Department of Foreign Languages

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Forskningsseminaret “Aesthetic Imaginaries”

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Research seminar at the Department of Foreign Languages, UiB

16-17 Sept. 2016

The idea of the imaginary circulates in a wide array of constellations, most frequently perhaps in the company of the social or the political (Taylor, Gaonkar, Warner, Anderson). Its function and potential in the company of aesthetics is however not as wellexplored. In Ranjan Ghosh’s description, aesthetic imaginaries “aggregate around dwellings in culture, social practice, characters of imaginative reconstruction, affiliationto religious and spiritual denominations and preferences. “ They are “entangled figurations” with the capacity for “bearing out the promise of ‘shared realities’” (2015,134). The seminar “Aesthetic Imaginaries” gathers scholars in literary, visual, and culturalstudies to consider the different manifestations of “entangled figurations” as they disseminate across place and time, inviting different interpretations of their arrangement and possible meanings.

The seminar is open to all interested, but for planning purposes please send an email to lene.johannessen@if.uib.no by 16 Sept. to indicate which days/sessions you are interested in attending.

NB: The last session on Friday begins 18 30 in Kafé Chaos (Fosswinckels gat16). Author Tabish Khair will read from his latest novel Just Another Jihadi Jane, followed by a discussion on “The Aesthetics of Terror: Making Fiction of Facts.”

See program and abstracts further down for more information.

PROGRAM Saturday 17 September, seminar room 400,  HF building  


10 30: Mark Ledbetter (UiB/College of Saint Rose, U.S)

“In the ‘Imaginary Garden” the ‘Toads’ are Imaginary Too: An Aesthetic of

Desire, An Ethics of Precious

11 00: Øyvind Vågnes (UiB)

Drone Imaginaries

11 30 Lene M Johannessen (UiB)

Figured resonances in Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic

Chair: Asbjørn Grønstad (UiB)


13 30 Jena Habegger-Conti (UiS)

Recognition, Misrecognition. Aesthetic Imaginaries and Reading Images

14 00: Susan Cumings (UiB/University at Albany, SUNY))

The Textual Oddbody: Ripp(l)ing Aesthetic Imaginaries in Service of Justice

Chair: Øyvind Vågnes (UiB)


15 00 Anne Karhio UiB/National University of Ireland, Galway

Technology, visual aesthetics and the social imaginary

in the poetry of Alan Gillis and Sinéad Morrissey

15 30 Asbjørn Grønstad (UiB)

Ernie Gehr and the Aesthetic Imaginary

Chair: Jena Habegger-Conti (UiS)


16 15: “Business meeting”