Aesthetics and Politics

Annual conference of The Nordic Society of Aesthetics in collaboration with Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen and the Royal Danish Academy of Art, May 26-28, 2011 (from Thursday noon through Saturday evening)

Within the last 10-15 years we have witnessed a turn towards art and aesthetics amongst explicitly politically inclined philosophers and theorists whereas many art theorists and art critics have drawn the political aspects of contemporary art to the fore. With this conference we want to address how the relationship between aesthetics and politics has been dealt with, making the analyses of the relationship themselves an object of investigation and analysing what might be the reasons for this current emphasis on the political potentials of art and aesthetics. Furthermore we propose to analyse the current interest in the different ways arts and aesthetics can have a political function and contextualise this analysis within the broader return to aesthetics that have taken place within the humanities the last 20 years.

Invited guest speakers include Sara Danius, Esther Leslie, and Peter Osborne.
Conference venue: The Royal Danish Academy of Arts in the centre of Copenhagen, Kgs. Nytorv.

Topics of interest might include, but are not limited to:

  • the notion of the aesthetic judgment as founder of a political community
  • the affirmative character of art
  • the aestheticization of everyday life
  • emancipated spectatorship
  • the autonomy of art
  • mimesis and the immanence of society in art
  • participatory and collaborative art forms
  • historical perspectives on the art system and its societal role

Abstract proposals of no more than 200 words should be sent before February 15, 2011 to Annette Gregersen, Aarhus University,

PhD students are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal, 3 January 2010

The Organisers:
Mikkel Bolt, Morten Kyndrup, Jacob Lund, Frederik Tygstrup