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Prospectus

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Tutorial Latin: Ancient Aesthetic Theory

Course
2012-2013

Admission requirements

This course is open to MA and research MA students in Classics and Ancient Civilizations (specialization Classics).

Description

Everybody would agree that there is a great difference between the effect of seeing an ice cream and the effect of viewing a painting: unlike an ice cream (which we will certainly desire to eat) a piece of art may cause an “aesthetic” experience. Similarly, we would agree that there is a difference between a person who is affected by a cultic object, and a person, who is sitting in a church with a Baedeker in her or his hand and looking at a religious object as if it simply was an artistic masterpiece.

But how can we describe the aesthetic experience which we make when we view a piece of art? And what precisely is the difference between a sensual experience and the various forms of an ‘aesthetic’ experience – as e.g. the experience of art? Is there a difference between the aesthetic experience as it is made within a religious context and the experience which is provoked by an artistic accomplishment, e.g. by a statue of Praxiteles? And to what respect does the recipient him- or herself have an influence on the object? Obviously there are not only several ways of approaching an object. The object, too, can steadily be re-defined.

Since antiquity the quality of an aesthetic experience and the boundaries between non-aesthetic (sensual) and aesthetic experiences of art have consistently been questioned and discussed – not only in theoretical treatises, but also in literature and art itself.

In the tutorial we will discuss ancient (such as Plato, Aristotle, Ps.-Longinus, etc.) and modern theoretical approaches as well as the various reflections and implications as they are inherent within Hellenistic and Roman poetry (e.g. Herondas, Poseidippos; Plautus, Seneca, Martial).

Course objectives

  • Advanced research skills: independent formulation of a complex research question, collecting materials (both primary texts and results of earlier research). Analyzing results, constructing arguments, formulating conclusions;

  • Critical assessment of secondary literature;

  • Oral presentation: presenting clearly and making effective use of hand-outs, illustrations and/or multi-media techniques;

  • In case of 10 EC, a written presentation: setting out research results effectively, clearly and in a well-structured manner.

Timetable

See timetables Classics and Ancient Civilizations

Mode of instruction

Tutorial and independent research

Assessment method

When taken for 5 EC:

  • Preparation and active participation in class (40%);

  • Presentation (60%).

When taken for 10 EC:

  • Preparation and active participation in class (40%);

  • Presentation (30%);

  • Paper (8-10 pp, 30%).

Blackboard

In this course we make use of Blackboard.

Reading list

Secondary literature will be made available through the University Library.

Some secondary literature:

  • Dewey, John, “Art as Experience” (1934), in: J.Dewey, The Later Works, 1925–1953. vol. 10. ed. J. Boydston. (Carbondale 1989)

  • Danto, Arthur, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace. A philosophy of Art. (Cambridge/ Mass 1981)

  • Jauß, Hans Robert, Ästhetische Erfahrung und literarische Hermeneutik (Frankfurt a.M. 1982)

  • Maag, Georg: „Erfahrung“, in: Ästhetische Grundbegriffe II, ed. Karlheinz Barck (Stuttgart 2001) pp. 260-275

  • Küpper, Joachim / Menke, Christoph (eds.), Dimensionen ästhetischer Erfahrung (Frankfurt a.M. 2003)

  • Gert Mattenklott (ed.), Ästhetische Erfahrung im Zeichen der Entgrenzung der Künste. Epistemische, ästhetische und religiöse Formen von Erfahrung im Vergleich (Hamburg 2004)

Registration

Via uSis

Contact

Mw. Prof. Dr. A.B. Wessels