I will be giving the seminar below on March 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Incite Seminars in downtown Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Critical Theory Workshop.
AESTHETICS: TOWARD A RADICAL HISTORY
This seminar will explore some of the most vexing questions in the history of aesthetics: What is art? How does it relate to the ‘real’ world of politics and society? How has it developed and changed over time? It will examine some of the responses given to these questions by major thinkers like Georg Lukács, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and Jacques Rancière. This will lead to a broader interrogation into the very presuppositions that structure these types of questions, as well as their answers, thereby opening space for a tectonic shift in our understanding of aesthetics, its social roles, and its history.
In its broadest sense, this shift will lead from an understanding of aesthetics as having a more or less fixed nature to one in which it is radically historicized by being recognized as a dynamic social product of certain cultures. Examining the networks of production, circulation and reception operative in what is called art in the modern ‘Western’ world, with an eye to its variations across time, space and social strata, this course inspects how the European world has developed—and then attempted to universalize—a very unique concept and practice of aesthetics, which is bound up in various ways with colonial expansion and the capitalist exhibition of symbolic goods.
Reading: Gabriel Rockhill, Radical History & the Politics of Art
Recommended Film: Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Statues also Die
: Saturday, March 23, 10am-2pm
: Click here
Here is the discussion that I had with Jennifer Ponce de León and Seloua Luste Boulbina at the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris on June 18, 2018, entitled “Is the ‘Decolonial Turn’ a Colonial Return?“:
Here is the opening presentation that I gave at the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris on June 11, 2018, entitled “Radicalizing Critical Theory“:
Click here for the 2018 call for applications to the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique. The 2018 Workshop, directed by Gabriel Rockhill and supported by Villanova University’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy, will take place from June 11-29 at the EHESS in central Paris. It is open to graduate students and faculty, as well as advanced undergraduates, independent researchers, writers and artists.
The 2018 Workshop will be comprised of three interlocking components:
• “Débats”: invited speakers debate on a common theme or question.
• “Rencontres”: intellectuals are invited to participate in public interviews on their work.
• “Groupes de travail”: the participants present and workshop their own research.
The overall objective is to bring together a diverse panoply of thinkers from different horizons in order to cultivate productive debates around topical issues. Invited guests for 2018 thus far include Seloua Luste Boulbina, Eric Hazan, Jennifer Ponce de León and Delia Popa.
Here is a recently posted video from the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique 2017, in which I discuss my research on the CIA’s intellectual world war with Jennifer Ponce de León. Entitled “French Thought in Bad Company: The CIA’s Intellectual World War,” the conversation took place on July 3, 2017 at the EHESS in Paris.