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Thomas Docherty

1 Thomas Docherty Aesthetic education and the demise of experience The philistine is intolerant.1 love naturally hates old age and keeps his distance from it 2 In 1913, Walter Benjamin was a central figure alongside his teacher, Gustav Wyneken, in the ‘German Youth Movement’, agitating for substantial reforms in the German educational system and, beyond that, in German society. He placed one of his first serious publications, an essay entitled ‘Experience’, in Der Anfang, the magazine of the movement, as a contribution to the debates. In this essay, he points

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)

The interest in aesthetics in philosophy, literary and cultural studies is growing rapidly. This book contains exemplary essays by key practitioners in these fields which demonstrate the importance of this area of enquiry. New aestheticism remains a troubled term and in current parlance it already comes loaded with the baggage of the 'philistine controversy' which first emerged in an exchange that originally that took place in the New Left Review during the mid-1990s. A serious aesthetic education is necessary for resisting the advance of 'philistinism'. Contemporary aesthetic production may be decentred and belonging to the past, but that is not a reason to underestimate what great works do that nothing else can. Despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics 'is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s'. The book focuses on the critical interrogation of the historical status of mimesis in the context of a gendered and racial politics of modernity. Throughout the history of literary and art criticism the focus has fallen on the creation or reception of works and texts. The book also identifies a fragmentary Romantic residue in contemporary aesthetics. The Alexandrian aesthetic underlies the experience of the 'allegorical'. 'Cultural poetics' makes clear the expansion of 'poetics' into a domain that is no longer strictly associated with 'poetry'. The book also presents an account of a Kantian aesthetic criticism, discussing Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and Critique of Judgement.

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Algernon Swinburne on ‘The Flogging-Block’
Yopie Prins

respect & that it may be said of the birch as of the school “Florebit’” (29 January 1892; Swinburne 2004b , 3.47). In contrast to Eton reformers who would do away with corporal punishment, she and Swinburne imagined the practice of birching – the very idea of it, as ‘may be said of the birch’ – as the highest form of aesthetic education. Thus she followed up in another private letter (written in

in Algernon Charles Swinburne
Howard Caygill

experience of sensible perfection of the beautiful. Nevertheless, Baumgarten introduced rational ascesis into modern aesthetics through the notion of the education of sensibility, a tendency advanced by Schiller in his Aesthetic Education. The modern subordination of the aesthetic to the ascetic in terms of a stage in the progression from sensibility to reason contrasts with the Alexandrian view of it as the site of a complex processional movement combining progressive and recessive tendencies. For the latter, the movement between the sensible and the ideal is not an

in The new aestheticism
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Richly illustrated with over 110 colour and black and white images, the book productively contests the supposedly exclusive feminine aspect of the style moderne (art deco). It explores how alternative, parallel and overlapping experiences and expressions of decorative modernism, nationalism, gender and sexuality in the heady years surrounding World War I converge in the protean figure of the deco dandy. As such, the book significantly departs from and corrects the assumptions and biases that have dominated scholarship on and popular perceptions of art deco. The book outlines how designed products and representations of and for the dandy both existed within and outwith normative expectations of gender and sexuality complicating men’s relationship to consumer culture more broadly and the moderne more specifically. Through a sustained focus on the figure of the dandy, the book offers a broader view of art deco by claiming a greater place for the male body and masculinity in this history than has been given to date. The mass appeal of the dandy in the 1920s was a way to redeploy an iconic, popular and well-known typology as a means to stimulate national industries, to engender a desire for all things made in France. Important, essential and productive moments in the history of the cultural life of Paris presented in the book are instructive of the changing role performed by consumerism, masculinity, design history and national identity.

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

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Alpesh Kantilal Patel

Transformations, ed. Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez and Shirley Anne Tate (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2015), 28. This is a revised version of chapter 21 of her book, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012). 12 My writing here on queer exhaustion is indebted to performance artist Xandra Ibarra with whom I have had many conversations; and to artist and scholar Tina T. Takemoto, who co-chaired a panel with me on this topic at the 2016 annual conference of the College Art Association (CAA). The panel was

in Productive failure
Friedrich Schiller and the liberty of play
Peter M. Boenisch

, Fichte and Kant to Hegel and beyond (see Beiser 2005; Bowie 2003; Hammermeister 2002).4 A key prerequisite of any position of ‘true’ liberty is a somewhat radical autonomy. While this has often been misunderstood as advocating a withdrawal from reality, it is much rather an insistence on a structural, relational position which finds its most astute articulation in another key notion of Schiller’s thought: play. He developed this quintessentially humanistic concept at the centre of his 1795 Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, where he famously concluded: ‘one

in Directing scenes and senses
David Myers

empire of the beautiful, and guarding the frontiers of truth, will be in proportion with the strictness with which he separates form from substance: for if he frees appearance from reality he must also do the converse. (Schiller, Letters upon the aesthetic education of man , online) Failure to accomplish Schiller's eighteenth-century goal – to separate equally appearance from reality and reality from appearance – results in what amounts to a virtual aesthetic: that which references art. These references to art then substitute for and justify their

in Games are not
Isabel Rousset

national idiom, albeit one based on the cultural pluralism of Heimat . 10 The socially conservative Hamburg museum director Alfred Lichtwark took a leading role in promoting more democratic forms of aesthetic education in German museums and schools. He eschewed over-intellectualised modes of aesthetic appreciation based on art-historical classification and encouraged more instinctual responses to art

in The architecture of social reform