Aesthetics Work Group at the College of Charleston

The Aesthetics Work Group is an interdisciplinary group of professors and students who meet periodically to discuss theoretical works about and in the arts

The Aesthetics Work Group is an interdisciplinary group of professors and students who meet periodically to discuss theoretical works about and in the arts. The work is often (usually) works in progress by members of AWG and visitors from other institutions. It is led by Jonathan Neufeld in the philosophy department and is regularly attended by students and faculty from German, Jewish Studies, Eng

Operating as usual

04/20/2020

This started as one of the most lunatic of Morgan Koerner DaF-Dozent's ideas. He once claimed that he likes theater best when things go wrong on stage--that's when things really happen. The world has obliged. How can you not want to watch when the central question has become, "What could go right?"

And, I have to say, this is probably the best/nerdiest title/subtitle ever, for one of these. You should take a look.

This Wednesday at 7pm, German 468 will present their final project "2Faust2Furious: Das Unzulängliche, Hier word's Ereignis!" on livestream on youtube live! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYA2wI6Ld6UzPi1d9MBeaPA/live

Originally planned as a live show in RITA auditorium, the performance has become a DIY multimedia zoom production thanks to the resilience and ingenuity of the 15 course participants! English subtitles will be provided for most of the production!

04/19/2020

Our Zoom meetings are going well! Last week, Molly Hampton (WGS/PoliSci major) discussed her paper in progress, “Applying a Feminist Lens to Latrinalia: Bathroom Stalls as Counterpublic Pocket Utopias." Molly argued that the unique space of the women’s bathroom stall, neither quite public nor really private, has not yet been well captured by the latrinalia literature. Like street art, where the street is internal to the meaning of the work (as Nick Riggle argues), so too is the stall internal to the meaning of women’s latrinalia. But what does this mean? Molly argues that the space is better characterized in terms of feminist counterpublics and pocket utopias. By considering latrinalia in feminist terms, we learn something important both about bathroom graffiti and about public reason.

Next week, Irina Erman will discuss her paper "Sympathetic Vampires and Zombies with Brains: The Modern Monster as a Master of Self-Control."

04/09/2020

We will be doing a Zoom Aesthetics WorkGroup today at 4:15 EST. If you are interested in joining, message Jonathan Neufeld here or shoot him an email. Sorry for the late notice--it only now occurred to me to advertise this more broadly, since Zoom is universally accessible.) Here's the abstract of the short talk by Julia McReynolds-Pérez (Sociology, CofC) (images chosen by Neufeld more or less at random):

“This article analyzes the use of the fetal engineer meme by online abortion rights activists in Argentina’s abortion legalization debate of 2018. The fetal engineer started out as an image of an approximately 10-week fetus on an anti-abortion protest sign, which was captioned with the phrase, “I want to be an engineer.” Abortion rights activists circulated memes and various images ridiculing the fetal engineer online in order to criticize the hypocrisy of anti-abortion activists. The fetal engineer meme raises important questions about the nature of online social movement strategies and how they differ from face-to-face interactions. This case is useful for theorizing the specific uses of humor as an affective strategy for responding to the grotesque and cultivating a particular type of social movement collective identity.”

today.cofc.edu 05/12/2019

Philosophy, Art History Double Major Tackles Big Issues

Here's a good article about AWGer Bethany Fincher who not only just graduated with a perfect 4.0, but also received top honors in the philosophy department and the school of Humanities and Social Sciences. (One of the other perfect 4.0s was achieved by another AWGer, Harper Richards! We are a small but academically mighty group!)

today.cofc.edu Collegeof Charleston student Bethany Fincher had to overcome personal issues to flourish as a double major in philosophy and art history.

giving.cofc.edu 05/01/2019

Giving - Donation Form - Philosophy Department - College of Charleston

Thanks to everyone for contributing to a fantastic year of AWG discussions. Our student participants presented at, or will be presenting at, conferences. Bethany Fincher will be presenting at the American Society for Aesthetics conference in Santa Fe and, thanks to generous contributions by AWG members, is now only about $150 short of having full support for her trip. If you can spare even a little for student support, or for programming next year, there is a link to donate below. Make sure you indicate in comments that your contribution is for AWG!

We have a number of new participants, some of whom will lead discussions next year. Keep an eye on this space as the schedule for the 2019-2020 season unfolds. As a reminder, here's what went on in 2018-2019:

--“Entitled: Artistic Legitimation and the Democratization of Taste,” Jennifer Lena (Sociology/Arts Administration, Columbia University, Teachers College)
--“Propaganda and the Moving Image,” Sheryl Tuttle Ross (Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse)
--"A Machine in the Garden," Aaron Palmore (Classics ,CofC)
--Chinese Aesthetics Roundtable, Julianne Chung (Philosophy, University of Louisville); James Harold (Philosophy, Mt. Holyoke).
--"Collective Memory and the Acousmatic Experience," Phillip Greene (Music/Art History major, CofC)
--“Towards a Participatory Future of Privacy: A Study of Angela Richter’s Supernerds,” Sarah Koellner (German, CofC)
--Disability and Performance in German Theater (tentative), Caroline Weist (German, University of Richmond)

--“Monuments and Counter-Monuments” (tentative title), Jay Miller (Philosophy, Warren Wilson College; Public Arts Commission, Asheville)
--Performance/discussion: “Arabic and Sufi Music, Poetry, Song and the Art of Maqâm,” Aïcha Redouane (musician, Paris), Habib Yammine (musician, ethnomusicologist, Paris), and Anne Rasmussen (Ethnomusicology, William & Mary).
--"From Soccer Chant to Sonic Meme," Michael O'Brien (Music, CofC)
--“Aesthetic Public Reasons,” Jonathan Neufeld (Philosophy, CofC)
--“Why Play the Notes? Indirect Aesthetic Normativity in Performance,” Guy Rohrbaugh (Philosophy, Auburn University)

giving.cofc.edu

giving.cofc.edu 03/18/2019

Giving - Donation Form - Philosophy Department - College of Charleston

Congratulations to AWGer, Philosophy and Art History student Bethany Fincher who was just accepted to present at the meeting of the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics in Santa Fe! Bethany presented her work last year at AWG will now be taking it to a professional conference!

Please consider contributing to AWG so that we can cover some of Bethany's expenses. $31 covers a student membership to the ASA. $75 covers student conference registration. Any amount would help to cover travel and hotel expenses! https://giving.cofc.edu/philosophy

giving.cofc.edu Giving back to the College of Charleston

01/05/2019

Hello all! Our Spring 2019 schedule is looking fantastic. Our first meeting will be led by Caroline Weist (German, University of Richmond) on January 17 at 4:45pm. I will send out details soon. In the meantime, here's what the schedule looks like so far:

-1/17: "Drama and Dementia: Stabilizing the State through Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade," Caroline Weist (German, University of Richmond)
-2/1: "Collective Memory and the Acousmatic Experience Through the Work of Susan Philipsz.” Phillip Greene (CofC Arts Management major)
-2/14: Roundtable on East Asian Aesthetics, Julianne Chung (Philosophy, University of Louisville), James Harold (Philosophy, Mt. Holyoke College)
-2/28: TBA, Sarah Koellner (German, CofC)
-3/28: Technology and Nature in Latin Poetry (tentative title), Aaron Palmore (Classics, CofC)
-4/11: "Propaganda and the Moving Image," Sheryl Tuttle Ross (Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse)
-Date TBD: Entitled: Artistic Legitimation and the Democratization of Taste," Jennifer Lena (Sociology and Arts Administration, Teachers College and Columbia University)

Looking forward to a great term!

10/26/2018

Wow! What a concert by Aïcha Redouane, Habib Yammine and Anne Rasmussen. Aïcha's voice was astonishing. Just to geek out for a second: I have never heard anybody do so much with subtle changes of the timbre of their voice just by making tiny changes in their embouchure (the shape of their mouth). Or someone who sang melismatically through consonants. An Habib's riq (tambourine) playing was fantastic. He got so many tones out of the drum as he strung together 4 distinct 5 beat patterns in a wonderful rhythmic tapestry. I bet you didn't know you could make the drumhead of a tambourines sing (watch the video!!). Turns out you can. And Anne Rasmussen, who I (Neufeld) know as a quanun player, plays a mean oud!

The crowd participated and helped to translate Arabic poetry (thanks to my colleague Garrett Davidson and his visiting friend David both of whom are translators of classical Arabic poetry). AWG definitely needs to do more music and poetry performances. This was great. You can buy some CDs of theirs here: https://www.amazon.com/Aicha-Redouane/e/B000AQ2002/ref=dp_byline_cont_music_1

09/03/2018

There is talk tomorrow by Professor Simon Lewis that AWG participants will find interesting. It explores how the reflections of a South African poet on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission might inform Charleston's search for racial reconciliation. It's in 227 Addlestone at 7PM.

shopthedaily.com 09/02/2018

Kwei Fei Residency at The Daily | Events | Happenings | The Daily

The Aesthetics WorkGroup's first meeting was pretty great. Guy's paper was sharp and provocative and generated a bunch of questions. The most remarkable non-philosophy-related thing that happened was that award-winning food writer Hanna Raskin showed up. She heard about the group from Jennifer and had time and interest to come talk about score compliance. After, three of us asked her where we should go to dinner, and we all went to David Schuttenberg's new pop-up-ish project, Kwei Fei. Upon arrival, Hanna turned to us and said, "I'm glad you came, because now I can do this..." and turned to the chef and said "Just give us the whole menu." I don't know if it helped that he knew who she was but WOW was the food good. And plentiful. It was a fantastic night. (And Hanna is going to come do an AWG on the ethics of food writing.)

shopthedaily.com Chef David Schuttenberg joins The Daily with a dinner residency every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm to 12am with his new Sichuan concept Kwei Fei.With a fondness for and background in Asian cuisine, Schuttenberg's menu at Kwei Fei will serve lively, Sichuan leaning dishes featuring carefully so...

giving.cofc.edu 07/29/2018

Giving - Donation Form - Philosophy Department - College of Charleston

Since 2015, 10 undergraduates have presented work first discussed in AWG at professional (7) or student (3) conferences. Three of those students presented at more than one professional conference. Go team!

If you are interested in supporting AWG's mission (and, for example, helping students pay for travel and lodging when they are accepted to conferences), please consider giving at the website linked below (make sure to write "AWG" in the comments). Thanks!

giving.cofc.edu Giving back to the College of Charleston

shop.spreadshirt.com 07/28/2018

Philosophy Kitsch | Aesthetics Workgroup CofC - Mens T-Shirt

I promised a pre-term preview of the coming year in AWG, so here it is. This is still a partial list (I haven’t yet included the students who will present work, e.g.), but it will give you the flavor of the year. Our first visitor, Guy Rohrbaugh (Auburn), will be here talking about musical performance (“Why Play the Notes? Indirect Aesthetic Normativity in Performance”) on August 31. On October 25-6, we will have a very special performance event with Aïcha Redouane & Habib Yammine - Ensemble Al-Adwâr, and Anne Rasmussen (William & Mary), “Arabic and Sufi Music, Poetry, Song and the Art of Maqâm.” In the spring, we will have a roundtable on East Asian Aesthetics with Julianne Chung (Louisville) and James Harold (Mt. Holyoke), a presentation on “Propaganda and the Moving Image” by Sheryl Tuttle Ross (U of Wisconsin, LaCrosse), and Jennifer Lena (Teachers College, Columbia University) will talk about her new book Entitled: Artistic Legitimation and the Democratization of Taste. Finally, Jay Miller (Warren-Wilson) will present something on countermonuments.

If you or your students have work that you are interested in presenting, do let me know! If you know of someone who should be on this mailing, please let me know so I can reach out to them. I will update everyone again once term has begun next month. In the meantime, have a T-shirt and enjoy the rest of your summer!

shop.spreadshirt.com Philosophy Kitsch | Lousy "goods" that nobody needs and few want. Designed by a professional philosopher.

giving.cofc.edu 06/11/2018

Giving - Donation Form - Philosophy Department - College of Charleston

The 2018-19 season of AWG is shaping up! We will have 6 visitors presenting works in progress, 1 musical group with a performance/discussion and we already have two students who want to present. I will update later in the summer when the schedule has firmed up a bit.

It will be an exciting year and I (Neufeld) am looking forward to being back in town! (If you are interested in supporting AWG, please donate a little something here: giving.cofc.edu/philosophy) OR, if you would prefer to wear your support on your sleeve (chest, really) then buy a fashionable AWG T-Shirt here (all proceeds go to AWG). https://shop.spreadshirt.com/PhilosophyKitsch/aesthetics+workgroup+cofc-A107377585

giving.cofc.edu Giving back to the College of Charleston

twitter.com 05/18/2018

CUNY GC Philosophy on Twitter

Congratulations to Javier Gómez-Lavin, CofC Philosophy class of 2012 and one of the founding members of AWG, on his successful PhD dissertation defense! Javi will start a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

twitter.com “Congratulations to Javier Gómez-Lavin PhD., who defended his dissertation (“The Fragmented Mind”) on Wednesday! Here he is pictured (center) with committee members (L-R) Shaun Nichols (Arizona), Jesse Prinz, Eric Mandelbaum, and John Greenwood.”

04/12/2018

Otro Sur - College of Charleston Latin American Ensemble

[04/21/17]   Whew. What a year. Nice job, AWGers and thanks to all faculty, students and community members who participated.

--“Poetry as Philosophy,” Gustavo Ortiz Millán (Duke/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
--“Leaning into the Red: Black Feminist Responses to 21st Century Postfeminism” Robin James (Philosophy, UNC, Charlotte).
--“Character-Narrators in Opera,” Nina Penner (Music, Duke)
--The 2017 Southeastern Student Conference in Aesthetics (10 visiting students, Julian Dodd, Sherri Irvin)
--“Resisting Body Oppression: An Aesthetic Approach, Sherri Irvin,” Sherri Irvin (Philosophy, Women and Gender Studies, Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma)
--“Authenticity in the Performance of Works of Western Classical Music,” Julian Dodd (Philosophy, University of Manchester)
--“Making Analog: The Prospects and Perils of a Touch-Oriented Media Studies,” David Parisi (Communication, CofC)
--“The Bomb-Ass Protest Song: A Field Manual,” Michael O’Brien (Ethnomusicology, CofC)
--“Sherlockian Shrines: The Place of Holmes in the 21st Century,” Tori Rego (English major, CofC)
--“How to End: On Silence and the Unsayable in Poetry” Raena Shirali (Poetry, CofC)
--“Race and Politics in American Comic Literature,” Larry Krasnoff (Philosophy and Jewish Studies, CofC)
--“‘Auschwitz? You'll be saying Wowschitz!’: Holocaust comedy in American popular culture,” David Slucki (Jewish Studies, CofC)
--"Nelson Goodman's Theory of Expression" Anthony Garruzzo (Philosophy major).
--"'Playing' Women: How Video Game Culture Exploits the Female Form" Shannon Haas (English/Film major).

04/14/2017

Otro Sur - College of Charleston Latin American Ensemble

03/31/2017

From Mari N. Crabtree:
What seamlessly combines Blaxploitation and kung-fu with lines like "At long last, our friendship bonded by the struggle against The Man has been brought to an end by kung-fu treachery!"?
Black Dynamite
Monday, April 3 at 6:30 pm
Septima Clark Auditorium

03/22/2017

Aesthetics Work Group at the College of Charleston

If you are interested in supporting the work that AWG does for students, you can make a tax deductible donation at the link below. (Note that it is currently tied to Philosophy's Foundation account--make sure you write "AWG" in comments to dedicate it to AWG activities.)

Currently, AWG is able to do what it does out of the goodness of presenters' hearts (they are usually not paid), and through ad hoc funding: we ask departments to contribute on a case by case basis; twice a year we can request Dean's discretionary funding; we applied for a grant from the American Society for Aesthetics for the conference, etc. We have no permanent, dedicated funding source.

Part of our goal is establishing a fundraising site is to start building a fund so that AWG can continue to help students to prepare to present their work as well as helping them take advantage of opportunities to travel and present their work elsewhere. Several of our students (Matt Rabon, Tori Rego, Anthony Garruzzo, Brooke Klosterman) have gone on to present work discussed at AWG at conferences across the country. Because the College has very limited funding for student travel (available only within a restricted timeframe), it is difficult for students to find support. Building an AWG-dedicated fund will open more opportunities to more students.

Our Story

The Aesthetics Work Group is an interdisciplinary group of professors and students who meet periodically to discuss theoretical works about and in the arts. The work is often (usually) works in progress by members of AWG and visitors from other institutions. It is led by Jonathan Neufeld in the philosophy department and is regularly attended by students and faculty from German, Jewish Studies, English, African American Studies, Music, Art, Art History, Political Science, and Psychology.

Here is a list of AWG events since 2011:

2019

• “Entitled: Artistic Legitimation and the Democratization of Taste,” Jennifer Lena (Sociology/Arts Administration, Teacher’s College and Columbia University)
• “Propaganda and the Moving Image,” Sheryl Tuttle Ross (Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse)
• East Asian Aesthetics Roundtable, Julianne Chung (Philosophy, University of Louisville); James Harold (Philosophy, Mt. Holyoke).
• "Genealogy of Sound in the Gallery" (tentative title), Phillip Greene (Music/Art History major, CofC)
• "Disability and Performance in German Theater" (tentative title), Caroline Weist (German, University of Richmond)
• “Give and Take in Iconography between Mexico and Spain, 1600-1800” (tentative), María Carillo Marquina (Art History major, CofC)
• “Surveillance, Privacy and Art (tentative),” Sarah Koellner (German, CofC)
Ethics, Judgment and Food Writing (tentative), Hanna Raskin (Award-winning food writer for the Post and Courier and other publications)

2018

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