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Aesthetics and Cultural Theory


Module description

This module focuses on a series of important works on aesthetic theory from Kant’s Critique of Judgement (1790) to digital and decolonial Aesthetics. The aim of the module is to examine some of the key concepts in the philosophical aesthetics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Kant and Hegel) and the ways in which they have been developed, challenged or overturned by contemporary cultural theory and art practice. The module will address the problematic status of the concept of the ‘art work’ in the wake of modernist, and postmodernist and decolonial debates, and consider how cultural theory can contribute to an understanding of contemporary art practice (taking that term in its most expansive and capacious sense). Themes considered will include: the status of the art work, taste and subjectivity, art and schizoanalysis, stickiness, immersion, distraction and the ‘inaesthetic’.