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Acinemas: Aesthetics and Film in the Philosophy of Jean-François Lyotard

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University of Dundee
7-8 May 2014

This international conference brings together academics from the UK, France, Belgium, Korea, Australia
and the US to discuss Jean-François Lyotard’s aesthetics and philosophy of film. It responds to the recent
publication in bilingual versions of Lyotard’s works on art and aesthetics by Leuven University, the recent
translation of his most important philosophical work Discourse, Figure (University of Minnesota Press,
2011), and the first-time translation of two of his essays on philosophy and film for this special event.
Speakers will address the original contribution made by Lyotard to aesthetics, to the philosophy of art,
and to the philosophy of film.

Lyotard’s work as an aesthetician was focused on doing justice to the sensual qualities of works of art, in
resistance to what he saw as the typical reduction of artworks to intellectual systems. One of the key
debates in Lyotard’s early work was with Jacques Lacan, whom he believed devalued the sensory and the
work of art. Significantly, Lacan has been and remains the most significant theoretical reference in
philosophy of film. What is at stake in this project, then, is the question of how a philosophical aesthetics
can adequately understand film as an art. Arguably, much philosophical and theoretical engagement with
film continues to see it as a neutral medium for the expression of ideas, which need to be interpreted. In
contrast, Lyotard’s aesthetics of film proposes a reflection on how film works in terms of the economy of
the images and sounds of which it is composed. A critical engagement with his work thus promises a new
angle of approach to the philosophy of film, which would understand it in terms of a sensorial aesthetics.

This conference has been made possible by funding from the Scots Philosophical Association.


Wednesday 7 May
Dalhousie Building, Room 2F11

10:45 Refreshments
11:15 Welcome
11:30 Dr. Peter W. Milne (Assistant Professor in French Aesthetics, Seoul National University)
12:30 Break
12:45 Professor Mathew Pateman (Professor of Performance and Screen Studies, Kingston University)
1:45 Lunch
3:00 Dr. Vlad Ionescu (St Lucas School of Architecture)
4:00 Refreshments
4:30 KEYNOTE: Jean-Michel Durafour (Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3 and the École Normale
5:30 Break
5:45 Film Screening
6:45 Drinks (Venue TBA)
7:45 Conference Dinner (Venue TBA)

Thursday 8 May
Dalhousie Building, Room 2G12

11:00 Refreshments
11:30 Dr. Keith Crome (Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University)
12:30 Break
12:45 Ms. Julie Gaillard (Emory University)
1:45 Lunch
3:00 Dr. Ashley Woodward (University of Dundee) and Graham Jones (Monash University)
4:00 Refreshments
4:30 Kiff Bamford (Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art and Graphic Design, Leeds Metropolitan
5:00 Closing comments
5:30 Drinks (Venue TBA)

Further information, including paper titles, abstracts, and information on travel and accommodation, is
available on the conference website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/humanities/events/lyotard/

Attendance is free. Queries should be emailed to Ashley Woodward: a.z.woodward@dundee.ac.uk