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CA welcomes notices of interest to our readers. These include announcements and reviews of conferences, news items, forthcoming events, etc. Please send them using the submission guidelines.

Call for Papers
Values in the Environment – Relations and Conflicts
The Xth  IIAA International Summer Conference on Environmental Aesthetics
Lahti, Finland, 1-3 August 2013
Contact person: Kalle Puolakka,
kalle.puolakka@helsinki.fi
Deadline:  15 February 2013

The International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) will arrange the Xth Summer Conference on Environmental Aesthetics in Lahti, Finland, August 1-3, 2013.  The theme of the conference is “Values in the Environment – Relations and Conflicts.”

Environments are arenas for different kinds of values.  Environments are valued for their beauty and the aesthetic experiences they afford, but there are also moral and ecological values that need consideration, such as decision-making concerning particular areas both in human and in natural environments.

Different values can come into conflict with one another.  The ecologically best environment is not necessarily the most valuable environment from an aesthetic point of view.  How should the weight of the different values present in environments be assessed?  Is aesthetic value inferior in some ways to other sorts of values?  Or could aesthetic value perhaps serve as a reason for preserving parts of the environment?

There is also an interesting question about the possibility of aesthetically appreciating damaged environments.  How does the morally questionable background of an environment affect its aesthetic value?  Can a mine or a quarry, for example, be considered beautiful?

The value of natural environments and green spaces in urban environments has also been increasingly recognized as promoting human well-being.  How should these results be taken into account in urban planning?  One challenge faced by urban planning is the development of more environmentally sustainable cities.  Could aesthetics aid in achieving this goal?

We invite researchers from different fields of the humanities, social, and environmental sciences to discuss these questions. People interested in exploring them are asked to send an abstract of about 400 words to iiaa-info@helsinki.fi by the 15th of February 2013. The time allotted to each paper is 40 minutes (30 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion).

Conference fee: 100€ and 50€ graduate students

Contact person: Kalle Puolakka, kalle.puolakka@helsinki.fi


International Conference
Balance-Unbalance
May 31-June2, 2013
Noosa, Queensland, Australia
Deadline: 8 December 2013
http://www.balance-unbalance2013.org/index.html

Balance-Unbalance is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.  The previous events held in Argentina in 2010 and Montreal in 2011 provided a powerful platform for reflection, debate, and ideas leading towards Balance-Unbalance 2013, which will be hosted in the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.  The 2013 conference theme, Future Nature, Future Culture[s] is aimed to provoke discourse around what our elusive future might hold and how transdisciplinary thought and action could be used as tools for positive change.  It aims to challenge our expectations of Earth, provoke our understanding of nature, and inspire our actions for a sustainable future.

We want to inspire explorations of how artists can participate in this major challenge of our ecological crisis.  We need to use creative tools and transdisciplinary action to create perceptual, intellectual and pragmatic changes.  We want to discuss our proposals for the future from a diversity of cultural perspectives and socio-economic situations with open minds.

Balance-Unbalance seeks to bring artists together with scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, sociologists, engineers, management and policy experts with the intent of harnessing creative thinking to facilitate a paradigm shift for a sustainable future.  This future is not an indulgent utopia we desire but a matter of survival.


19th International Congress of Aesthetics
Aesthetics in Action
Krakow, Poland
21-27 July 2013
Deadline: 1 March 2013

The International Congress of Aesthetics is held every three years under the auspices of the International Association for Aesthetics and is a main event in aesthetics worldwide.  The 19th Jubilee Congress will take place exactly one hundred years after the first congress was held in Berlin in 1913.  The main theme of the Congress is “Aesthetics in Action,” and include the following  topics:

Aesthetics:  visions and revisions
Changes in Art:  past and present
Aesthetics in Practice:  aesthetic factors in
    religion, ethics, education, politics, law,
    economy, trade, fashion, sport,
    everyday life, etc.
Aesthetics and Nature:  evolutionism,
    ecology, posthumanism
Body Aesthetics:  soma and senses
Art and Science
Technologies and Bio-technologies
    in Aesthetics and Art
Architecture and Urban Space
Cultural and Intercultural Studies in Aesthetics
The Sphere of Transition: transections,
    transformations, transfigurations in
    culture, aesthetics, and the arts

The deadline for sending abstracts is March 1, 2013, and the deadline for registration is March 15, 2013.  An abstract related to one of the above topics should be prepared in English, include title and the author’s name, and be in a format that is ready to print.  Send abstracts using the abstract submission form, which is available on our website:  www.ica2013.pl .

The conference fee is 250 Euro (125 Euro for students and postgraduates). This fee includes conference materials, a book of abstracts, two receptions, one of them organized by the Mayor of Krakow, the concert at the opening ceremony, a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, three or four lunches, coffee breaks, and free Proceedings.

For more information visit us at www.ica2013.pl .

 

Call for Papers

Studia Phaenomenologica XIV (2014)
Place, Environment, Atmosphere
Editors:  Madalina Dianocu, Ion Copoeru
Deadline: 15 May 2013
Contact:  place@phenomenology.ro

Studia Phaenomenologica invites phenomenologists, theorists of architecture and scholars committed to the phenomenological body of thought to reflect on the legacy of phenomenology in interpreting issues of lived space, building space, and commitment to the environment at present.

The history of phenomenology testifies a constant and multifaceted interest in the exploration of lived space.  In addition to this, the phenomenological interpretations of dwelling, building, and producing spaces exerted a fertile influence on architectural thinking after the failure of the functionalist architecture and urban planning.  In the wake of phenomenological thinking of space, theorists of architecture rediscovered the geographic and historical genius loci which confers character to a place.

The phenomenological approach to qualitative, non-measurable and heterogeneous places may raise a new interest after the "spatial turn" of the human sciences. Sociologists and postmodern cultural geographers investigate lived spaces that are entangled with embodied subjects' social practices.  At the same time, the traditional phenomenology of space has to face multiple challenges at present, when places compete with non-places and the inhabited physical space with the virtual one.  The modern antinomy between private and public space and the traditional primacy of stability over mobility have become subject to critique due to the spread of nomadic life forms and new means of communication in a global and digital age. In addition, cultural and social practices of emplacement, as well as new types of dwelling(s) are still awaiting phenomenological descriptions and interpretation, which would call for taking into consideration economic and socio-political developments.

Under such conditions it is legitimate to raise the question of how the phenomenological disclosure of particular local spatial characters, lived places and atmospheres would be able to provide a viable alternative to the invasion of uniform and sterile non-places and landscapes in a globalized world, and make humans inhabit the virtual space without falling into escapism and alienation and enhance the livability of natural and built environments.

For more information, please go to:  http://studia-phaenomenologica.com/?page=submit

 

Call for Papers

International Summer School
Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind
Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg
Delmenhorst, Germany
26-30 August 2013

Deadline:  15 December 2012
Contact:  Alfonsina Scarinzi, 
alfonsinascarinzi@googlemail.com

We are pleased to invite participants to the International Summer School “Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind.”  The Summer School provides a unique opportunity for Masters students, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and senior academic researchers to take part in a lively exchange of ideas within an international and interdisciplinary community of experts in aesthetics and the embodied mind thesis.  The language of the Summer School is English.  Its aim is to bring together and integrate the multiple and complementary ways of investigating, analyzing and discussing the refutation of the Cartesian mind-body dichotomy and its consequences for aesthetics beyond art theory.

The embodied mind thesis that is traced back to the work, The Embodied Mind, by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch, which denies a separation of mind and body and sees meaning, reason and imagination as embodied and ties reason to emotion.  In other words, experience and cognition are bodily mediated and depend on the sensori-motor capacities of individuals embedded in a biological, psychological and cultural context who interact with the environment in a relation of co-determination.

Employing the embodied mind thesis in his work, The Meaning of the Body, philosopher Mark Johnson argues that aesthetics is not just art theory.  Rather, it should be considered to be the study of everything that goes into the human capacity to make and experience the bodily pre-linguistic cognitive, emotional and sensory-perceptual conditions of meaning constitution having its origins in the organic activities of living creatures and in their organism-environment transactions. 

The School will present and discuss cutting-edge research that highlights the link of the following research fields to the embodied mind thesis in aesthetics:

pragmatist aesthetics
neuroaesthetics
phenomenological aesthetics
empirical study of literary aesthetics
experimental aesthetics
psychology of aesthetics

analytical aesthetics
computational aesthetics
robotics and aesthetics
HCI and aesthetics
Embodied emotions and aesthetics

Group work sessions will give the participants the opportunity to present their works and to discuss them. 

Prospective participants are invited to send their abstract (max. 300 words), a short CV indicating their publications (where possible), main achievements, their affiliation and a motivation letter to the following address: aestheticsandtheembodiedmind1[at]gmail.com Applicants will be chosen based on their academic qualification, motivation and scientific interest.

For more information about the conference, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/aestheticsandtheembodiedmind/summer-school-aesthetics-and-the-embodied-mind.


Call for Papers

International Conference
Aesthetics Towards Everyday Life:  East and West
Northeast Normal University (Changchun, P.R. China)
September 2-3, 2012
Contact:  Liu Yuedi
Tel: 86-10-85195516(O), 13681400332 (cell phone)
Email: liuyuediliuyuedi@yahoo.com.cn

The international conference, “Aesthetics Towards Everyday Life: East and West,” will take place on September 2-3, 2012 under the sponsorship of the Northeast Normal University college of arts in P.R. China.  We invite scholars to present papers for this conference to advance dialogue between east and west.  Papers should focus on some aspect of the theme of the conference, which is to explore issues concerning aesthetics, art and culture towards everyday life.

Abstracts should be submitted by July 30, 2012.  A formal letter of invitation will be sent based on the abstract. Abstracts should be about 300 words prepared in Microsoft Word or compatible format. Please use the following format for your paper abstract:  Paper Title; Name and professional title; Affiliation; E-mail Address; Abstract of 300 words; Keywords, 3-5.

Submission of complete papers is strongly encouraged. Selected papers will be considered for publication after the conference.  Manuscripts for the publication should be 6000 to 7000 words. Final edited papers for the book publication will be due by Feb. 1, 2013.

Possible topics include:

-The relation between aesthetics and everyday life
-The boundary of art and life
-Environmental aesthetics and everyday life aesthetics
-Public art and everyday life aesthetics
-Urban aesthetics and everyday life aesthetics
-New media art and everyday life aesthetics
-Eastern wisdom for everyday life aesthetics
-Chinese history of everyday life aesthetics

Contact:
Liu Yuedi
Associate Professor in Institute of Philosophy at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Secretary-General of Chinese Society for Aesthetics, P.R. China
Tel: 86-10-85195516(O), 13681400332 (cell phone)
Email: liuyuediliuyuedi@yahoo.com.cn


Conference

Aesthetics of Popular Culture
29 November- 1 December, 2012
Academy of Fine Arts and Design
Bratislava, Slovakia
Deadline:  July 31, 2012
Contact:  Jozef Kovalcik kovalcik@vsvu.sk  
& Max Ryynänen max.ryynanen@aalto.fi

We encourage scholars with an interest in philosophy of art and popular culture to send a maximum of 250 word abstract for reviewing no later than September 10, 2012.  All schools of philosophy and aesthetic theory (pragmatism, hermeneutics, semiotics, phenomenology, analytic aesthetics, cultural studies, etc.) are accepted.  The conference language is English.

As keynote speakers we are glad to have two distinguished scholars of contemporary aesthetics, Ted Cohen (University of Chicago) and Jos de Mul (Erasmus University Rotterdam).  The site will be the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia (www.vsvu.sk ), and the conference is organized in cooperation with Aalto University, Finland (www.aalto.fi ).

List of possible topics (which should not be seen as restrictive, but more as suggestions):

– avant-garde popular culture
– art from the point of view of popular culture studies
– aesthetic properties and concepts of popular culture
– popular culture, aesthetic education and art schools
– official popular culture (nazism, socialism, etc.)
– popular culture in post-communist countries
– the relation of aesthetics and cultural studies
– popular culture as a shared outsider (Americanization)
– European aesthetics of popular culture
– kitsch, trash, camp

Please send your abstracts to: popularculture@vsvu.sk
For any further questions, do not hesitate to contact the organizers:
Mr. Jozef Kovalcik (kovalcik@vsvu.sk ) & Mr. Max Ryynänen (max.ryynanen@aalto.fi )
Conference website (which will be updated): www.vsvu.sk/popularculture


Call for Nominations

Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics
Deadline:  August 1, 2012
Contact:  Dabney Townsend 
Dabney.Townsend@armstrong.edu

In memory of Selma Jeanne Cohen, the American Society for Aesthetics established in 2008 a $1000 biennial prize in dance aesthetics, dance theory, or the history of dance.  The next prize will be for a critical article or book of distinction published in English in the biennium from July 2010 to June 2012.

The prize winner will be selected by a committee of three members appointed by the President of the ASA and will be notified by September 2012.  The award will be announced publicly during the national meeting of the ASA on October 24-27, 2012, in St. Louis, MO.  The winner will be encouraged but not required to attend the meeting.  The prize may not be awarded if, in the opinion of the judges, no nomination of sufficient merit and appropriateness is received.

The ASA selection committee welcomes published work of distinction that contributes to dance aesthetics, dance theory, or the history of dance.  Publication is understood to mean publication in venues with peer review recognized by the scholarly community and that are permanently available to the interested scholarly community of students and researchers.  Nominations will be judged based on significance of the topic or issue, quality of the research, quality of the writing, originality, and contribution to the dance literature.

Submissions should be directed to Dabney Townsend, ASA Secretary/Treasurer, at P. O. Box 915, Pooler, GA 31322 or Dabney.Townsend@armstrong.edu.  The nominated article or book must be submitted in full.  Electronic submissions of articles are preferable, if available, in PDF format replicating the original publication.  The deadline for receipt of nominations is August 1, 2012.

 

Conference

The 2012 Summer Institute in American Philosophy
University of Oregon
July 16-21, 2012

CONFERENCE INFORMATION

This year's summer institute will feature a number of plenary seminars including:  ‘(Re)Reading Dewey’s Unmodern Philosophy and Modern Philosophy’ (Larry Hickman, Tom Alexander, Phillip Deen), ‘(Re)Reading Dewey & Addams’ (Marilyn Fischer, Amrita Banerjee), ‘Critical Pragmatism’ (Leonard Harris, Jacoby Carter, Lee McBride), and Crossing Disciplines: Pragmatism in Philosophy & Political Science (Christopher Ansell, Gerry Berk, and others TBA). We are excited to announce that our featured keynote speaker will be Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Professor Emerita at Purdue University.  Professor Seigfried’s two keynote lectures will address the idea of the social self in the work of Jane Addams.  Further information, including a conference registration form, is available at:  pages.uoregon.edu/koopman/siap/siap_2012.html.  This website will continue to be updated in coming weeks.


Call for Papers

International Conference
Aesthetics and Art: Tradition and Presence
Xu Zhou, Jiangsu Province
19-21 May 2012


The conference will be conducted under the rubrics of:

1. revisiting aesthetics and artistic tradition in contemporary context

2. Chinese aesthetics and art toward contemporary world

3. the significance of aesthetics in promoting the development of art and culture

We appreciate research in these areas and strongly welcome your submission and participation this May. We especially encourage papers which are concentrated on specific case studies. Papers or proposals should include a title, an abstract in 300 words and a short bio and be emailed to Dr. Sun Yanqiu at sunyanqiu_1981@163.com  and Dr. Gao Yanping at auragao@hotmail.com  before April 30, 2012.


Call for Papers

International Conference
Artification: Ideas and Practices
15-17 August 2012
Aalto University School of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland
Deadline:  31 January 2012
Contact: Matti Tainio,
matti.tainio@aalto.fi

The neologism ‘artification’ refers to situations and processes in which something that is not regarded as art in the traditional sense of the word is changed into something art-like, art-related, or into something that takes influences from the arts.  Often this means mixing art with non-art and creating new kinds of hybrids.  In recent years the phenomenon has been widely discussed, using various terminologies, in many contexts such as philosophical art theory and sociology of art, as well as in art-and-business and art-and-health care discourses.  Differing ideas on why artification happens, whether it means compromising the autonomy of art, and how does it affect the conceptual, institutional and practical levels of art have been presented.

The research project Artification and Its Impact on Art will arrange a three-day conference on the theme of artification. (On the project please see www.artification.fi.)  There will be no conference fee.  All other expenses, travel costs, accommodation and meals, must be paid by the participants.

We would like to invite scholars and artists interested in the theme to share their visions on these and related questions.  Both traditional academic papers as well as more experimental proposals are welcome.  There will only be one common program with no parallel sessions so that all participants are able to see and comment on each presentation.  Invited speakers are professors Aleš Erjavec, Yuriko Saito, and Wolfgang Welsch.  The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 January 2012.  Decisions will be made by the end of February 2012, and further information about practical issues such as accommodation and meals will be sent to the accepted participants after that.  Maximum length for abstracts is 300 words.  Please send your abstract to: conference2012@artification.fi

Please note that a special issue of the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics  on artification www.contempaesthetics.org, edited by Ossi Naukkarinen and Yuriko Saito, will be published in the early spring 2012!


Call for Papers

Special Issue of Art and Philosophy (Sztuka i Filozofia)
on Art, Judgment and Criticism
Submission deadline: December 31, 2012
Contact: Ewa Bogusz-Boltuc, ebogu01s@uis.edu

Art and Philosophy (Sztuka i Filozofia), the biannual academic journal, offers a forum for discussion about whether at least a moderate version of objectivism of critical judgment is well-founded or is judgment just limited to one’s own personal perspective.  Papers are invited on all related aspects of art, judgment, and criticism.  This issue of Art and Philosophy is scheduled to be published just before the Nineteenth International Congress of Aesthetics in Krakow in 2013.

Various concerns and disagreements among philosophers and art critics about the correctness of artistic judgment, the extreme pluralism of the contemporary art world, and the nature of artistic properties (largely response-dependent and seen as culturally embedded), prompt a broad range of philosophical questions. Philosophical interest in art, judgment, and criticism has often highlighted the importance of objectivity of artistic judgment and the role of criticism that implements evaluation. In addition, some aspects of the artworld indicate the hierarchical nature of art.  As Philippe de Montebello confessed, “I believe in hierarchies. I believe in good, better, best, and I believe the museum’s role is precisely to help people make those distinctions.” However, equally often, the idea of objective art judgment has been challenged and attempts have been made to replace it by various subjective approaches.

Abstracts should be 200-300 words and the length of your paper should not exceed 6000 words.  All submitted articles must be formatted for blind review.  Deadline for submission is December 31, 2012.  Please send your submissions to the editor of this issue, Ewa Bogusz-Boltuc, at ebogu01s@uis.edu.


Call for Papers

International Conference
“Constructive Postmodernism and Ecoaesthetics”
13-14 June 2012
Shandong University, Jinan, P.R. China
Deadline:  30 March 2012
Contact:  Cheng Xiangzhan at
sducxz@163.com,  chengxzh@sdu.edu.cn

It has long been recognized, especially since the creation of nuclear weapons, that unless we human beings learn how to live in harmony with each other, we are likely to become extinct. But in the 1970s, we started becoming aware that the extermination of human civilization could also be brought about by “ecocide” – by, in effect, committing suicide by making the planet ecologically unfit for ourselves and other living forms on the Earth. The overall cause of the threat of extinction is modernity, characterized by anthropocentricism and possessive individualism, which has not only promoted aggressive competition among individuals and nations rather than promoting harmony with nature and other human beings, but also promoted unending exploitation of nature.

Topics suggested are constructive postmodernism and ecological awareness; ecological postmodernism and traditional Chinese philosophies; ecoaesthetics and ecological postmodernism; ecoaesthetics and somaesthetics; process philosophy and eco-studies; and the artistry of ecoliterature and the future of ecocriticism.

The conference paper abstract should be submitted by March 30, 2012. A formal letter of invitation will be sent based on the abstract. Abstracts should be about 300 words prepared in Microsoft Word or compatible format. Submission of complete papers is strongly encouraged. Selected papers will be considered for publication after the conference. Please use the following format for your paper abstract:

Paper Title; Name and professional title; Affiliation; E-mail Address; Abstract of 300 words; Keywords, 3-5.

Contact: Cheng Xiangzhan                                             Professor and deputy director of Shany Research Center for Literary and Aesthetics, P.R. China   sducxz@163.comchengxzh@sdu.e                                      86-531-88364252(O), 86-531-88375306(H), 1385 3185 913(C)


Announcement

Dak'Art 2012
The 10th Biennale of African Contemporary Art

11 May to 10 June, 2012
Dakar, Senegal
www.biennaledakar.org

This International Exhibition is open to African artists, including African Diaspora artists, as well.  Application documents must reach the General Secretariat of the Biennale as soon as possible and no later than the 20th of December 2011. Candidates should read carefully the explanation for sending their portfolio and download the application form at:  http://biennaledakar.org/2010/spip.php?article127&lang=en:


Call for Papers

Newsletter on Ecoaesthetics and Ecocriticism
Contact:
 sducxz@163.com

This monthly newsletter aims to build up a platform for ecological studies in theory and literature both in China and abroad. Such a platform will help release the latest trends and academic information on ecocivilization, ecoaesthetics, environmental aesthetics, ecocriticism, ecoliterature, ecoeducation and ecocivility. The working language of the newsletter is Chinese and it will be published only in Chinese.  If the submission is in English, we will translate it into Chinese.  The length of the paper should be around 1,500 words.

Suggested topics are:  histories of ecophilosophy; ecoaesthetics and ecocriticism; new trends of ecocriticism; environmental aesthetics; environmental justice and ecoliterature; ecoeducation and ecocivility; and report about conference relevant to ecological issues.

Editors-in-chief: Zeng Fanren, Lu Shuyuan                           Executive Editor: Cheng Xiangzhan

For submissions and further information, please contact the Executive Editor at  sducxz@163.com


Call for Papers

Marx and the Aesthetic
University of Amsterdam
May 10-13th, 2012

The aim of this conference is twofold: on the one hand, to analyze the role of the aesthetic in the writings of Marx and, on the other, to examine works of art and literature which are based on, or have been directly inspired by, Marx’s writings. At the core of this conference, then, is an attempt to think the immanent relation between the aesthetic and emancipatory conceptions of politics.  Please send your abstract (max. 500 words including information about institutional affiliation and field of scholarship) before January 31st to:  mail@marxandtheaesthetic.org


Call for Papers

Edited Volume, Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind

In his work, The Meaning of the Body, philosopher Mark Johnson argues that aesthetics is not just art theory. Rather, it should be considered to be the study of everything that goes into the human capacity to make and experience the bodily pre-linguistic cognitive, emotional and sensory-perceptual conditions of meaning constitution having its origins in the organic activities of living creatures and in their organism-environment transactions.  With the purpose of evaluating, exploring and putting into focus the impact of the embodied mind thesis on aesthetics as well as its breadth and relevance for the field, we are creating an edited volume with the title, Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind.

We seek contributions which are firmly based on the embodied mind thesis and use it as a framework for investigating the role of aesthetics in the study of how humans make and experience meaning. Papers from literary aesthetics, pragmatist aesthetics, evolutionary aesthetics, neuroaesthetics, empirical aesthetics, computational aesthetics, psychology of aesthetics are welcome.

Both theoretical and empirical contributions will be taken into consideration.  The language of the proposed publication is English. Prospective contributors are invited to send their initial proposals (500 word abstract) to the following email address:  alfonsinascarinzi@googlemail.com.

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 March 2012
Notification of acceptance: 16 May 2012
Contact:  Dr. phil. Alfonsina Scarinzi
alfonsinascarinzi@googlemail.com


Report on Conference

Unsettled Boundaries:
Philosophy, Art, and Ethics East/West
12-14 October 2011
Marquette University

From October 12 to 14, 2011, Marquette University was host to seven philosophers and an art historian from China, and to eight western philosophers and an art historian all from the United States but Stephen Davies, who lives in New Zealand. The occasion was a conference organized by Curtis L. Carter entitled "Unsettled Boundaries: Philosophy, Art, and Ethics East/West."  The Chinese art historian was Wang Chunchen, professor and curator at the Chinese Central Academy of Art in Beijing and winner of the latest Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Criticism.  His American counterpart was Ivan Gaskell, Harvard university and, as of 2012, the Bard Graduate Center, who was, in the fall of 2011, the Beinecke Fellow at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.  

Of the fifteen papers, seven were on the art of Eastern cultures, six on China and one on Bali. Stephen Davies spoke on Bali and how craftily it managed its culture so as to withstand pollution by other cultures.  Cheng Xiangzhan from Shangdong University pointed to the construction of everyday aesthetics as an important development in Chinese aesthetics, and Liu Chengji, from Beijing Normal University, spoke of the image of the body in classical Chinese aesthetics.  Corporality was a theme in the paper of Eva Man from Hong Kong Baptist University on the discourses of Chinese ink painting.

Wang Chunchen spoke of the inevitable political dimension of contemporary Chinese art and of an ethical paradox in which the art is caught.  Ivan Gaskell outlined ways in which “Chinese-ness” is staged in the contemporary art of China, and Mary Wiseman from CUNY pointed to ways in which particular material things and events are the subject of the art of independent Chinese artists. 

The unsettled boundaries are not only within Chinese art and aesthetics, however, and four papers made comparisons between eastern and western philosophy of, respectively, art, aesthetics, medieval sourcebooks, and art of pure gesture.  Noel Carroll, CUNY Graduate Center, compared Anglophone and Leninist-Marxist philosophies of art, and Liu Yuedi from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences compared the ethics and aesthetics of Wittgenstein, Dewey, and Confucius. Gao Jianping, also from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, contrasted Villard de Honnecourt's Constructions: the Wheel of Fortune with the Chinese Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting and, going outside of China, Garry Hagberg from Bard College read jazz improvisation and Japanese brush painting on parchment through each other.

The final four papers were more nearly general.  Jason Wurth from Seattle University spoke on the pre-philosophical assumptions of comparative thinking, and Peng Feng of Peking University had as his theme issues of universality and identity, generalizing from the question of where in “Chinese-ness” lies in the new art from China.  John Lysaker of Emory University discussed the emphatic, not-to-be-ignored claims of much art.  Richard Shusterman, Florida Atlantic University, discussed the convergence of ethics and aesthetics.

The communication among the participants makes good the claim that philosophers from different parts of the increasingly global world can learn from each other.

 Mary Wiseman