Springe direkt zu Inhalt


Annette Gerok-Reiter: “‘Süezez’ Wissen. Zum Erkenntnispotential einer ästhetischen Konfiguration in mittelhochdeutschen Texten”

Thursday, 24 June, 14:30

Der Zusammenhang von ästhetischer Erfahrung und Erkenntnis gehört zu den Grundlagen der Diskussion um Aufgaben und Leistung der ästhetischen Erfahrung bzw. der Künste. Er wird im europäischen Kontext von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart diskutiert. Skandalon ist dabei - und nicht erst seit Baumgarten - das epistemologische Problem, wie aus einer sinnlichen Wahrnehmung ‘Erkenntnis’ resultieren kann. In Kontexten der mittelhochdeutschen Literatur wird diese Frage im Gebrauch des Lexems ‘süeze’ virulent, denn die Semantik von ‘süeze’ verweist zum einen auf ein dezidiert synästhetisch-sinnliches Wahrnehmen, zum anderen taucht die Vokabel auch zentral im Kontext der Gotteserkenntnis auf. Der Vortrag verfolgt, in welcher Weise die Aushandlungen der Spannung zwischen (syn-)ästhetischer Sinnlichkeit und Erkenntnis über das Lexem ‘süeze’ ausgetragen werden, je nach Kontextualisierungen variieren und insbesondere im Bereich der mystischen Frömmigkeit Mechthilds von Magdeburg einen konzeptuellen Status erlangen, der für die Vergegenwärtigung des Heilswissens von konstitutiver Bedeutung ist.

Annette Gerok-Reiter Annette Gerok-Reiter is Professor for Medieval German Literature in European Context at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. She specializes in Literary Theory, aesthetics and historical semantics, the Minnesang from the 12th to the 16th century, and the courtly novel. From 2019 on, Gerok-Reiter functions as spokesperson of the CRC 1391 “Different Aesthetics” in Tübingen where she oversees the subprojects B3 “Semantics of the aesthetic in German Literature of the Middle Ages” and C3 “The schoene schîn in mysticism”. In this regard, Annette Gerok-Reiter explores lexemes in medieval German literature, especially the term süeze, that can be understood as ‘figures of aesthetic reflection’ and focuses furthermore on the genesis, functionality and social context of aesthetic terminology. Together with Anja Wolkenhauer, Jörg Robert and Stefanie Gropper, she issued Ästhetische Reflexionsfiguren in der Vormoderne (2019, GRM-Beiheft 88).

Claudia Reufer: “Ästhetische Aufmerksamkeitslenkung in venezianischen Zeichnungen der Renaissance”

Thursday, 24 June, 15:30

Claudia Reufer is an Art Historian and member of the CRC 980 “Episteme in Motion” where she is working on Venetian drawings of the 16th century in the project B04 “The Knowledge of Art. Aesthetics and Semantics of Figural Imagery in the Renaissance”. She therefore focuses on figurative knowledge and its temporality in Venetian drawings during the Cinquecento. In 2016, she received her PhD with a thesis on the two drawing books from the workshop of Jacopo Bellini focusing on the question on how pictorial knowledge is articulated and generated within these drawings. Her research area comprises the history and theory of drawings and drawing books during the Quattro- and Cinquecento, visually generated knowledge, material aesthetics as well as Venetian Painting. Together with Anne Eusterschulte, Iris Helffenstein and Klaus Krüger, she is editing Figurales Wissen. Medialität, Ästhetik und Materialität von Wissen in der Vormoderne (2022).

Jan-Peer Hartmann: “Glass, Crystal, and the Temporal Topography of Faerie in Sir Orfeo”

Thursday, 24 June, 17:00

Temporal anomaly is a frequent feature of stories involving human encounters with the Otherworld, both medieval and modern. The Middle English poem Sir Orfeo, loosely based on the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, features a fairy Otherworld whose inhabitants appear to be suspended in a timeless moment. The same temporal suspension can be glimpsed in the topographical and architectural features of the Otherworld, which are described in highly aestheticized terms and partly resemble medieval depictions of the Heavenly Paradise. The fairies’ Otherworld, I argue, appears as a fully aestheticised space, a space designed to stimulate the senses. It is this aesthetic quality that links the Otherworld to the activities that Orfeo and Heurodis engage in at the point when the fairy world bursts upon them, suggesting that practices leading to aesthetic immersion may bring about a mental state somehow resembling the suspended, timeless existence that characterises the world of the fairies and, potentially, that of post-eschatological eternity.

Jan-Peer Hartmann is a research assistant at the Institute for English Language and Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin with a focus on Medieval English Literature. Participating in the CRC 980 “Episteme in Motion”, he is working on the project B01 “Artefacts, Treasures and Ruins – Materiality and Historicity in the Literature of the English Middle Ages” where he focuses on entanglements of animate and inanimate, human and non-human actors, as highlighted in literary representations of objects as parts of ‘landscape’. He is editor of the book Material Remains: Reading the Past in Medieval and Early Modern British Literature (together with Andrew James Johnston, August 2021) which examines how Medieval and Early Modern literature was fascinated with the material remains of the past. Jan-Peer Hartmann also authored articles on Old English and Anglo-Latin literature, which have appeared in journals such as Medium Ævum and Leeds Studies in English.

Sugata Ray: “From New Spain to Mughal India: Rethinking Early Modern Animal Studies with a Turkey, ca. 1612”

Thursday, 24 June, 18:00

We now stand face to face with the Sixth Extinction, the most devastating mass extinction event in the past sixty-six million years. How might art history, which has conventionally taken works produced by the human species as its archive and locus of analysis, respond to this crisis? Might a renewed attention to human-animal relations alter art history’s speciesist bias? And what might such an art history look like? By taking a ca. 1612 painting of the North American turkey—a bird that was introduced in the Indian Ocean world through European ecological imperialism in the Americas—by the Mughal artist Mansur as a point of departure, this talk narrates a history of art that perceives visual representations of the natural world, not merely as an episteme that colonizes and specimenizes nonhuman life but as an outcome of interspecies relations that shaped artistic practices in the early modern period. The aim is to obfuscate Enlightenment species boundaries to make way for a porous art history in which the other—animal or otherwise—dwells in difference.

Sugata Ray is an Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the intersections among Early Modern and colonial artistic cultures, transterritorial ecologies and the natural environment. Ray’s first book is entitled Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850 which was awarded the American Academy of Religion’s “Religion and the Arts Book Award”. It examines the relationship between matter and life in shaping creative practices in the Hindu pilgrimage site of Braj during the ecocatastrophes of the Little Ice Age. As an extension of his interest in the field of eco art history, Ray is coediting Ecologies, Aesthetics and Histories of Art (with Gerhard Wolf and Hannah Baader). Sugata Ray’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships, among others from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, the Max-Planck-Institut as well as the Getty Research Institute. He was a member of the research program “Art Histories and Aesthetic Practises” at the Forum Transregionale Studien at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin.

Niklaus Largier: “Aesthetic Transcriptions of Dogmatic Knowledge”

Thursday, 24 June, 20:00

In my presentation I will focus on the production of aesthetic experience as a form of theological knowledge. Based particularly on a reading of Mechthild of Magdeburg’s “Flowing Light of the Godhead,” I will argue that such modes of aesthetic experience play a key epistemological role that has to be considered alongside types of knowledge that, following Foucault, have been identified as a “hermeneutics of the self.” In conversation with this perspective, I argue that the ‘transcription’ of dogmatic knowledge into forms of poetic aisthesis with an emphasis on sensation and affects serves the purpose of constructing this specific form of knowledge.

Niklaus Largier is a Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkley. His research areas include Medieval Literature, religion, the history of the imagination and emotions, as well as aesthetics and the history of the senses and the production of sense experience from the Middle Ages to the Modern era. Largier is an expert in mystical traditions in German literature, in particular on Meister Eckhart and his influence. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University (2006) and Princeton University (2016) as well as a fellow of the Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz (2014) where he investigated the figures of possibility. Largier is currently working on two projects: a book on imagination, practices of figuration, and notions of possibility, tentatively entitled Figures of Possibility and another one covering the history of practices and the poetics of prayer (together with David Marno).

Jörg Robert: “Wissenspoetik und ästhetische Autonomie – G. E. Lessing und das Lehrgedicht”

Friday, 25 June, 14:00

Das Lehrgedicht zählt seit Lukrez’ De rerum natura (1. Jh. v. Chr.) zu den klassischen Formen ästhetischer Wissensvermittlung. Mit seiner Wiederentdeckung im 15. Jahrhundert verbindet Stephen Greenblatt gar die „Wende“ zur Renaissance. Die Frühe Neuzeit brachte denn auch eine wahre Flut von Lehrdichtungen hervor, die immer wieder höchst aktuelle Themen und Wissensbestände berührten (z.B. G. Fracastoros Lehrgedicht über die Syphilis oder M. Opitz’ Vesuvius). In Deutschland erreichte die „dogmatische Dichtung“ (Gottsched) ihren Höhepunkt in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts mit Autoren wie Barthold H. Brockes und Albrecht von Haller. Auch der junge Gotthold E. Lessing versuchte sich um 1750 an einer Reihe von Lehrgedichten (publ. 1753), die jedoch allesamt Fragment blieben (z.B. ein bedeutendes Lehrgedicht Über die Religion). Diese Tatsache verweist auf Lessings Schwierigkeiten mit der Gattung. Sie resultieren aus einem doppelten Vorzugsstreit: Der Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes auf der einen und der Unterordnung der Dichtung unter die Wissenschaften. Auch für Lessing trägt Newton den Sieg über Homer davon. Damit wird die Rolle der Dichtung in der Moderne prekär. Schon in der mit Mendelssohn gemeinsam verfassten Preisschrift Pope ein Metaphysiker! (1755) wird das Lehrgedicht – auf den Spuren der Poetik des Aristoteles – als eine illegitime Form verworfen. Die Allianz von Wissen und Ästhetik wird brüchig. Ziel des Vortrages ist es, ausgehend von Lessings Praxis und Kritik des Lehrgedichts von den eigenen frühen Versuchen bis in den Laokoon (1766) hinein einen epochalen Wandel der Wissenskulturen und der ästhetischen Systembildung in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts nachzuzeichnen, an deren Ende das Lehrgedicht als „Wahrheit, in Verse gebracht“ (Batteux) in eine nachhaltige Krise gerät. Im Laokoon (1766) sind die „Grenzen der Poesie“ in doppelter Weise markiert: gegenüber der „Malerei“ und der Wissenschaft, vertreten durch Hallers Botanik. Während die Wissenschaft auf „Wahrheit“ verpflichtet ist, gewinnt die Dichtung ihre Autonomie für Lessing durch ihre Fähigkeit zur „Täuschung“.

Jörg Robert is a Professor for Modern German Literature at the Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen with a focus on literature within the European context between the 16th and 18th centuries. His main emphasis lies within the area of poetic and aesthetic, Cultural History and the History of Ideas. He also takes on the topic of intermediality and intertextuality. Jörg Robert is a co-initiator and deputy spokesperson of the CRC 1391 “Different Aesthetics” in the course of which he is working on two subprojects: A03 “Purism – Discourses and practices of linguistic purity” and C06 “Deceit of sight, Dream and Deception – The Demonic Origin of Illusion”. He therefore examines the aesthetic potential of the debate on linguistic purism, thus regarding it as an example of early modern aesthetic practice. The focus lies on the practices and the strategies of the implementation of a “pure language”, for instance in the courtly conversation, the academic discourse, literature, and chancellery as well as the conception of “illusion” and its semantic change from demonology to aesthetics. Together with Annette Gerok-Reiter, Anja Wolkenhauer and Stefanie Gropper, he published Ästhetische Reflexionsfiguren in der Vormoderne (2019).

Rana Raeisi Dastenaei: “Die persische Poesie der Vormoderne als ästhetische Wissensform”

Friday, 25 June, 15:00

Der Iran wurde 651 n. Ch. von Arabern erobert und daraufhin wurde das Land islamisiert. Demzufolge unterteilt sich die persische Literatur in zwei Phasen: Vorislamische persische Literatur und nachislamische persische Literatur. Die ersten persischen Dichtungen, die noch erhalten geblieben sind, entstanden 10. Jh. vor Christus als religiöse Texte. Das sind Gathas (Gesänge), die ältesten Teile des Avesta, der Schrift der zoroastrischen Religion. Sie waren gesprochene Texte, die über Generationen von Person zu Person übermittelt wurden. Erst zur Zeit der Sassanidendynastie (224-651n.Ch.) wurden sie niedergeschrieben. Nach der Islamisierung erlebt die persische Literatur erst im ausgehenden 10. Jh. ihre Blüte. Hier beschäftigen wir uns mit fünf großen Dichtern in Auswahl, deren Einfluss auf die persische Literatur und Kultur enorm war und immer noch ist, nämlich Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Rumi, Saadi und Hafis. Ferdowsis Shahnameh genießt eine besondere Bedeutung im Iran und eine besondere Kunstart namens Shahnameh-Khani (Lesen des Königsbuchs) ist im Laufe der Zeit anlehnend darauf entwickelt worden. Khayyam ist bekannt für seine Dichtungen Rubaiyaat (Vierzeiler), die von Themen wie „Vergänglichkeit derWelt“, „irdische Liebe“ und „Wein“ handeln und als bahnbrechende Gedichte der persischen Literatur kontrovers betrachtet werden. Rumi erhielt von seinen Anhängern, den Beinamen Maulana (unser Meister), nach dem der Mewlevi-Derwisch-Orden benannt ist. Er pflegte den Sufi-Reigentanz (Samaa) und trug dazu bei, dass dieser Tanz überlebte und u.a. immer noch in der Türkei ausgeübt wird. Saadis Werke Golestan und Bustan gelten als wichtige erzieherische Bücher und aus diesem Grund lernten sie manche iranischen Kinder frühzeitig mit Hilfe ihrer Eltern zu Hause auswendig, schon bevor sie die Schule besuchten. Auch viele Analphabeten konnten sie auswendig, weil sie damals aus Mangel an heutigen Medien in Versammlungen auch im Kreis der Familien sehr häufig vorgelesen wurden. Auch heute enthalten iranische Schulbücher oft Saadis Gedichte und Weisheiten. Hafis Diwan, bestehend aus schönen Liebesgedichten, ist wohl das meistgelesene Buch unter den Iranern und viele können mindestens ein paar Gedichte daraus auswendig. Das Buch gehört heute immer noch zu den wichtigsten Bestandteilen der nationalen Feste im Iran, insbesondere bei Nowruz (Neujahrsfest) und Yalda (die längste Nacht des Jahres/Sonnenwende). Während die Familie sich um den Haft-Sin-Tisch oder Yalda-Tisch gesammelt hat, denkt jeder über ein bestimmtes Thema für sich nach und möchte Hafis Meinung dazu hören. Dann macht eine ältere Person das Buch auf und liest den anderen das Ghazal laut vor. Das nennt man Hafis-Fal (Hafis Wahrsagung). Heute gibt es sogar Hafis Wahrsagung im Internet und man kann mit einem Klick lesen, ob er etwas tun soll oder nicht. Auch wenn die Antwort nicht passt, macht das mindestens Spaß.

Rana Raeisi Dastenaei is an Assistant Professor for German Studies at the University Isfahan, Iran. She specializes in Comparative Literature, Contrastive Linguistic, Early Modern Literature as well as the Error Analysis while learning German as a foreign language. Rana Raeisi Dastenaei was awarded numerous scholarships, among them the research grant from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Preis offered by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and a research fellowship from the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies. At present, Rana Raeisi Dastenaei is working in the operational area of Prof. Dr. Anne Eusterschulte at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her recent research focuses on comparative German-Persian literature and the Literature of the 18th century. In the course of her research project, Rana Raeisi Dastenaei explores among other Lessing’s concept of tolerance in comparison to Rumi.

Jens Baumgarten: “The Marginal and the Blurring: Transcultural Aesthetics in the Colonial Context of Brazil”

Friday, 25 June, 17:30

This paper intends to show the relations between so-called models and the colonial reception often referred to as “epigonic” and “less quality.” Where can we find blurrings, but where can we find a high image definition in the margins or marginality? By discussing Brazilian and European examples, I also would like to use these analyses for a theoretical discussion about a transcultural transfer of knowledge, aesthetics, and relation to de- or post-colonial debates in today’s Latin America.

Jens Baumgarten is Professor for Art History at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil. He specializes in Early Modern Art History of Latin America and Europe as well as in the historiography of art, visual culture and its theoretical and methodological contexts.  He established one of the first autonomous departments of Art History in Brazil. Baumgarten was Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. He has authored the book Image, Confession, and Power (2004) and is preparing books on Visual Systems in Colonial Brazil and about comparisons between Brazilian and Filipino Art History. Furthermore, he is working on a project in cooperation with Yale University on “Material Economies of Religion in the Americas” with a special focus on the research of material and visual objects of religion in different cultures. A core focus of his work is the circulation and transfer of aesthetics between different cultures as well as its techniques, knowledge, and ideas with a special regard to the colonial context in Brazil.

Sharon Kinoshita: “What’s in a Frame? Generic Hybridity and Global Diversity in Marco Polo’s Le Devisement du monde

Friday, 25 June, 19:00

Not uncommonly read as a travel narrative, Marco Polo’s Devisement du monde (Description of the World) has been criticized, among other things, for its digressions—especially in the final chapters of the text, devoted to internecine wars in and between various Mongol khanates. This paper revisits the question of generic hybridity by taking the Devisement as a narrative frame—akin to frame tales such as Boccaccio’s Decameron—that allow the juxtaposition of different, and even contradictory, passages and episodes. Composed (1298) at the close of the “century of encyclopedia,” it actualizes an aesthetics and epistemology of the assemblage characterizing many medieval as well as textual objects.

Sharon Kinoshita is a Professor for Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz trained as a specialist in Medieval French and Comparative Literature. Her current work focuses primarily on Medieval Mediterranean Studies and the Global Middle Ages. Her research interests comprise the intercultural relations in the literature of the 12th and 13th centuries with a special focus on Marco Polo, globalism, postcolonial theory, world literature and cultural studies. Her work includes a book project on Boccaccio’s Decameron and the Medieval Mediterranean (2007). In 2016, she published a new translation of Marco Polo's The Description of the World and is currently writing on a companion volume tentative entitled Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages. Moreover, she has authored Medieval Boundaries and co-edited the Blackwell Companion to Mediterranean History.

Julia Orell: “Landscape Painting and Geographical Knowledge in Song Dynasty China”

Friday, 25 June, 20:00

This paper presents a heterogeneous group of so-called topographical landscape paintings to examine pictorial strategies and cartographic references in Song dynasty (960-1279) representations of place. These include the depiction of China’s longest river, the Yangzi, of the scenic site of West Lake at the Southern Song dynasty capital Lin’an (present-day Hangzhou), and of a private estate owned and painted by the scholar-official Li Gonglin (1049-1106). Focusing on “points of view” as well as their absence in paintings and maps, I analyze how geographical knowledge is visually articulated in these different contexts.

Julia Orell is an Historian of Chinese Art and Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, specializing in landscape painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties (10th – 14th century). Orell’s primary area of research in Chinese landscape painting focuses on the construction of place, site, region and empire in painting and other visual media. Furthermore, she specializes in the production of knowledge in art, cultural and historical geography and the history of cartography. Her manuscript in progress, tentatively titled Landscape Painting and Geographical Knowledge in Song China, re-evaluates landscape painting by positing it as an active participant in geographical discourse and examines its interaction with other visual and textual practices. Orell’s second area of research investigates the formation of East Asian Art History as an academic discipline in the German-speaking parts of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It explores the challenges East Asian Art presented to art historical methodologies and provides a historiographical perspective to the debate about global art history.

Inga Mai Groote: “‘zierlich, deutlich und vernehmlich’? Choralmelodien als ästhetisches Wissen im 17. Jahrhundert”

Saturday, 26 June, 10:00

Melodien verbreiteter Kirchenlieder dürften im 17. Jahrhundert zumindest in den deutschsprachigen protestantischen Regionen eine Art musikalisches Allgemeinwissen dargestellt haben, da sie über religiöse Praktiken – Singen im Gottesdienst oder in privaten Kontexten, Verbreitung durch Gesangbücher – fast ubiquitär zugänglich waren. Das macht sie als Referenzen auch für Personen, die nicht professionell musikalisch tätig waren, sehr interessant. Sie konnten als ‚Töne‘ für neue Texte verwendet werden, erscheinen in Gesangbüchern oft mit dem Alternativangebot, ein neukomponiertes Lied oder die geläufige Melodie zu verwenden, und wurden in Kompositionen häufig bearbeitet, auch unter Verwendung ‚moderner‘, konzertierender Elemente (die musikalisch zu einer Auflösung des melodischen Materials führen können, v.a. seit M. Praetorius) und in freien instrumentalen Formen (z.B. N. A. Strungk oder J. Kuhnau). Satztechnische und gattungsgeschichtliche Aspekte sind hier öfter behandelt worden. Im Vortrag sollen jedoch anhand einer Auswahl von Beispielen die daraus rekonstruierbaren Hör- und Rezeptionsweisen gerade der ungewöhnlicheren Verwendungen solcher Melodien diskutiert werden – inwieweit können sie als ästhetisches Objekt wahrgenommen werden, und sind Rückschlüsse auf die Zugänglichkeit dieses Wissens möglich? Die Schwerpunkte sollen dabei auf den Fragen liegen, inwiefern die musikalische Bearbeitung den Text kommentieren oder explizieren kann und wie Melodie und damit referenzierter Text als eigene Bedeutungsebene eingesetzt werden können.

Inga Mai Groote is a Professor for Musicology at the University of Zürich. Her research focus lies in the history of music of the Early Modern Period in Germany and Italy, particularly during the Confessional Age, and the outgoing 19th century (France) and its social context. She also specializes in musical cultural transfer and the music theory as well as the related book culture of the Early Modern Period. In this regard, Inga Mai Groote worked on the CRC 933 “Material Text Cultures” in Heidelberg (2015–2018) where she oversaw the subproject B11 entitled “Material Formations of Music Theory Concepts: Praxeology of Disciplinary Writing. Towards the End of the Middle Ages”. She also participated in an international research program with the title “Sound memories” (HERA-JRP, 2016-2019) which explored premodern figurations of historical awareness in music.

Almut Bockisch: “Ästhetik des Hohelieds in seiner antiken Kommentierung”

Saturday, 26 June, 11:00

The Song of Songs as a text of the Hebrew Bible is part of the biblical canon for Jews and Christians - yet sermons on the Song of Songs, which presents itself primarily as a love song between a woman and a man, are less popular in modern times.
The Song of Songs, however, occupies a prominent position within the Bible - it is, after all, the only text that contains neither the word God nor a name of God and presents itself in its poetic design like a profane love song.The sensual perceptions addressed in the text are particularly striking: auditory, olfactory, gustatory, visual and tactile perception are alluded to in the text. Thus, the Song of Songs can be understood as an aesthetic text whose structure is decisively shaped by sensory perceptions. The aim is to show the practices of ancient interpreters in dealing with this form of aesthetics of the Song of Songs. Selected Jewish as well as Christian interpretations will be included.

Almut Bockisch completed her studies of Evangelical Theology in 2018 at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently working on her doctorate thesis with the working title “Exegetischer Wissenstransfer zwischen der Hohelied-Auslegung des Origenes und dem rabbinischen Midrasch Shir HaShirim Rabba”. As research assistant participating in the CRC 980 “Episteme in Motion”, Almut Bockisch is involved in the project C01 Transfer of Apocryphal Knowledge through Translation in Ancient Christianity (and Judaism) and carries out research in conjunction with her doctorate thesis. She therefore examines commentaries and  annotations on the Song of Songs with a special regard to the Christian and Jewish interpretations and the exegetical transfer of knowledge being thus revealed.

Vladimir Glomb: “Beautiful Surroundings and Diligent Studies: The Role of Aesthetics in Korean Confucian Academies”

Saturday, 26 June, 13:00

Since their first appearance during the sixteenth century, Korean Confucian academies were associated with intensive textual studies, strict discipline, and isolation from the outer world. Their walled compounds were established as sober utilitarian complexes that consciously avoided the rich iconography associated with their main rivals, Buddhist temples. But what was the role of aesthetic phenomena in the ascetic Confucian curriculum? Literary reflections of life in Confucian academies are testimonies to a strict distinction between a vulgar conventional aesthetic associated with the outer world and a subtle beauty that was considered suitable for young students. While women and songs were forbidden, composition of poems on Confucian virtues and meditation on the natural sceneries surrounding academies were encouraged. The present paper strives to delineate the basic contours of a specific aesthetic phenomena associated with Confucian academies and show how these institutions, founded as strongholds of solitude, silence, and concentration, slowly developed a specific aesthetic discourse that made arduous study more attractive and palatable.

Vladimir Glomb is a research assistant at the Institute for Korean Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin with a focus on Korean philosophy, Confucianism in general and premodern Korean language and thought. Within the framework of the CRC 980 “Episteme in Motion”, he is participating in the project C09 „Evaluations of Knowledge in Confucian Academies“ where he explores relations between philological practices (textual exegesis of the classics) and philosophical and ideological claims of the academy authorities in his project “Canon and Memory: Classics in Confucian Academies.” His books include Korejská náboženství (with Miriam Löwensteinova, 2015) and Klasická korejština (with Vladimir Pucek, 2013). Together with Lee Eun-Jung and Martin Gehlmann he published Confucian Academies in East Asia (2020).

David Lurie: “Negative Aesthetics: The Power of Ugliness in Japanese Mythology”

Saturday, 26 June, 14:00

The core works that collect early Japanese myths (the 712 CE Kojiki and 720 Nihon shoki) contain numerous references to male and female beauty, usually in the context of courtship narratives. Reliant on abstract aesthetic terminology from classical Chinese, these references involve few surprises: physical beauty consistently serves as a reason for amorous interest in a potential sexual partner/spouse. However, in the same texts there is a more interesting negative discourse, in which ugliness is connected with spiritual or political power. Through an analysis of the vocabulary of negative aesthetic judgement in Japanese mythology, this presentation considers how and why ugliness is portrayed in such a complex and ambivalent manner.

David Lurie is a Collegiate Professor of Asian Humanities and Associate Professor of Japanese History and Literature at Columbia University, New York City. In addition to the history of writing systems and literacy, David Lurie’s research interests include the literary and cultural history of premodern Japan, the Japanese reception of Chinese literary and historical and technical writings. He also specializes in the development of Japanese dictionaries and encyclopedias, the history of linguistic thought, Japanese mythology and world philology. His first book explored the development of writing systems in Japan through the Heian period. Entitled Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing, it received the Lionel Trilling Award in 2012. Along with Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki, he was co-editor of the Cambridge History of Japanese Literature (2015), to which he contributed chapters on myths, histories, gazetteers, and early literature in general. He is completing a new monograph, tentatively entitled The Emperor’s Dreams: Reading Japanese Mythology.