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Graduate Conference: Engaging Art Philosophically

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University of Warwick
12 May 2017
Organised by the Warwick Philosophy and the Arts MA Student Committee

Call for extended abstracts – due 31st March

The University of Warwick’s postgraduate Philosophy and the Arts programme will be hosting a one-day graduate conference entitled “Engaging Art Philosophically” on 12 May 2017, where we will be joined by Professor Francis Wolff.

Francis Wolff is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. His research spans both Ancient Philosophy (in particular the works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), and, more recently, metaphysics, philosophy of language and aesthetics. His book Pourquoi la musique? was published by Fayard in 2015. In attempting to provide a thoroughgoing analysis of the question “What is music?” Wolff began by unpacking a definition he had heard as a child: “Music is the art of sounds.” From this, he turned to a further question implicated by the first: “What is a sound?” Following this second question through by defining sound as “the sign of an event”, Wolff suggested that music is the representation of an ideal world of pure events.

We invite postgraduate students to present a 20-minute talk on any subject which responds to the name of the event, “Engaging Art Philosophically”. Postgraduate students working in Philosophy and in arts-related fields such as Music, History of Art, Film and Television Studies, Literature and Modern and Ancient Languages are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract and to attend the conference. Prior study of philosophy is not essential, provided that the talk incorporates some philosophical content. The objective of the Philosophy and the Arts programme is to bring together students and academics from across the various philosophical and artistic disciplines, and we are hoping that the variety of the talks at our conference will reflect this. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Any strong talk on the philosophical study of works of art (aesthetics)
• Responses to the reception of the work of a particular philosopher/philosophy in a given artistic field
• The role of art/aesthetics in education, or the social dimension of art
• Art and politics/ethics
• Traditional perceptions versus modern perceptions of art
• Artistic practices and aesthetic theories that have been influential outside of the European context
• The distinction between philosophy and art theory and particular approaches to particular art forms
• New or neglected fields/genres of art or art theory, and how philosophy can engage with them
• Art and the modern world, or how art reacts to its own marginalization
• The limits of philosophical thought – can art elaborate where thought fails to recognize?
• Empirical research in relation to artistic creativity and artistic reception
Interested parties should submit an abstract of 800-1000 words (and further queries) to j.carswell@warwick.ac.uk by 31 March 2017. Please include your name, department, and e-mail address for further contact. You will be notified if you are successful by the 1st of May.