CFP: Aestheticism: De-humanizing or Re-humanizing? (11/30/05; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

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"Aestheticism: De-humanizing or Re-humanizing Art, the Artist, and the
Artistic Receptor?"
ACLA 2006, Princeton University, 3/23/06 - 3/26/06

Seminar Organizer(s): Kelly Comfort, Georgia Institute of Technology
The question as to how literature, along with other creative arts, both helps
to determine and is determined by the human is at the forefront of nineteenth-
and early twentieth-century aestheticism in Europe and the Americas. Art for
art's sake–both as an approach toward art and as an attitude toward life–
promotes freedom and autonomy, aims for newness and originality, hails
pleasure over instruction, and prefers form and beauty to content and truth.
As such, aestheticism invites us to consider the relationship between art and
life, between the aesthetic and the social, especially in light of its
purported severance between these two spheres. By widening the distance
between art and life, separating aesthetics from the economic, scientific,
pragmatic, and political, and trying to avoid the fate of "art for capital's
sake" or "art for the market's sake," l'art pour l'art critiques the dominant
social and economic values that made such a redefinition of art necessary in
the first place. This seminar thus aims to explore the extent to which art for
art's sake can viewed as an attempt to rehumanize (rather than dehumanize)
art, the artist, or the artistic receptor in ways that speak to the question
of what makes us human. Seminar participants should thus discuss how the
aestheticist view of art and literature is either life-sustaining or life-
evading? Both theoretical analyses and textual comparisons are welcome.
Sumbit proposals online before 30 November, 2005, at the following link:

The ACLA 2006 general website:

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:46:27 EST