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Patchen Markell Pick Hall 519
2-8057, email@example.com Office hours: Weds. 35
POLITICS, ART, AND AESTHETICS
Political Science 42400
Winter Quarter 2007
Wednesdays, 911:50 am, Pick 506 COURSE DESCRIPTION: This graduate seminar is devoted to close readings and discussions of important works in the philosophy of art and aesthetics, political theory, and art history and criticism, with an eye to such questions as: What is the meaning of art for politics? What is the political significance of the differentiation of an aesthetic domain of activity and experience in Euro-American modernity? Can aesthetic judgment serve as a model for political judgment? Can artistic creation serve as a model for political action? What can the study of art and aesthetics teach us about how and when people experience events, objects, or spaces as (politically) meaningful or engaging? In its 2007 iteration, the seminar will begin with an extended consideration of Kants third Critique and end with a reading of the interpretation and appropriation of Kants idea of aesthetic judgment in the political theory of Hannah Arendt. Between these bookends, we shall also consider the relationship of aesthetics to politics in two key essays of the 1930s, by Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger. Our readings will also connect the works of these four central authors to debates among modernist artists and critics over such issues as formalism, the relation of art to life, the historical position of the avant-garde; and to debates among political theorists over such issues as the relationship of aesthetics to ethics and the nature of freedom. TEXTS: The following required texts are available for purchase at the Seminary Co-op. All other readings will be on electronic and paper reserve through Regenstein Library. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer (Cambridge) Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought (Harper) Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kants Political Philosophy (Chicago) Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago) One additional bookLarry Shiner, The Invention of Art: A Cultural History (Chicago)has also been ordered from the Co-op but is recommended only. WRITING ASSIGNMENT: A 1520 page seminar paper, due on March 15, on a topic of your choice, designed in consultation with me.
WEEKLY MEETINGS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS: Week One (January 3): Introduction [You need not read these items in advance of the introductory session; read them at your convenience as the seminar proceeds.] 1. Kennan Ferguson, Foundations of Political Aesthetics, in The Politics of Judgment, 123. 2. George Kateb, Aestheticism and Morality: Their Hostility and Cooperation, Political Theory
28, no. 1 (February 2000): 537. 3. Terry Eagleton, Free Particulars, chap. 1 in The Ideology of the Aesthetic, 1330. 4. Jacques Ranire, The Aesthetic Revolution and its Outcomes, New Left Review 14 (March
April 2002): 13351. Week Two (January 10): Kant, I 1. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment: Preface, Introduction, and 122
(Analytic of the Beautiful), Guyer 55127. 2. Rachel Zuckert, The Purposiveness of Form: A Reading of Kants Aesthetic Formalism, J.
Hist. Philos. 44, no. 4 (2006): 599622. 3. Clement Greenberg, Modernist Painting, in The Collected Essays and Criticism, ed. John
OBrien, vol. 4, 8594. Week Three (January 17): Kant, II 1. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment: 2329 (Analytic of the Sublime),
Guyer 12859. 2. Jean-Franois Lyotard, The Sublime and the Avant-Garde, in The Inhuman, 89107. 3. Frances Ferguson, An Introduction to the Sublime, in Solitude and the Sublime, 135. Week Four (January 24): Kant, III 1. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment: 30-60 (Deduction, Dialectic, and
Methodology), Guyer 160230. 2. Thierry de Duve, Kant After Duchamp, in Kant After Duchamp, 283325. 3. Arthur Danto, Three Decades After the End of Art, in After the End of Art, 2039. Week Five (January 31): Benjamin, I 1. Filippo Marinetti, The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, in Selected Writings, 3944. 2. Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AkhRR), Declaration and The Immediate
Tasks of AkhRR, in Art in Theory, 19002000, ed. Harrison and Wood, 403406. 3. Meyer Schapiro, The Social Bases of Art, in Artists Against War and Fascism, ed. Baigell
and Williams, 103113. 4. Clement Greenberg, Avant-Garde and Kitsch, in The Collected Essays and Criticism, vol. 1,
5. Walter Benjamin, The Author as Producer, in Selected Writings, vol. 2, 76882. 6. Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History, in Selected Writings, vol. 4, 389400. Week Six (February 7): Benjamin, II 1. Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility: Third
Version, in Selected Writings, vol. 4, 25183. 2. Theodor Adorno, letter to Benjamin, in Aesthetics and Politics, ed. Jameson, 12026. 3. Peter Fenves, Is There An Answer to the Aestheticizing of the Political? in Walter Benjamin
and Art, ed. Andrew Benjamin, 6072 (notes at 25657). 4. Saul Ostrow, Rehearsing Revolution and Life: The Embodiment of Benjamins Artwork
Essay at the End of the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 22647 (notes at 28587). Week Seven (February 14): Heidegger, I 1. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, 1418, 60, 63 (Stambaugh trans. 5983, 27277, 287
92). 2. Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art, in Poetry, Language, Thought, 1739. 3. Meyer Schapiro, The Still Life as a Personal ObjectA Note on Heidegger and Van Gogh
and Further Notes on Heidegger and Van Gogh, in Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society, 13551.
Week Eight (February 21): Heidegger, II 1. Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art, in Poetry, Language, Thought, 3987. 2. Beatrice Hanssen, Benjamin or Heidegger: Aesthetics and Politics in an Age of Technology,
in Walter Benjamin and Art, ed. Andrew Benjamin, 7392 (notes at 25761). 3. Jacques Taminiaux, The Origin of The Origin of the Work of Art, in Poetics, Speculation,
and Judgment, 15369. Week Nine (February 28): Arendt, I 1. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 136247. 2. Hannah Arendt, The Crisis in Culture, in Between Past and Future, 197226. 3. Harold Rosenberg, The American Action Painters, in The Tradition of the New, 2339. 4. Clement Greenberg, The Plight of Culture, in Art and Culture, 2233. Week Ten (March 7): Arendt, II 1. Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kants Political Philosophy, 785. 2. April Flakne, No Longer and Not Yet: From Doxa to Judgment, Graduate Faculty
Philosophy Journal 21, no. 2 (1999): 15375. 3. Linda Zerilli, Feminists Make Judgments, in Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom, 12463
(notes at 21829). 4. Jerome Kohn, Reflecting on Judgment: Common Sense and a Common World, in
Pragmatism, Critique, Judgment, ed. Benhabib and Fraser, 26194.