112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

A Return to Aesthetics?

Presiding Officer: 
Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State University of Denver

What can literary critics learn from philosophers about aesthetics?  Is there room for a return to aesthetics in a multicultural, postmodern world where there seems no difference between aesthetic "judgments" and aesthetic "tastes," where the emotional and aesthetic impact of any work of literature, film, or art seems to be purely a matter of individual preference, biography, history, and culture?  Are aesthetic experiences/terms like wonder, beauty, the sublime, and the uncanny useful in this post-David Hume world? And do we perhaps need new discussions of aesthetic experiences/terms such as the cute, ugly-beautiful, the zany, and the interesting?  How might a new literary discussion of aesthetics avoid essentialism while exploring new intellectual territory?

Cancelled (not being held)
Topic Type: 
Special Session