Aesthetics is back! For some time, the aesthetic turn has been a widespread topic of discussion – Tübingen included. Since summer 2019, the newly established Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1391 Different Aesthetics has been putting forward new views on an ‘aesthetics before aesthetics’, meaning before the classic philosophical aesthetics of the 18th century. As our CRC claims, aesthetics is much older than Baumgarten’s Aesthetica (1750) and idealistic art theory (Kant, Schiller, Hegel). For as early as the pre-modern age, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, there is an intense and manifold reflection on forms and functions of art. Rather than finding expression solely in theoretical treatises, this reflection most prominently manifests itself in literary texts, images, objects and aesthetic acts themselves. Long before 1800, fundamental questions were raised which are also relevant for the current debates on art in public space: What is art? Where does it begin and what purpose does it serve? How do texts, images, and also objects or spaces of everyday life become ‘figures of aesthetic reflection’, i.e. media in which forms and functions of art are reflected? What do we mean when we talk about aesthetics or the aesthetical? How can the multitude of historical phenomena be described and put into a logical order? In pursuing these questions, the CRC opts for a historically broad and interdisciplinary approach. In total, 16 disciplines are involved (grouped into 17 individual research projects), ranging from archaeology to art history, musicology, classical philology, modern languages, history and theology.
The aim of the lecture series is to make the ‘different aesthetics’ of the pre-modern period known to a wider public. It will show that current debates on aesthetics, albeit often unconsciously, go beyond classical aesthetics and draw on the manifold aesthetic practices, manifestations and concepts of the pre-modern age. A panel discussion at the end of the lecture series with representatives of the art and literary scene will further deliberate the contemporary relevance of pre-modern aesthetics.
Date: Summer 2021, Tuesday 5–6 p.m.
Location: Online broadcast via TIMMS
Organization: Prof. Dr. Jörg Robert