CFP: [Theory] ACLA - Languages of the Aesthetic: Art and Finitude from Baumgarten to Badiou

full name / name of organization: 
Rob Lehman
contact email: 

Call for papers: "Languages of the Aesthetic: Art and Finitude from
Baumgarten to Badiou" ACLA Conference "Global Languages, Local
Cultures", Harvard University, March 26-29, 2009

Deadline for submission of papers: November 1, 2008

"Languages of the Aesthetic: Art and Finitude from Baumgarten to Badiou"

When Alexander Baumgarten isolated a specifically sensible form of
knowledge â€" aesthetics â€" he secured as a corollary to this knowledge a
world that had “no existence except for man,” a world limited to those
creatures condemned to spatio-temporal finitude. If this world could only
be approached in a discourse on art â€" in Baumgarten’s case, in a series
of meditations on poetry â€" it was because art insisted most strongly on
the irreducibility of the sensible to any abstract concept. At the origin
of philosophical aesthetics, then, we discover a constellation that
brings together art, the sensible world, and the finite subject. The
legacy of this constellation is indissociable from some of the most
innovative and influential work in the history of the humanities, most
notably the line of critical thought that stretches from Immanuel Kant to
Jacques Derrida.

In this seminar, we propose to examine modernity’s attempts to come to
terms with the singularity and irreducibility of aesthetic experience.
Though we encourage participants to draw upon material throughout the
period in question, we are particularly interested in proposals that
address the ways in which twentieth-century thinkers have tried to
recuperate or reimagine the intersection of art, finitude, and

Possible topics could include:

Aesthetics, Inaesthetics, Anti-Aesthetics
Aesthetics and Temporality
Singularity and the Aesthetic Experience
Physis and Techne, or, Art as Nature and Nature as Art
Art and Death

Please submit proposals for this seminar to:
or consult the website at Questions
can be sent to Rob Lehman:

The deadline for paper submissions is November 1, 2008.

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Received on Tue Oct 14 2008 - 09:22:43 EDT