par Marcel Duchamp est devenue un lieu commun des discours sur l'art contemporain, qu'ils lui soient ou non favorables.
Relazione del prof. Giornata di studio dedicata all'estetica analitica. Pask Present. A Wien. Zur Ausstellung erscheint ein Katalogbuch: Pask Present. Karl H. Call for Papers. This conference seeks to undo some of that neglect. Invited speakers:. Anthony Price. James Hopkins. Derek Matravers. Please send a detailed abstract of words or a full paper. Michael Lacewing. Heythrop College. Kensington Square.
London W8 5HQ. For registration and enquiries, please contact philosophy sas. Registration fees. Individual members of the Institute of Philosophy: Free. Students in an institution with membership of the Institute of. Staff in an institution with membership of the Institute of. Dr Michael Lacewing. Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. Philament, the online journal of the arts and culture affiliated with the. The idea that what we are as living, thinking, experiencing beings is inseparable from the place in which we live our lives are saturated by the places, and by the things and other persons intertwined with those places, through which we move, in which our actions are located, and with respect to which we orient and locate ourselves.
Malpas -. Possible themes include, but are not limited to:. Philament accepts submissions in the form of:. Academic papers: up to 8, words. Opinion pieces: reviews book, stage, screen, etc. Limit of words. Creative Work: in the form of writing, images, sounds or a mixture of any or all three. All submissions should be limited to three pieces. Please include a brief biographical summary, as well as a short description of the inspiration for or genesis of the submitted work.
Philament will only accept submissions that have not been previously published and are not under consideration elsewhere. Paper proposals are invited for an international, interdisciplinary conference on "Text, Media and Improvisation," to be held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 21 and 22, This conference is organized by members of an inter-university, interdisciplinary research project, Improvisation, Community and Social Practice and by the "Improvisation, Text and Media" working group within the project.
While papers may touch on a wide range of themes related to the conference title, areas of concern might include the following: a problems in the notation and description of improvisatory practice; b cross-media, multimedia or intermedial improvisatory practices; c the status of improvised practice as text or discourse; d the relationship of sonic and graphic forms in improvisation; e improvised practice and cultural memory; f social and technological issues in the transmission and reception of improvisational practice.
While musical improvisation will be a core theme of the conference, papers on improvisation in relation to other cultural and social practices are welcome. Proposals for papers should include a title, the name and affiliation of the author and an abstract of words. Please send proposals by January 15, to Will Straw at william. Sheila Lintott. Assistant Professor. Bucknell University. Lewisburg, PA Phone: Fax: Office Hours: TR American Society for Aesthetics. Eastern Division Meeting. April , Jenefer Robinson. University of Cincinnati. Kwame Anthony Appiah. Princeton University.
Papers on any topic in Aesthetics are invited, as well as proposals for panels, author-meets-critics, or other special sessions. We welcome volunteers to serve as session chairs and commentators. All participants must register for the conference. Papers should not exceed words, and should be accompanied by a word abstract.
Please feel free to direct questions to the Program. Clowney rowan. William P. Seeley, Ph. Visiting Assistant Professor. Franklin and Marshall College. Box Lancaster, PA, The Theory Reading Group at Cornell University invites submissions for its fourth annual interdisciplinary spring conference. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. April 10thth, Has critical philosophy run its course, as Badiou suggests? Or is there an alternative path? We are interested in analyzing the contemporary division between thinkers who prescribe a return to the pre-critical metaphysics of, for example, Spinoza, Leibniz, or Lucretius, and those who continue to take up various trajectories of Kant's critical legacy.
The former camp might include Deleuze and Badiou as well as Negri and Althusser, while the latter might include Adorno, Benjamin, Heidegger, and Derrida. We particularly wish to encourage work that takes a stand on the conflict between the two camps, as well as work that considers the implications of the conflict for the arts and social sciences. The wide range of our inquiry includes interrogations of the nature of critique, the fate of aesthetics, the privilege accorded to immanence or transcendence, and the status of materialism.
Suggested paper topics include but are not limited to :. The deadline for submission of word paper abstracts for minute presentations is February 1, Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number. Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than February 15, Oscar Wilde's Critical Essays.
I welcome abstracts and full essays for a proposed volume on Oscar Wilde's critical essays with an emphasis on how those texts were received in the author's own time and how they have impacted contemporary debates in criticism and theory. I will also consider abstracts that deal with Wilde's fiction, poetry, or drama if they suit the collection's emphasis. Abstracts should be approximately words long. Alfred J. Please include a CV as a separate attachment, and if you maintain an academic website, you are welcome to include the address.
My preference is for work that has not yet been published, but I will consider previously published material. The deadline for abstracts is January 31, I will confirm receipt promptly. Call for Papers:. March 28thth Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eric J. Nuetzel, Washington University in St. From its theoretical origins in Freud, psychoanalysis has often turned to theatrical texts and metaphors in order to explore its own meaning as a therapeutic practice.
Conversely, theories of theater from Aristotle to Artaud have emphasized the therapeutic value of stage performance. This conference proposes to explore the complex interactions between psychoanalytic and theatrical theories and practices. How is theatre therapeutic? How is the clinical setting theatrical? How are clinicians served by theatrical ways of thinking and being? Has theater as a literary and performing art changed since the advent of psychoanalysis?
We encourage submissions from clinicians as well as humanities and social science scholars in order to make this conference a truly interdisciplinary endeavor. Papers are invited to address but are not limited to the following topics:. Please send a word abstract for a twenty-minute presentation to. As submissions will be reviewed blindly, please remove all identifying information from your attached abstract. Be sure to include your name, email address and telephone number in the body of your email. Louisiana State University. January February 1. Keynote Speaker: Cathy Davidson.
An Interdisciplinary Conference. University of California, Santa Barbara. The recent death of Jean Baudrillard has stimulated an engagement with his work and its legacy across various fields both within academia and beyond it. Whether or not we accept their validity, how can we apply, transform, refigure, critique and salvage these ideas?
What has his work fostered in the different modes of critical theory: social scientific, cultural, literary, technological, popular, communication and new media theory? We invite papers engaging the future of this discussion. How do we succeed Baudrillard? How should his work and thought be disseminated, disintegrated, dispersed, and employed? We welcome papers responding but not limited to the following topics:. Simulacra and Second Life.
The Desert and the Real: Mediating Iraq. Mirror s of Production. Consumer Culture. Baudrillard Broadly: Influences, Allusions, Legacy. Stockpiling the Past. The Metaphysic of the Code. The Evil Genie of Passion. The Historicity of Postmodernism. Universalization, Globalization and Technological Progress. The Desert of the Matrix: Misreading Baudrillard.
Advertising and the Ecology of Media. Guerrilla Graffiti Art. March 28 - 29, , Johns Hopkins University. The conference will be held at The Johns Hopkins University on March 28th and 29th, , and will consist of selected graduate student papers relevant to the topic and keynote addresses by the following scholars:. Reinhard Brandt, University of Marburg. Rolf-Peter Horstmann, University of Berlin. Manfred Kuehn, Boston University. The deadline for submission to this conference is January 15th, , and a response will be given by February 15th, Submitted papers should be between 4, and 7, words, and accompanied by an abstract that explains the thesis of the paper.
Submission deadline: January 15, Jennifer A.
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Baltimore MD February 20 - 23, , Dallas. Contrary to traditional aesthetic theories that argue for the primacy of either the subjective and phenomenological, or formal and objective interpretations of artwork, the aesthetics of electronic media, like the logic of technical media itself, is thoroughly removed from anthropomorphic sensibility.
One could say that electronic media aesthetics are marked by technical trauma. Is this approach problematic for the logic of technical media?
Can certain attributes such as color, form, affect, or sound, effectively reconcile computer based artwork with the subjective and humanistic drives in art making? The panel invites papers that address the aesthetics of New Media art in distinction to previous aesthetic models or media platforms. For instance, papers suggesting the ways in which color, sound, line, form, symbolism, affect, anti-aesthetics or ideology may be distinct to new media aesthetics are all welcomed.
Essentially the panel inquires: what do theoreticians and practitioners address in New Media art, and why?
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Special attention will be given to those abstracts that are concerned with the use of color in New Media work. Presenters can propose brief lectures; media or artist presentations of their own, or other artist's work; discussions; or other acceptable suggestions. Send abstract and CV to Carolyn Kane clk nyu. Carolyn Kane clk nyu. International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. August , Chicago, Illinois, USA. The International Association of Empirical Aesthetics IAEA is an organization whose members investigate the underlying factors that contribute to an aesthetic experience, as well as aesthetic behaviors, using scientific methods.
Currently we have members in 20 countries. Although the majority of members are psychologists, our membership includes sociologists, musicologists, philosophers, and researchers who specialize in the study of painting, sculpture, literature, film, museum visitor behavior, and so forth. The purpose of the Congress is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information relating to various topics involving empirical aesthetics.
The official language of the Congress will be English. All written material abstracts, posters, and contributions to the proceedings and accompanying presentations must be in English. Submissions are invited for four types of events: 1 spoken papers, 2 posters, 3 symposia, and 4 an exhibition of art created by participants. There will be parallel scientific sessions for oral presentations held during each of the four days of the Congress. Invited addresses and symposia will be scheduled throughout the program.
An art exhibition will be open for the duration of the Congress for all those registered. The purpose of the exhibition is to show the art works of participants and stimulate discussion about the works and the creative process. Spoken Papers. The time allotted for spoken papers will be 20 minutes; 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion. Each presentation will have a designated time-slot assigned to it. Posters will be organized in one or more poster sessions.
Instructions concerning poster format and size will be provided along with acceptance notification. Since this is a new addition to the Congress, if not enough posters are submitted authors will be asked to do a spoken paper instead. Symposia will consist of a set of integrated spoken papers related to a theme. The maximum time allowed for symposia will be 3 hours including a min. Symposia should consist of no more than five min. Symposia conveners should collect together abstracts for each paper which must be in the required format described. These should be submitted along with an abstract for the entire symposium, stating the rationale for the topic, the aims of the symposium, and the set of speakers proposed.
A discussant may be included. Art Exhibition. Art works will be limited to two-dimensional work with a maximum width of about 40 inches cm and small three-dimensional works e. Each participant can submit up to four pieces for consideration. You should plan to bring the works with you and hand-deliver them to the exhibition coordinator when you arrive.
The works should be framed and ready to hang or display when you bring them. We have no facilities for receiving shipped work. In order to be considered, please submit a word abstract in the same way that you would submit an abstract for a paper session see instructions below. In addition, on the same paper as the abstract, please list each work with the title, size framed or displayed and medium.
Also include a print, slide, or electronic file. Abstracts for all four types of events must be sent by December 31, via e-mail to:. Kenneth S. Bordens, Program Moderator, iaea08 ipfw. Send three copies of your abstract to:. Bordens, Program Moderator. Department of Psychology. Abstracts for papers, symposia and art exhibitions must be received no later than December 31, Abstracts should not exceed words in length word processor format, Times New Roman, 12 points, 1 inch margins. The abstract must include: 1 Style of presentation paper, symposia or art exhibition ; 2 title; 3 author s ; 4 author affiliation s ; 5 abstract approximately words describing the rationale, methods, results, and a select list of references; 6 keywords; 7 postal address with telephone, fax numbers and e-mail address.
Electronic submissions must be in either. Preferably, abstracts should be sent via email to: iaea08 ipfw. Final manuscripts to be published in the Congress Proceedings will be due by April 30, Details on the requirements for the final manuscript shall be provided at the time of notification of acceptance. Carleton Hotel and Motor Inn. Oak Park, Illinois Phone Fax Member Non-member Student. Regular fees:. Opera is not dead. Its death may have been frequently predicted but, at the dawn of the 21st century, we see it reborn in forms using avant-garde, new media and post-modern media aesthetics that challenge and disrupt dominant forms of artistic production.
Yet it remains bound to its history. This conference examines the implications, across more than a century, of one strand of that history: the colonialist exotic as it was manifest particularly in works from Aida to Turandot. We are especially interested in the role of the exotic in the opera as it confronts the historical context of cultural globalization and interculturality.
How, in a postcolonial age, does one best represent the opera of a colonial past? To what extent can modern technology or filmic representation help us reinterpret such opera in a new era? What challenges for staging and visual representation do such examples of cultural exchange present? As a uniquely hybrid, multi-media form of artistic output, straddled between music and theatre, between high and low culture, opera offers wide-ranging research possibilities in the fields of media and cultural studies.
Using the problem of the exotic legacy as its primary lens, this international interdisciplinary conference explores the shifting relationships between the multi-media genre of opera and the fast-changing world of visual culture. The conference will also examine the changing aesthetics of opera in composition and performance, historical dis continuity and the new relations of space and time as they may affect opera in the digital age.
A selection of presented papers will be published. Papers will be limited to 20 minutes. Please include your institutional details where relevant, and your email address. These details are for administrative use only in the first instance: the Programme Committee will judge abstracts anonymously. Flo Austin. Stewart House. The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference Deadline: We hereby invite scholars in any field who take a professional interest in the phenomenon of computer games to submit papers to the international conference "The Philosophy of Computer Games ", to be held in Potsdam, Germany, on May , Accepted papers will have a clear focus on philosophy and philosophical issues in relation to computer games.
They will also attempt to use specific examples rather than merely invoke "computer games" in general terms. We invite submissions focusing on, but not limited to, the following three headings:. Action Space. Papers submitted under this heading should address issues relating to the experiential, interactional and cognitive dimensions of computer game play. What is the nature of perceptual experience in game space? How should we understand the relationship between action, interaction and space in computer game environments? What are the ethical responsibilities of game-makers in exerting influence on individual gamers and society in general?
What role, if any, can games serve as a critical cultural corrective in relation to traditional forms of media and communicative practices, for example in economy and politics? Also: what is the nature of the ethical norms that apply within the gaming context, and what are the factors that allow or delimit philosophical justifications of their application there or elsewhere? The Magic Circle. Terms such as "fictionality", "virtuality", "simulation" or representation" are often used to indicate specific functions of objects in games. But what is the nature of the phenomena these terms refer to in the interactive field of game play?
And what is the structure of gaming-processes? What is the mediality of digital games? We are especially interested in discussions that aim at how the notion of a self-contained "magic circle" — representing an imagined border between play and reality, or the internal and external limits of game-programs — is being challenged by forms of individual action and social inter action which tend to transcend such limits.
Your paper should not exceed characters excluding blanks and be accompanied by an abstract of words. Please specify the primary focus topic of your submission. Deadline for submissions is February 15, All submitted papers will be subject to double blind peer review, and the program committee will make a final selection of papers for the conference on the basis of this.
Notification of accepted papers will be sent out by March 12, Dieter Mersch. Olav Asheim. Patrick Coppock. Espen Aarseth. The conference is a collaboration between the following institutions:. Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8, Jena. Forum for European Philosophy. Centre for Literature and Philosophy, University of Sussex. A Free One-Day Conference. Saturday 9 February , am - pm. Chichester Lecture Theatre University of Sussex. To book a place, contact: Katerina Deligiorgi K. Deligiorgi sussex. Our presentations and panel discussion on modern poets will explore different ways that poets can be philosophical poets, that poetry can be seen as philosophy and that philosophical and poetic analysis can be related in understanding the works of the featured poets.
We shall have readings of some of the poems we discuss in English and the original language. Chair, Panel Discussion and Questions: Dr. Nicholas Bunnin. San Francisco, California, United States. Contact name: Peter Amato. Papers addressing issues in all areas of radical philosophy and praxis are welcome. Organized by: Radical Philosophy Association. Purdue University. March , Keynote Speakers:. Leonard Lawlor University Of Memphis. The topic of memory is experiencing a revival of interest in Continental philosophy, literary theory programs, and the humanities in general.
A broad range of scholarship has become increasingly devoted to thematizing memory across a spectrum of special disciplines, for instance, in aesthetics, psychology, phenomenology, ontology, social-political philosophy and literary theory. The graduate students of Purdue University are holding a conference to promote interdisciplinary dialogue organized around this revival of interest. We encourage paper submissions from graduate students in philosophy, literary theory, film theory, art theory, feminist studies, political science, and all disciplines that are engaged with the ontological, epistemological, metaphysical, political, or aesthetic reconsiderations of memory.
Topics welcome on any Continental thinker in relation to memory. Possible topics:. Papers should be sent as word documents, not exceeding 15 double spaced pages. Personal information is to be sent in the body of the email and should not appear on the paper itself. March 29, The Philosophy of Love and Affectivity. Hosted by the Marquette University. Philosophy Graduate Student Association. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Keynote Address:.
Burt Hopkins, Seattle University. Submissions are welcome across the topics of love and affectivity. The concept of love in philosophical traditions. The relationship between reason and emotion. Philosophy as love, as encouraging love and acts of love. Explorations of affectivity in human life. Relationship between affectivity and desire. Other submissions within these broad bounds will be considered. Please submit papers in blind-review format to mupgsa mu.
Please submit a coversheet with your paper indicating your name, paper title, affiliation, email address and mailing address. Please limit your paper to words for review. Submissions are due January 15th, Decisions will be announced by February 10th, Papers are invited for presentations at the international and interdisciplinary conference:. April Papers should be accompanied by a one-page abstract, which should include name, affiliation, address, and email address.
Submitted papers will be limited to 30 minutes reading time there will be 15 minute discussion following each paper. Deadline for submissions of papers and abstracts is December 15, Notification of acceptance will be mailed by January 15, Papers should be mailed to:. Professor Predrag Cicovacki. College of the Holy Cross. Engaging Objects. Engaging Objects is an interdisciplinary conference addressing general methodological and epistemological issues in the humanities. Things in the world, objects of art and of everyday use, have functioned as core referents in contemporary cultural theory.
Since the "linguistic turn", technological devices and philosophical texts, dirty windows, typewriter-erasers, and cyber-space, have been proposed and contested as possible sites for re-encountering material reality. The ASCA International Workshop is a space open to reflect on the methodological nuances, theoretical consequences and political implications of engaging objects within the humanities. These issues will be discussed in four panels:. Engaging theory, which positions theory as an object of study.
Sensory disruptions, which explores the possibilities and implications of encountering objects through different senses and their interrelations. Bodily interventions, which deals with the body as an object of study, and a site for alternative modes of knowledge production. Deadline for abstracts words : October 31, ; deadline for papers words : January 31, We are also looking for performances to be presented during the workshop that are relevant to the workshop theme of "engaging objects".
Objects engage researchers: they attract our interest, involve us and position us as scholars in relation to their cultural emergence. Similarly, while engaging with objects we, as theorists, also produce them as objects of study. We further engage with culture at large through artistic or mundane, actual or virtual objects-they work as mediators of social relationships and as translators between imaginary and lived culture.
This sense of engagement can be found in the root of the verb "to engage". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a gage is "a valued object deposited as a guarantee of good faith", as well as "a pledge, especially a glove, thrown down as a symbol of a challenge to fight". Thus, engagement can be understood as an object's promise, its act of commitment or provocation. The concept of engagement gains its sense metaphorically, developing from a concrete action in which the object stands in for a socially charged gesture.
The mediatory role of objects may also be abused, although objects are always already engaged with the world in ways that exceed our scholarly framing of them. The relationship between object and researcher is not only limited to a metaphorical promise; it is also an actual intervention. This engagement is not with the respective parties of a relation, but with the relationship itself.
Thinking of this relationship as a site where the known and the knower are partly produced, we may focus on the fractures, irregularities and inconsistencies that are constitutive of our own production of knowledge today within fields such as visual culture, literature, history, art, music, performance, anthropology, theory, and politics. Engaging theory. This panel seeks to position theory as an object of study.
In considering theory as an object, its material aspects are brought to the fore. Yet the material aspects of theory are not the same for scholars across different disciplines or schools of thought. Post-structuralist scholars, for example, might locate theory's materiality in the actual language used to construct abstract concepts. Their more Marxist-oriented critics, however, might use the term "material" to name the wider socio-cultural and political networks within which the theoretical text is inserted.
Creatively re-articulating these different traditions may make our own engagements with theory more politically and intellectually productive. This panel invites participants to think through the metaphor of the "engaging object" in order to explore theory as a literary text, as a cultural object, as a social promise and as a political act.
Sensory disruptions. Sensory perception is the primary way in which we encounter objects. The senses are culturally conditioned, and each society tends to privilege certain types of sensory engagement. Modernity has often been characterized by the dominance of visuality, which posits a distant, distinct and disembodied viewer, and as such is presumed to underlie Western epistemology and theories of subjectivity.
This panel seeks to explore alternatives to this, arguably still prominent, mode of sensory engagement. How can it be disrupted through the intervention of other senses as in haptic visuality? What kinds of engagement do the other senses, and their different interrelations, bring about? What alternative relationships between the object and the researcher do they generate e.
These questions imply a change of sensibility that is both perceptual and conceptual. What are the theoretical consequences of this shift from the visual to the aural, the tactile, to kinesis and proprioception? What can be gained from thinking synaesthetically? And, more generally, what art of knowing is produced in this new, sensuous engagement?
Bodily interventions. The living body has, as Crary and Kwinter state, a "menacing and delirious concreteness" and serves as a complex and fascinating object of study in cultural theory. Especially within academic research around minority subjectivities including queer and feminist theory, disability and race studies , the body acquired an important role: it became a site for alternative modes of knowledge production. This focus on extraordinary forms of embodiment politicized certain traditions of thought.
But to the extent that specifically marked bodies might feature as seductive and spectacular objects of study, it is essential to reflect on the relationship between the shape of our theories and our conceptions of embodiment. This panel further aims to explore how a critical analysis of the "unmarked" white, male, "standard" body helps to investigate the failures of cultural theory.
Where are the limitations of treating the body in theory as meaningful object? No matter what discipline we work in, when we engage with our objects of study, we are always involved in some form of comparison. With "parity" at its etymological root, comparison is usually understood as a methodology based on similarity and equality. But comparison is a dangerous activity, one that often conceals universalist and essentialist suppositions and whose terms are never neutral.
How do we decide on these terms and how do we incorporate this decision process within the practice of comparison itself? This draws attention to the necessity for scholars to acknowledge their own role in positioning objects in relation to each other and themselves. Is it possible to stand back and let objects engage with each other, or is this engagement only possible through us?
If so, how does such a mediating role affect our research position? In this panel, we would like to discuss ways of dealing with the politics of comparison and to explore how and to what extent the objects we study can affect both our terms and methodologies of comparative engagement. Confirmed keynote lecturers are:. He teaches and writes on 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, intellectual history, aesthetics, and philosophy of contemporary music. She is a renowned gender theorist, specializing in cultural studies, queer theory and visual culture.
She writes on the literature of colonialism and imperialism, and on imperial imaginaries and postcolonial theory. Zylinska is a cultural theorist writing on new technologies and new media, ethics and feminist theory. And what is the role of Philosophy? We welcome participants from any discipline. Please e-mail or send your one-page proposal words maximum and a short biographical note by October 31, to the ASCA office: asca-fgw uva. Please indicate which panel theme out of the four mentioned above you believe your proposal would best fit in. Selected participants will be asked to send their words papers by January 31, so that papers can be distributed among participants in advance.
To allow enough time for discussion, papers will not be read during the workshop. Instead, participants are expected to give a 10 minute summary, relating their argument to that of their fellow panelists. Please send a proposal words maximum indicating duration, number of participants and technical requirements. We also require a sample of your work hard copy or electronic reference.
Source: asca-fgw uva. Dates: mercredi 14 et jeudi 15 mai Pour les intervenants:. Hoppenot paris. Milon u-paris Les communications dureront au plus 30 minutes. Nordic Society of Aesthetics. Historical and Contemporary Perpectives. Since Baumgarten coined the term in and established aesthetics as a branch of philosophy, in aesthetics as a discipline, or, rather as a loosely organized field of heterogeneous but related activities a great variety of conflicting as well as interacting theories, approaches and trends has emerged.
In the 19 th century aesthetics was predominantly conceived of as the philosophy of art, that is, aesthetics was basically an art-centered philosophical enterprise. As a reaction against the great systems of philosophy of art, interest in historical and psychological research into aesthetic phenomena, in particular art, grew and became institutionalised.
The proliferation of approaches to aesthetic phenomena in a wide sense has continued and increased at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. There is, for example, a renewed interest in the aesthetics of nature alongside the emergence of an aesthetics of everyday life, phenomenological and conceptual analyses of art and the aesthetic compete and sometimes interact with semiotic, deconstructionist, and feminist approaches.
The arts and aesthetic phenomena are, however, not studied only by art and literary theorists and historians or philosophers. Various branches of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology also focus on art and the aesthetic. The interrelation between various approaches to aesthetics and the aesthetic raises many methodological and conceptual problems. We welcome contributions dealing with general problems in the philosophy of art and aesthetics or with particular issues in some branches of aesthetics and art research including the disciplines of art history, literature, music, theatre and film , related to the theme of the conference.
It would greatly facilitate our planning if those who wish to participate would fill in the enclosed form and send it as an attachment to the address below before 15 November Those who plan to present a paper are asked to send an abstract one page before 15 February and will be notified soon thereafter if their paper has been accepted.
Those who wish to participate without a paper will be asked to confirm their participation before 15 February Presentations can be in English or in one of the Scandinavian languages. The enclosed form should be sent to:. Aahlberg estetik. Uppsala University. O Box SE 26 Uppsala. Gnomic, speculative, penetrating, Adorno's major work on music performance occupied him throughout his life. Unfinished at his death, the copious notes and drafts have recently been collated as Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction , Eng.
This conference will be based around readings of Adorno's text and its contexts, interpretations, and uses. Proposals are invited for papers of 20 mins.
Calendar - IFK (EN)
Abstracts of words should be emailed by 18 April to anthony. The programme will be available at www. Organisers: Anthony Gritten and Nicholas Baragwanath. Head of PG Studies and Research. Manchester M13 9RD. T F E anthony dot gritten at rncm dot ac dot uk. W www. This is the first conference devoted to assessing Roger Scruton's contribution to philosophical aesthetics.
Invited participants: Roger Scruton. Scruton will give responses to these papers. It will take place at the historic venue of The Castle, Durham. Postgraduate student bursaries will be available. Scruton Conference,. Andy Hamilton and Nick Zangwill,. Philosophy Department,. Publication of the submitted papers is envisaged. Details of accommodation will be given on the web page shortly:. Organizers: Andy Hamilton and Nick Zangwill. Call for Abstracts. The Hobbit and Philosophy. Edited by Eric Bronson and Gregory Bassham.
Please circulate and post widely. Apologies for Cross-posting. To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin at wtirwin kings. Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible and fun, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.
Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:. Life as an adventure; comfort vs. Submission guidelines:. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: August 15, Submission deadline for final papers October 15, Kindly submit by e-mail with or without Word attachment to:. Gregory Bassham at ghbassha kings.
Edmund Hall, Oxford. September , First Call for Papers: Deadline: May 12th. Guest Speakers. Alexander Nehamas Princeton University. Hannah Ginsborg UC Berkeley. Stephen Davies University of Auckland. Berys Gaut University of St. Papers in philosophical aesthetics should be submitted with a word abstract and formatted for blind review author's name, etc, on separate cover page. Papers should not exceed words 30 minutes reading time.
Abstracts cannot be considered in lieu of papers. Submissions should be submitted in Word format by email to Derek Matravers: D. Matravers open. Diarmuid Costello. University of Warwick. Costello Warwick. International colloquium: Character and Emotions. April 25, Salle B , Uni Bastions, Geneva.
In all times, all major writers, who deal with emotions and human actions, cannot but be deeply concerned with the temperament and personality of the characters in their novels. What can art tell us about the relations between character, personality, temperament and the emotions? Patrizia Lombardo patrizia. One of them is his cellmate in prison, Amadeus Laponder. Pernath is appalled when he first meets Laponder, who is condemned to death on charges of rape and murder. Yet Laponder is not completely what he seems. Here again the unity of the soul is necessary for the ultimate goal of immortality to be achieved.
Laponder then speaks more directly to the seminal figure in this enterprise. This in fact is precisely what happens after Pernath gains his freedom from prison. After his release, Pernath returns to the ghetto only to find it in shambles. The quarter has been torn down, and all that he had known is no more. At that moment, fire breaks out and Pernath is forced out of the building and falls to the street below. Of importance here is the culmination of the journey toward sal- vation. Pernath becomes receptive to the supernatural through somnambulistic fugues. He learns and interprets the symbols of the language of intuition with the help of gurus and guides.
This knowledge liberates an individual from a fundamental fear — the fear of death. The current reality is merely one among many, and Meyrink claims that one can recall the memories of past lives through yoga. Once again, yoga, an exercise that induces a somnambulistic condition, is the key to accessing the beyond. In the same text, Meyrink attempts to shed more light on the nature of yoga by employing a metaphor of the divided self. He writes that the human being is a Doppelwesen, das [ The unification of the self results in the knowledge of immortality, knowledge that Pernath also gains. After the fire scene in the embedded narrative, Pernath plummets to the street below, and the narrator of the framed narrative awakens with a start.
He learns that he had slept for less than an hour and is still confused when he realizes that he had taken the wrong hat after High Mass. The narrator then sets out to find the place where Pernath lived. Making his way to the Hradschin, he comes upon an idyllic vision in the Alchimistengasse, with which he became acquainted during his wanderings as Pernath.
On the gate is the god Osiris in the form of a hermaphrodite — the symbol of unification. The servant of the house approaches, and the narrator hands him the hat. Once the gate is opened, the narrator spies the miraculously unaged Pernath. Pernath has achieved the unification of his soul and resides with Miriam in the shadow of the hermaphrodite. Intrinsic similitude — the defining mark of metonymic allegory — appears again and again through the analysis. Figures from different philosophical and cultural traditions such as August Comte, Helena Blavatsky, and Walter Benjamin framed epistemological questions in terms of a duality between the material and the mystical.
Some rejected one realm in favour of the other, some sought to meld the two together, and others lamented the separation of the two in art. Meyrink sought his own resolution in the occult; his solution to the epistemological crisis is outlined in both his autobiographical and his fictional texts. His best-selling novel, Der Golem, is an example of how his texts express his own epistemology. This knowledge is attainable through occultist means and resides within the individual. At the core of this endeavour is the somnambulist, for in order to experience true awakening, one must wander the realm between waking and deep sleep.
Amsterdam: Rodopi, Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and Ambivalence. Benjamin, Walter. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, Berman, Marshall. New York: Penguin, Die Schlafwandler. Broszeit-Rieger, Ute Ingrid. U of Virginia, Cersowsky, Peter. Phantastische Literatur im ersten Viertel des Munich: Fink, Cowan, Bainard. Cranston, Sylvia. Frank, Eduard. Meyrink, Das Haus zur letzten Latern 7— Gaede, Friedrich. Harmsen, Theodor. Amsterdam: Pelikaan, Jansen, Bella. Jennings, Lee B. William Coyle. Westport: Greenwood, Jung, C. Psychologie und Alchemie.
Zurich: Rascher, Karle, Robert. Kniesche, Thomas, and Stephen Brockmann. Lube, Manfred. Rein A. Madsen, Deborah L. New York: St.
Marzin, Florian. Okkultismus und Phantastik in den Romanen Gustav Meyrink. Essen: Blaue Eule, Meyrink, Gustav. An der Grenze des Jenseits. Das Haus zur letzten Latern — Der Engel vom westlichen Fenster. Eduard Frank.
Der Golem. Munich: Ullstein, Das Haus zur letzten Latern: Nachgelassenes und Verstreutes. Das Haus zur letzten Latern — Prague: Vitalis, Hamburg: Books on Demand, Donald G. Riverside: Ariadne Press, Vivo: The Life of Gustav Meyrink. Cambs: Dedalus, Winfried Freund. Pastuszka, Anna.
Qasim, Mohammad. Gustav Meyrink: Eine monographische Untersuchung. Stuttgart: Heinz, Quilligan, Maureen. The Language of Allegory: Defining the Genre. Heinz Otto Burger. Scholem, Gerschom. On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism. Ralph Manheim. Smit, Frans. Teskey, Gordon. Treitel, Corinna. Webber, Andrew J. Oxford: Clarendon, Weber, Samuel.
Wiene, Robert, dir. Das Cabinet des Dr. Written by Hans Janowitz and Conrad Mayer. Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt. Decla Bioscop, Wolkan, Rudolf. Augsburg: J. Stauda, Meyrink, Der Engel — Dat es e Hellijebooch! Getauft ist. Ich spitzte die Ohren. Was hatte ich da gelesen? Also hatten diese Laute eine wirkliche Bedeutung. Derheiligeaufdemrost meinte wirklich einen Heiligen auf dem Rost.
With regard to the cultural heritage of European Christianity, the passage is illuminating for a number of reasons. First, it reminds us that stories of saints were the most popular literature of premodern times and still resonate in Christian contexts today. The stories collected in the Legenda Aurea by Jacobus de Voragine established an especially strong tradition of transmitting, preserving, and representing the sacred for European Christians, and probably provided much of the background for the text mentioned in the passage cited above.
Second, the level of ex- cessive violence portrayed in some of these narratives is especially noteworthy. In medieval hagiography, as well as in visual art, bodies of saints are subjected to cruel treatments. They are beaten, mutilated, burned, boiled, or tortured to death in the most brutal ways imaginable. Third, the function of these passages is not always immediately clear to the modern reader. Because the episodes are more often than not excessively brutal, they have raised questions about the mentality of the historical audience for which they were written.
Why were they fascinated by such brutality? The religious content, however, seems to speak less to her, and perhaps this hints at how religious memoria came to lose its potency over time. All the same, the succession of violent acts and the final resurrection does not follow the usual causalities of time, space, or mortality and can be adequately understood only in the context of a religious culture.
From the Middle Ages to modernity the sacred makes a transition to the literary through a number of major alterations, especially with respect to the status of the narrator. However, the primary focus of this article lies in an attempt to understand selected body concepts of saints from medieval times to modernity — their position between materiality and transcendence, their relation to space, and conceptualizations of the sacred. In this story, Mann introduces the peculiar notion that with time a saint might shrink to the size of a hedgehog. It builds upon recent scholarly work on medieval concepts of saintliness and sexuality, the body, and pain.
Special attention will be given to the fact that the body itself can become a space for encountering the sacred. During the Middle Ages, European Christians could expect to encounter the sacred in a number of different locations. These were exquisite places where space and imagination came together in a complex way to make transcendental experiences possible. However, the body of a devout believer could also be considered a locus within which an experience with God might be possible. Among other medieval narratives, this sort of intercourse with God has often been related in stories of the saints, in other words, hagiography.
This can best be illustrated with an example of the legend of Saint Vincentius, as narrated by Jacobus de Voragine in the Legenda Aurea, from the second half of the thirteenth century. It pushes the tendencies outlined above to an extreme. Whereas just one of these tortures would have sufficed to kill a person, the martyr survives a whole series of them. Thus a rather laconic, repetitious, and mechanical quality is another curious aspect to be found in the physical torture portrayed in legends of saints.
It makes the grisly depictions physically and physiologically somewhat implausible. The brutality sometimes leaves an almost comical impression on the modern reader — the story of St. George, for instance, reminding Sarah Kay of a Tom and Jerry plot This association is actually not out of place. Instead of suffering from pain and agony, they seem to feel joy in anticipation of new afflictions to come.
The corporeal experience suggested in the text is most surely grounded in feelings of pain, and we are supposed to believe that the martyr is indeed suffering. In addition, the saint also willingly embraces the pain in an effort to experience it to the fullest and to transform it into a spiritual encounter. Connections and differences to the descriptions of masochistic pleasures provided by torture in modern literature, most notably in the works of the Marquis de Sade, have been discussed, among others, by Kay and Niklaus Largier Lob der Peitsche. It is therefore safe to assume that one important historical element of an ideologization of eroticized pain is the fact that the experience of intense suffering is considered a form of imitatio Christi.
According to this Christian tradition, the feeling of pain is one way to become especially close to Jesus. The fierce desire for such divine intimacy finds expression in the fact that the abuse of the saints was meant to be at least as bad as that suffered by Christ. And in the process of this experience, the saintly martyr supposedly undergoes a specific act of transformation in which pain is ultimately replaced by beauty, sweetness, and good fortune.
While the saint embraces his pain, God intervenes and causes a miracle. The body literally becomes a stage upon which the sacred is enacted — a contact zone for divinity. On the contrary, the body plays an active part in the search for a spiritual experience that can be achieved by an act of transforming pain. The fact that the body is at first reduced to the essence of its pure materiality through its ability to experience pain is the pre- condition that opens possibilities to encounter the transcendental. It is instead an example of the so-called conversio.
Conversio also represents the other dominant style of saintly legend. It is in most cases related to the realization that a person has lead a sinful life, which elicits an intense wish for change. The person is moved to ask for atonement and forgiveness and engages in ascetic practices. However, the suffering of the body plays a similarly central role in the lives of ascetics as in the lives of martyrs, and it involves a very similar emphasis on physical affliction.
The violent maltreatment of the body through nutritional and other deprivations can also be interpreted as a form of martyrdom — in the end, another route to sanctity through the body. A short hagiographic version is extant in the Latin Gesta Romanorum the differences between this legend and Gregorius outlined by Haug — Even less than its French model, the text is not simply a legend, but a generic hybrid between hagiography and courtly novel.
By opening the hagiographic content and structure to that of the courtly novel, the text has moved a significant step further away from cult to fictional literature Kiening The generic hybridity reflects the opposition of chivalry and clergy that is outlined in the story.
Gregorius is the product of an incestuous relationship between his parents, who were brother and sister. After having left behind a life that was destined by his adoptive father, an abbot, to be spent within the spiritual community of a cloister, Gregorius begins a knightly career.
Then, unwittingly, he commits incest himself with his mother. Therefore, the story is in essence one of many medieval adaptations and expansions on the classical tale of Oedipus Archibald; Huber. However, Gregorius is involved not only in one, but in two illicit relationships. As Walter Haug has pointed out, this represents one of the greatest challenges of the plot and the way it is structured in the German version. Besides the puzzling question about the nature of his sin, the point of special interest here is how Gregorius deals with it.
He decides that his extreme behaviour demands extreme punishment, and he voluntarily chains himself to a stone in the middle of the ocean. His bodily consumption consists only of a little water. Thus is Gregorius portrayed as an ascetic. Ascetics are fundamentally creators of vision- ary images, activities, and spaces.
They use the body with all its different senses, allowing it to be gripped by the process and to become conduits for the powerful images and emotions involved. Well-known paradigms for this type of saint are the so-called Stylites, those ascetics following the example of the Syrian Symeon Stylites, who supposedly spent forty years standing atop a stone column in the desert.
Largier is interested in the fact that this type of isolation from the world leads to the production of new, imaginary, artificial worlds. These are commonly known as visions or demonic temptations. Largier analyzes the connection between asceticism and imaginary worlds as a cultural-historical phenomenon. Gregorius, on the contrary, is clearly a sinner involved in an act of penitence. However, like Symeon resting almost motionless on his column in the desert, Gregorius is confined to a physically small and isolated space.
It really makes no difference that the desert is replaced by its opposite elemental environment, the ocean. It is physically torturous and unbearable, but rich in emotional experiences. As Scott E. Both scholars seem to follow the conventional view that an ascetic is attempting to mortify the flesh, instead of aiming to stimulate its sensitivity. During this whole time he was nourished by the biblical wisdom of God. The passage reveals exactly the connections between text, imagination, and holiness to which Largier refers when he speaks of a rhetorical application of the senses in asceticism.
It is by no means accidental that the metaphors used for his skin and bones — thorns and linen — hint of objects associated with the suffering body of Jesus on the cross. This pious man is undoubtedly involved in the practice of imitatio Christi. Ultimately, this also leads to his elevation as rightful leader of the entire Christian world. In the end, for suffering and surviving so long, Gregorius is ultimately granted a reprieve and made pope. While no sin is so great that it cannot be pardoned, the assumption would be false that every sin is ultimately assured forgiveness.
This becomes manifest in the differing ways they relate body to space. To be sure, Mann had no intention of writing a historically based medieval narrative. As in all his novels dealing with historical or mythical themes, he set out instead to establish a dialogue between the past and present. His references to the Middle Ages serve to illuminate modernity, and vice versa. The most important point of contention has been an intentional transfer of religious to fictional motivation.
Yet scholars still have difficulty coming to terms with the religious dimension of the book. It is worth remembering that the potential tensions between literary and religious discourses have always been an element of hagiographic writing. More important seems the question: what was it about the Christian concepts of pen- ance and forgiveness that seem to have inspired the modern author, and how does a sinner the size of a hedgehog fit into the scheme of holy bodies?
In the medieval text the liquid is described simply as water. Er war satt. In a sophisticated style, he even combines detailed de- scriptions of bodily functions with religious poetry. It is not by coincidence that this somewhat off-putting ascetic, dripping fluid out of his mouth, reminds one of a full, freshly nursed baby.
Its effect, however, is just the opposite. Should one conclude from this description of an eremitic lifestyle that in order to become a saint it is necessary to revert to an infantile condition? The previously quoted passage seems to support this perception. His peculiar choices modify the interpretation of physi- cality concerning the relationship between body and space that was outlined earlier and presents a different condition for experiencing transcendence. Religious discourse re- mains a strong subtext throughout the modern version.
Mann does not seem to describe any act of intentional penitence similar to the one referred to earlier. According to Andreas Urs Sommer, Mann did not want to describe any kind of internal process of penitence either. Sommer notes the absence of desperation, guilty conscience, or strain under punishment Mann does not describe an act or practice of penitence at all, but rather a form of passive resignation.
As observed by a contemporary reviewer of the novel, its religious parallels, if any, would lie more in the protestant doctrine of pre- destination than in the catholic concept of active penitence Sommer The message here seems to be that forgiveness or grace is something that cannot be actively sought. In- stead, the tiny space overpowers the prisoner with claustrophobia, causing him literally to shrink away from existential possibilities.
Instead of the wracked, yet still noble and sublime body described in the medieval story, which brings tears to the eyes of those who see it, the modern version presents us with a repulsive, scuttling little creature. The transcendental transformation of the body that one finds in tales of medieval martyrs and ascetics seems nowhere to be found. The metamorphosis of this body is neither miraculous nor realistic.
It appears to be grotesquely material, which is all the more accentuated by the accompanying pseudoscientific descriptions Mann provides. Mann was specifically interested in the concepts of degeneration and the inheritance of acquired characteristics. A famous example of this exploration is his novel Buddenbrooks Michler ; Otis — A metaphorical interpretation might hold that his bodily depletion would be attributed to the lack of emotional and spiritual experience that medieval ascetics experienced under similar duress — an insight for which I am indebted to Susanne Balmer. Stavroula Constantinou has examined this term as a tool for describing concepts of sacred bodies in Byzantine collections of miracle stories, especially those focussing on affliction and healing.
As Constantinou explains, many protagonists of these stories suffer from diseases such as dysentery, colic, elephantiasis, dropsy, and genital illnesses. As a result of these diseases, the bodies are involved in processes of transformation. They gradually lose their form and size through swellings in various lower parts of the body.
They also produce excessive quantities of bodily fluids and flux such as vomit, diarrhoea, urine, pus, and blood. In many cases, the saints contract these diseases from the bodies of patients they are tending. In others, however, they have acquired a grotesque body as a result of the hardships of their own austere, ascetic lives. The grotesque body builds on a form of inversion of high and low. This does not hold for saints of the Byzantine tradition alone. Bynum has emphasized this aspect in her works on female religiosity, giving the salient example of Catherine of Siena, who according to several of her hagiographers, debased herself by taking the putrid breast of a dying woman into her mouth and by willingly in- gesting pus — The idea that degradation should be embraced is another important aspect of imitatio Christi and, as such, of medieval asceticism.
The grotesque little body of his hero does not reflect the idea that making oneself smaller might bring one closer to God. Through extreme practices, the medieval ascetic could turn the body into a medium for religious experiences. There is no epiphany of the imagination that leads to intercourse with God. Instead, the suffering hero succumbs passively to his situation and is physically and emotionally reduced to a primogenial state.
To be sure, Mann might not have known anything about this religious tradition at all. His work with medieval texts is regarded as being rather eclectic Schork; Wimmer. He apparently also had difficulty relating to a cultural-historical tradition that sees the body as a location for the experience of transcendence, and literature as a form of physical nourishment.
His parody might lead to the impression that he sees religious traditions as rather dated, pathetic, or infantile. However, Mann criticized his contemporary reviewers for not having understood his work in this respect. Mann saw no contradiction between ironic narration and serious content.
The more important question seems to be why Mann chooses not to grant his hero any kind of spiritual experience. Mann draws no connection between penitence and grace. Apparently, for- giveness is not something one may actively seek. His malnourished hero does not contemplate biblical wisdom, he is simply radically and socially isolated, and this induces a steady decline to a foetal state.
Thus we are able to recognize two very different concepts of development when assessing a body deprived of proper food and drink: a traditional one, rooted in the cultural history of religiosity, in which the person subjected to such treatment reaches a higher level of spiritual existence, and a modern one involving degeneration to a primitive level of pure survival. Guot, however, means an exemplarily humble and pious man, not necessarily a holy man.
Aside from its physical grotesqueness, the life described is nearly devoid of the necessary prerequisites for holiness in the medieval sense of the word. It can never be acquired through acts of penitence. Again, this might be a comment on how to deal with unthinkable guilt. Instead of the body as an exquisite space for religious transcendence, Mann offers a metaphorical body, a literary figure. Works Cited Archibald, Elizabeth. Incest and the Medieval Imagination. New York: Oxford UP, Bakhtin, Michail. Rabelais and his World.
Bloomington: Indiana UP, Beer, Ulrike. Meldorf: Joerg Vogelsang, Bergson, Henri. Le Rire: Essai sur la signification du comique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Bynum, Caroline Walker. Berkeley: U California P, Campbell, Emma. Cohen, Esther. Constantinou, Stavroula. Egidi, Margreth.
Peter Strohschneider. Berlin: de Gruyter, Gaunt, Simon. Gender and Genre in Medieval French Literature. Hahn, Ulla. Das verborgene Wort. Stuttgart, Munich: DVA, Hartmann von Aue. Frank J. Tobin, Kim Vivan, and Richard H. Burkhard Kippenberg. Haug, Walter. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Ireton, Sean. Jacobus de Voragine. Legenda Aurea. Rainer Nickel. Stuttgart: Reclam Jens, Walter.
Kasten, Ingrid. Kay, Sarah. Stanford: Stanford UP, Kiening, Christian. Largier, Niklaus. Lob der Peitsche: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Erregung. Thomas Mann.
A Poetry Ambassador
Michler, Werner. Morris, David B. The Culture of Pain. Otis, Laura. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, Pincikowski, Scott. Francis G. Schork, R. Sommer, Andreas Urs. Munich, Stackmann, Karl. Strohschneider, Peter. Wimmer, Ruprecht. Eckhard Heftrich, Helmut Koopmann. Most of its several dozen characters are East Germans undergoing a bewildering transition, caught between the familiar structures of a GDR that has ceased to exist and an un- fathomable, emerging German society. This article is especially concerned with the representation of this ungrounded condition.
These characters include a migrant author, a blind woman whose sight is restored, women in exploitive heterosexual re- lationships, a transsexual undergoing gender reassignment, and a postcolonial Thai woman who remains unscathed by modernity. The narrative brings these tropes into dialogue with East German experience and with each other.
Given the primary focus on the Wende, these other transformations work allegorically in the narrative, allowing the implied author to explore facets of East German experience and to locate it as part of a broader human experience. How do they frame memory of German unification, and what do they imply about German, and eastern German, identity? To pursue these questions, it is helpful to recall debates in German studies about postcolonialism and memory work in the literature of the Berlin Republic.
That is, for Cooke, postcolonial concepts such as hybridity and mimicry are relevant to German unification, if only as means of understanding the peripheral discourse. But Bhabha is controversial in postcolonial studies owing to the wide applicability of his concepts and the concomitant danger of obfuscating socio- logical and historical distinctions Loomba — Within German studies, both Todd Herzog and Leslie Adelson have aspired to historicize the use of hybridity, in the contemporary Jewish-German and Turkish-German contexts respectively.
Both Herzog and Adelson object that the rhetorical figure of the hybrid may reassert, rather than destabilize, the imaginary, historically contingent identities of which it is composed. To extend this historicizing gesture to Brussig, it is important to examine the possibilities and limits of hybridity in texts focussed on eastern German identity, including Wendeliteratur.
Strikingly, the aforementioned scholarship finds hybridity an effective aesthetic strategy in eastern German, but more prob- lematic in Jewish-German or Turkish-German, literature. Narratives exploring Jewish-German identity, for instance, must contend with longstanding discourses emphasizing Jewish-German difference. But then the situation is fundamentally different for former East Germans. Against this ideological background, nationalist iconography can be mobilized in the interest of eastern German identity politics, with differences between eastern and western Germans cast as scandalous.
Though beyond the scope of this article, the interplay of genders, sexualities, and colonial discourses is complex and con- troversial, as Ania Loomba demonstrates at length — Most important for this analysis is that the narrative of Wie es leuchtet forces these realms together by relating them to East German experience. His gendered metaphors also evoke prevalent discourses, as this discussion will demonstrate. Moreover, the allegorical use of the situations of migrants or women is by no means confined to representations of eastern Germans.
How does the narrative weave together hybridity, sexual politics, and eastern German identity, and to what effect? It is at odds with itself, aesthetically and thematically, and the aesthetic tensions are related to the thematic ones. Aesthetically, the novel flaunts multiple perspectives but grafts these into a rather homogenous narrative. To express this contradiction in the gendered terms implied by the narrative, the valorized sphere of everyday East Germans is coded as feminine but susceptible to moments of masculine triumphalism. The aesthetic contradictions in Wie es leuchtet derive in large part from the conceit structuring the narrative: that it offers a broad societal por- trait composed of myriad perspectives, without any externally imposed, programmatic framework.
To be sure, on the plot level, the destinies of East German characters are varied. Ultimately, any conclusion that might be drawn by reading a particular character as a representative of the East German experience is undermined elsewhere in the narrative. Yet the repre- sentation of West Germans and non-Germans is more reductive, with both in supplementary roles that augment the East German quest for identity. The novel lacks an exploration of Turkish-German or Jewish-German perspectives — of any perspectives, in fact, that might complicate the binary opposition between Germans and non-Germans.
Beyond this, though, the notion of multiple perspectives is at odds with the omniscient, third-person narrative voice employed in all chapters but the first. Finlay, esp. What emerges is a retelling of nationally iconic moments, infused by the marginalized perspectives of East Germans.
His earlier novels all focus on the GDR, where he lived from his birth in until German unification. His pseudonymously published novel Wasserfarben garnered little attention. But Helden wie wir brought acclaim and controversy, relating the satirical tale of a picaresque, megalomaniacal Stasi agent who credits his sex organ with the opening of the Berlin Wall. Beyond the already mentioned similarities in tone, thematic parallels in two areas are noteworthy. In the more recent novel, the elusive realm of power is a puzzling new society dominated by West Germans; in the earlier one, it is East German state authority.
The novel highlights its own fictitiousness as a way of remembering that is distinct from historical memory. The emphasis on personal and conciliatory memory, grounded in narrative, corresponds to the focus on everyday life in the GDR, rather than on political history. Thus he further established his identity as a public figure, distinguishing himself from a discredited generation of East German literati, including Christa Wolf, after the Literaturstreit.
Wie es leuchtet also satirizes characters who attempt, despite their ineptitude, to rise in status through code switching. Moreover, Wie es leuchtet contains a character, Waldemar, whose success as an author derives from his eccentric use of language. Another character in Wie es leuchtet is more successful at representing precisely, and with authenticity, what has thus far eluded representation. The narrative casts this act as a masculine triumph. Significantly, he works primarily in a medium other than language, but his voice narrates the opening chapter of the novel.
This passage metaphorically equates representation and masculine sexual conquest. Personal interview The first chapter dispenses with photographs in a sense. The narrative then proceeds to show that words have previously been the domain of western Germans. Through this triumphant — and again, by implication, masculine — narrative act, the implied author appropriates words in the service of the collective memory of a marginalized group, the former East Germans whose perspective predominates.
Und so war es mit dem, was jetzt in Bewegung gekommen war: Erst in Deutschland findet es Ruhe. Die Frage war nicht, ob und auch nicht, wann. Die Frage war: Was ist Deutschland? To some characters, Germany appears burdened by its Nazi past. Yet the diffuse fears about the historical gravity of Germany give way to the realization that the past is in many ways irrelevant to the post-Wende present.
Through an absurd series of misunderstandings, Bode has narrowly escaped a Nazi execution order, then nearly died in Siberia after being captured and mistaken for an SS-man on the eastern front, only to be imprisoned later in East Germany for allegedly conspiring against the communist party — Having achieved celebrity status with his autobiography at the end of the s, he is dumbfounded when, at a public reading after the fall of the Wall, his criticisms of real existing socialism suddenly interest no one.
With this glass eye, Bode can no longer see and bear witness; rather, all other eyes gawk at this uncanny object. Later, this reification of history is symbolized by a pinball machine called Das Auge Bodes, in which a glass eye rolls past fields of corpses, the Kristallnacht, labour camps, and the Berlin Wall The political promise that Deutschland holds proves similarly incon- sequential. Thus in Wie es leuchtet the prominent advocate for a hopeful reimagining of socialism is an East German tainted by a Stasi past.
In the case of Gysi, the allegations have been disputed; for the character Blank, they are simply true. This contrivance is a reminder that the eastern German identity Brussig champions is entirely distinct from socialism and, by contrast, grounded in everyday experience. In the novel, the economic success of the FRG eclipses both the German past and the new political possibilities. As a fourth answer to the German question, the narrative of Wie es leuchtet emphasizes that the word Deutschland is a signifier to be employed as a prop in performing identity and asserting power.
Germanness appears primarily as the province of West Germans, who have the upper hand in the performance of identity and mastery of the requisite vernacular. Through this reconfiguration, the novel implies that eastern Germans might still inject some authenticity into the narrative construct of German national identity. However, the expectations and behaviours of East Germans enable him to perform most effectively.
For instance, he understands the self- demeaning behaviour of the hotel manager Alfred Bunnzuweit as an invitation to develop his feigned identity Und sie wird seine Erfindung immer wieder in Kraft setzen, auch vor ihm. When Schniedel is finally arrested, his West German grandmother buys his freedom with money from the sale of an East Berlin apartment building that she has reacquired since the collapse of the GDR —79, — Thus beneath the overtly fraudulent claims that sustain this young West German for a while in the east, economic developments work more subtly and permanently to his advantage.
In effect, the outright con and the new economy are two sides of the same coin. The other West German protagonist is Lattke, in essence a more sophisticated version of Schniedel. As a West German journalist, he considers himself best suited to interpret the East German experience for the nation. But this proves untrue. The results are disastrous. Lattke must write an unpublishable piece about a woman who is devastated because, after a life of blindness, she cannot make sense of visual stimuli — So befriedigte sie Werner Schniedel — freiwillig und so gut sie eben konnte.
Here the implied author turns the fairy-tale marriage metaphor on its head by introducing the con man as the prince. She first appears in the novel among a group of seven transsexuals complaining to the Minister of Health of having been abandoned in mid-sex-reassignment by East German doctors. The narrative emphasizes the perils of living in a social world that expects, and projects, fixed categories of identity.
Wir sind doch Freiwild! She performs not only her gender but also East or West German identity to correspond to the desires of male customers Commodification is central to both images: in the first, the eastern German woman becomes a commodity; in the second, she desperately needs western commodities. Here East German men, rather than women, are the consumers, but the desire to consume titillating western sex is likewise central.
In both cases, the commercial exchange involves deceit, suggesting a darker side to the free-market, consumer culture of the west. However, once the narrative has cast Lena in this allegorical role, it disrupts the expected trajectory of the story. Lena eventually rejects the prospect of moving to New York with Lattke and ends the relationship. Instead, the political unification provides her with an opportunity to confront the theatre director Paul Masunke, who sexually abused her as a child and has recently returned to the east after a career in the west.
Masunke exhibits a sadistic ob- session with histrionics and power; his productions involve the physical abuse of the actors This adds another, darker dimension to the theme of acting and role playing, which the narrative associates with West Germans. The cathartic confrontation with Masunke suggests that rather than passively accepting societal conditions, eastern Germans might treat the political unification as an opportunity to exercise power in their own interests.
Brussig destabilizes the sexual union metaphor and the gendering of the GDR, exposing power dynamics and the performative aspects of identity. In support of eastern German identity politics, he interrupts these gendered discourses that make relations between eastern and western Germans appear natural. By representing eastern Germans as subaltern and recasting predominant discourse about eastern and western Germans, Brussig employs strategies reminiscent of postcolonial literature.
Though appearing only rarely, non-Germans in Germany i. First, they embody an extreme difference that emboldens the East Germans to assert their own divergence from West German norms. But non-German characters also reinforce the Germanness of the East Germans. Such char- acters give East Germans a model for navigating a life that diverges from the norms of the majority culture. Yet their more pronounced difference emphasizes the commonality of eastern and western Germans, supporting a normative, German nationalist element. His prominence in the wake of his publishing successes of the s has made him a spokesperson for former East Germans as a group.
Also, Edgar Reitz chose Brussig to represent East German perspectives as the co-writer of the screenplay for Heimat 3 , the latest installment of the iconic Heimat television series. During her campaign for the German chancellorship, Angela Merkel included Brussig among her expert advisors Kramer Thus he makes himself indispensable: in the absence of German unity, a representative eastern German public intellectual is needed to qualify western German under- standings of the nation.
But his focus on eastern German experience insulates him from other stakeholders in the Berlin Republic. In Wie es leuchtet, the portrayal of eastern Germans as virtual migrants would be less problematic were it not for the rise of German antiforeigner violence in the early s, which the novel does not address at all. One might argue that the focus on —90 in the novel precludes the exploration of such topics, but the narrative makes ironic allusions to later events in other contexts, most notably the Persian Gulf War of , and could have done so here Significantly, the absence of such topics demonstrates the extent to which the narrative is concerned with the situation of eastern Germans specifically, relegating other characters to supplementary roles.
The narrative shows East Germans and non-Germans in parallel situations but also separated by the impermeable barrier of national identity. Though it emphasizes characters in an ungrounded, transitional state, the narrative posits an emergent German identity. The subtext is clear: the German nation is at a crossroads and, because of West Germans, in danger of adopting the dehumanizing attitudes of the United States. Thailand, in turn, appears idyllic and nurturing.
The masseuse Noy, Warthe, and his wife are among those with a justifiable existence; not so the judge and interrogator who persecuted him in the GDR. Though several passages imply that identity is fungible and predicated on performance, the narrative maintains rigid boundaries between Germans and non-Germans. The text employs the situations of migrants, non-Germans, women, and transsexuals as metaphors for eastern German experience without exploring the full consequences of the performative aspects of identity that come to light through these metaphors. It focusses instead on eastern German entitlement within a German national context.
Hybridity in this text serves a primarily metaphorical function, rather than opening up room for all residents of the Berlin Republic to contribute to German memory work. For example, the text recon- figures prevalent, gendered representations of East and West Germans. Studies of postcolonial discourse in eastern German literature ignore this at their peril, given the roles played by nationalisms and notions of eastern German entitlement in xenophobic violence after German unification.
Tom Cheesman and Karin E. Cardiff: U of Wales P, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge, Brandt, Willy.