Dr. Cynthia Freeland, University of Houston

Seminar in Philosophy of Art

Spring 2003

 

Negative Aesthetics

 

The seminar will deal with a variety of aesthetic phenomena involving negative or painful experiences. We will read philosophical texts from various time periods that have attempted to explain the reasons for our interest in such phenomena. Topics will include tragedy (and Aristotleís Poetics), the sublime (as treated by Burke and Kant), horror (as discussed by Noel Carroll and Cynthia Freeland), and disgust (treated by Carolyn Korsmeyer in relation to recent visual and performance art). Students will be expected to do an oral report and research paper focusing on one of these phenomena.

 

Proposed Schedule

 

Jan 16Introduction; Ancient Greek tragedy

Jan 23Poetics/Tragedy/Plot and Character; Readings: Aristotle, Freeland

Jan 30Poetics/Tragedy/Pity and Fear; Readings: Nehamas

Feb 6†† Poetics/Tragedy/Katharsis Reading:Lear, Curran

 

††††††††††† Bibliography on the Poetics:

http://www.uh.edu/~cfreelan/courses/aesthetics/PoeticsReadings.htm

 

Feb 13The Sublime: Burke

Feb 20The Sublime: Kant

Feb 27The Sublime: Kant

Bibliography on the Sublime:

http://www.uh.edu/~cfreelan/courses/aesthetics/SublimeBibliography.htm

 

Mar 6 SPRING BREAK/NO CLASS

Mar 13 No Class; Prof. Freeland out of town

 

Bibliography on Horror:

http://www.uh.edu/~cfreelan/courses/aesthetics/SublimeBibliography.htm

Mar. 20 Horror/Carroll/Paradox of fiction (Walton)

Mar 27Horror/Carroll

April 3Horror/Solomon

April 10Horror/Freeland/Others

 

April 17Disgust/Korsmeyer

April 24Disgust/Korsmeyer; Devereaux, The Ugly

May 1 (if agreeable as make-up day) Disgust/Conclusions