Call for Papers 2013



Call for Papers:

From Aesthetica to Aesthetic Theory: German Aesthetic Theory Since 1700

Keynote Speaker: Rachel Zuckert, Northwestern University

Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

April 26-27, 2013


“Artificial aesthetics, or the science of the beautiful… dissolves, as far as it is able to do so, precisely that which was habitual, that which was beautiful nature, and, as it were,destroys it in the same moment. It is precisely that beautiful confusion–which, if it is not the mother, is at least the inseparable companion of all pleasure–that artificial aesthetics dissolves and seeks to illuminate with distinct ideas: truth takes the place of beauty.” – J.G. Herder, Critical Forests: Fourth Grove


18th century German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten is credited with coining the term aesthetics as deserving of its own philosophic study. In the centuries following Baumgarten aesthetics remained an inextricable part of German intellectual history. Aesthetics and the philosophy of art can be traced through the work of Herder, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Schelling, Heidegger, Adorno, Gadamer, and Sloterdijk, to mention only a few. This conference seeks to address the importance and impact of the German aesthetic tradition, from its inception in the 18th Century to the present. Some questions we hope to address are: Does aesthetics offer a special case for study of subjectivity and intersubjectivity? How does the aesthetic experience and art influence our interactions with and within the world? Can works of art (and aesthetics, more broadly) affect, and even institute, ethical and political communities? What role, if any, does universality play in standards of taste? What is the significance of the emergence of the German aesthetic tradition in response to the Enlightenment? We would also welcome all submissions addressing the relation of aesthetics and nature in the German aesthetic tradition, including but not limited to: beauty and the sublime, expressivism, the relation of the body to the work of art and nature, the relation of the German aesthetic tradition to other traditions, and the relation of aesthetics to other areas of philosophy.

We are accepting abstracts as well as completed papers. Submissions from all philosophical perspectives are encouraged. Abstracts should include research interests and questions that will be addressed in the paper. Submissions should be sent as docx, or .doc; abstracts should not exceed 500 words (including research interests and questions addressed), and papers should not exceed 15 double-spaced pages. Personal information should be sent in the body of the email and should not appear on the paper or abstract itself. Email submissions to Osman Nemli at: onemli [at] emory [dot] edu



Paul Klee. vor dem Blitz (Before the Lightning), 1923

VOR DEM BLITZ, 1923,150
(Before the Lightning)
Watercolour and pencil on paper, top and bottom edges with gouache, watercolour, and quill on cardboard, 28 x 31.5 cm
Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel