The LAF aims to provide a lively environment for those already working in aesthetics and philosophy of art and to foster new interest. LAF events are open to all, both inside and outside the University of London. Audiences tend to be multi-disciplinary, and talks are followed by extended discussion where the philosophical topics raised by the talks are explored in depth from a variety of perspectives.

This year we had a full schedule of in-person seminars, and attendance per talk was also higher this year than last (averaging 15-20 per session). The LAF has 1975 followers on Twitter, and the website received 3931 unique visits in the past year. (We have decided to drop Facebook.) We continue to post podcasts of our talks on iTunes. Our podcasts enable more people to engage with the Forum, including listeners from outside the UK, and have a substantial number of monthly downloads.

One of the LAF’s aims is to benefit students who are working in aesthetics or related areas, providing opportunities for postgraduate researchers to engage with cutting-edge work and meet other academics working in the area. Students at the University of London also play a central role in organising the Forum’s activities, and in the 2022-23 year, this has included help on various organizational tasks, as well as participating actively in discussions.

Thanks to the funding from the BSA, we’ve been able to put on a good programme of seminars this year. We have aimed for a diverse programme, including talks by early career philosophers as well as by those more established in the field. The LAF also aims for gender diversity in inviting speakers, and this year we achieved near-parity, with 7 men and 6 women. (The original schedule included an additional woman who had to drop out late.) We were particularly delighted to welcome back Andrew Huddleston. Our speakers were as follows:

Programme 2022-23

John Kulvicki (Dartmouth): “Understanding Broken Colours”
Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Diarmuid Costello (Warwick): “Aesthetic Judgement After de Duve: Or, What, Exactly, did Kant ‘Get Right’?”
Wednesday, 02 November 2022

Genoveva Martí (Barcelona): “Testing the Antinomy of Taste”
Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Chiara Brozzo (Barcelona): “On the Proper Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature in Design”
Wednesday, 07 December 2022

Daisy Dixon (Cardiff): “On Immoral Artists”
Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Françoise Lavocat (Sorbonne Nouvelle): “Paradoxes of Character”
Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Sonia Sedivy (Toronto): “Aesthetic Properties: Heterogenous, Historical and Hard to Explain”
Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Andrew Huddleston (Warwick): “Abstracting the Divine: The Rothko Chapel”
Friday, 10 March 2023

Justin D’Ambrosio (St Andrews): “Imagining What Things are Like and the Paradox of Fiction”
Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Shaun Nichols (Cornell): “Aesthetic Dumbfounding”
Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Paloma Atencia-Linares (UNED): “How to Understand Fiction in Photography”
Wednesday, 10 May 2023

David Sosa (UT Austin): “The Passion of the Critique”
Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Christopher Peacocke (Columbia): “The Content of Music: Its Nature and Significance”
Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Going forward:

Stacie Friend and Tim Stoll are both leaving Birkbeck, Stacie for the University of Edinburgh and Tim for Warwick University, so they are stepping down from their roles as organizers of the LAF. Three students will take over as the main organisers, with oversight from Alex Grzankowski (Birkbeck/Institute of Philosophy). These are Sailee Khurjekar (Birkbeck), Alice Harberd (UCL) and Oscar Hillyer (Birkbeck).

The LAF would like to thank the British Society of Aesthetics for their continued support.

–Stacie Friend

On behalf of the LAF’s 2022-23 organising group: Stacie Friend (Birkbeck), Alex Grzankowski (Birkbeck), Tim Stoll (Birkbeck), Sarah Kiernan (PhD, Birkbeck), Taylor Enoch (PhD Student, UCL)