English 203

Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2016 Goldsmith, Steven
TTh 9:30-11 305 Wheeler

Book List

Adorno, T.: Aesthetic Theory; Burke, E.: Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; De Man, P. : Ideology of the Aesthetic; Derrida, J.: The Truth in Painting; Kant, I.: Critique of the Power of Judgment; Rancière, J.: Aesthetics and Its Discontents; Scarry, E.: On Beauty and Being Just; Schiller, F. : On the Aesthetic Education of Man


This introduction to aesthetics will navigate between the following quotations: 1) “If man is ever to solve that problem of politics in practice he will have to approach it through the problem of the aesthetic, because it is only through Beauty that man makes his way to Freedom” (Schiller); 2) “Poetry makes nothing happen” (Auden).  For historical sources, we will focus on the eighteenth-century aesthetic discourses developed by Burke, Kant, and Schiller (supplemented by a few readings in British Romanticism).  For developments in aesthetic theory, we will read a range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century elaborations, including, among others, Adorno, Bourdieu, Clark, Derrida, De Man, Lyotard, Rancière, Scarry, Terada, and Ngai.  If time permits we may take up arguments related to today’s new formalisms and new materialisms. 

This course satisfies the Group 6 (Non-historical) requirement.

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