Reading group

Aesthetic Cultures

28. 2. 21. 2. / 21. 3. /28. 3. / 18. 4. / 25. 4. / 23. 5. / 30. 5. 2023
room D2TYM7 or ZOOM
led by Jakub Bulvas Stejskal

We are organising the reading group for colleagues and PHD students of the Departent of Art History. Join us every other Tuesday at 13:00. Life or online.


Art historians and other scholars of art increasingly aim to frame their disciplines on a global scale. However, the possibility of a global art history raises theoretical questions about the understanding and appreciation of art works and aesthetic phenomena across cultural boundaries. How well can we aesthetically appreciate artefacts from cultures remote from our own? What ethical problems might arise from such cross-cultural appreciation? And how do these issues impinge on global art historical practices? Tackling these questions, we will focus on what an aesthetic culture is, as well as on forms of aesthetic engagement with respect to artistic traditions and artefacts that go beyond the established practices of European art. 



I. What Is an Aesthetic Culture?

28. 2. Dominic McIver Lopes, “Cultures and Values”, in Geographies of Taste (OUP, forthcoming).

21. 3. Karl G. Heider, The Dugum Dani: A Papuan Culture in the Highlands of West New Guinea (New York: Wenner-Gren, 1970), 180-190.

(Recommended reading: Karina Arifin and Philippe Delanghe, Rock Art in West Papua [Paris: Unesco, 2004], 123-136, 275-282.)  


II. Cross-Cultural Appreciation

28. 3.  Gregory Currie, “Art and the Anthropologists”, in Aesthetic Science: Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience, ed. Arthur Shimamura and Stephen Palmer (OUP, 2012), 107-128. 

18. 4. Bence Nanay, “Aesthetic Injustice”, in Geographies of Taste (OUP, forthcoming).

25. 4. Elizabeth Burns Coleman, “Cross-Cultural Aesthetics and Etiquette”, in Social Aesthetics and Moral Judgment: Pleasure, Reflection and Accountability, ed. Jennifer A. McMahon (New York: Routledge, 2018), 180-195. 


III. Global Art and Aesthetics 

23. 5. Whitney Davis, “Comment: World without Art”, Art History 33 (2010): 711-716.

30. 5. Stanley Abe, “Sculpture: A Comparative History”, in Comparativism in Art History, ed. Jaś Elsner (London: Routledge, 2017), 94-108.