Research Group Aesthetic Imaginaries


Please find below the Fall 2019 schedule for the Aesthetic Imaginaries Research Group.

10 October, 15 00, room 217 (HF Building): Reading and discussion seminar

On Sabine Sleike’s “Retro Aesthetics, Affect, and Nostalgia Effects in Recent US American Cinema: The Cases of La La Land (2016) and The Shape of Water (2017)” https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/3/87

Chair: Kari Soriano Sakjelsvik (This seminar picks up the topic of Nostalgia, which the research group engaged with in aworkshop in June of 2017 - https://www.uib.no/en/rg/ai/106198/nostalgia)

31 October, 15 00, seminar room 371 (HF Building): Research talk Joseph Tabbi: “Literary Posthumanism”

The term and concept “posthumanism,” emerging as it did in the late twentieth century, differs from earlier literary and historical periodizations. In part, that’s because our media ofcommunication, which expanded exponentially around this time are themselves operating at scales that exceed human understanding. Like photography, film, and video before them, but at adifferent scale, digital media situate what we think and say within communicative networks that are larger than consciousness. And for this reason, arguably, scholars are no longer restricted to documenting our own eras of human inventiveness. Rather, as humanism itself becomesrecognizable as a bounded and largely completed project, scholars are now more often resituating ourselves, and imagining again what it means to be human within networks and ecological environments that we might influence but cannot dominate and control. That these realities have been so well hidden for so long by economic expansion, rationalist explanations and cultural knowingness, gives us some reason to hope for more flexible and less restrictive cognitive frameworks in current literary practice. We might observe, in Neil Badmington’s account of the posthumanist turn, “a long overdue rethinking of the dominant humanist (or anthropocentric) accounts of who ‘we’ are as human beings. In the light of posthumanist theory and culture, ‘we’ are not who ‘we’ once believed ourselves to be. And neither are ‘our’ others.” (Neil Badmington, “Posthumanism.” In Bruce Clarke and Manuela Rossini. The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science. 2011). From this posthumanist perspective, I will argue that we can begin to observe a revitalizing of contemporary literature and the arts. While at once limiting our expectations about human agency and design, a literary posthumanism offers opportunities to think differently, and to embrace alternative cultural and aesthetic imaginaries.

14 November, 15 00, seminar room 371 (HF Building): Research talk

Stuart Sillars: “Picturing England between the Wars”

My current book, Picturing England Between the Wars, has a chapter on women's magazines and one on those aimed mainly at men. The first looks at the ways in which word and image unite to present a complex dual picture of female existence, opposing glamour and romance with the actualities of cooking, cleaning and childcare. Surprisingly, the men's magazines are remarkably similar. Both speak to an idealised community, with specialised interests; each is, in effect, a select group, resting on an ideal of home life. Even some of the contents are the same: the men's ones have circuit diagrams and engine details, the women's knitting patterns and cut-out dress templates. All these elements are enclosed in subtle manipulation of image design and layout, with carefully integrated captions.”

5 December, 15 00, seminar room 217 (HF Building): Reading and discussion seminar

On Gilles Deleuze, “Folding, or the Inside of Thought (Subjectivation)”, from Foucault, 1988


Chair: Nahum Welang