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Aesthetics as Epistemic Practice in Premodern Cultures

24.06.2021 - 26.06.2021

Annual Conference of the Collaborative Research Centre 980 "Episteme in Motion. Knowledge Transfer from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period"

Transfer of knowledge is always bound to material objects or practices of representation. The up-coming annual conference of the research centre investigates aesthetic procedures involved in generating knowledge from a transcultural perspective, including artifacts from both premodern European as well as non-European cultures. To what extant can aesthetic practices be qualified as practices that constitute knowledge? How do specific cultural and temporal contexts mark aesthetic phenomena? What role do religious backgrounds, ritual practices or craftmanship play? How do they shape concepts or notions?

 The notion of ‘aesthetics’ is explicitly not to be reduced to a theory of beauty, to categories of art or to conceptualizations of the sublime. Rather, we understand ‘aesthetics’ as an open concept that allows for a transcultural investigation of a spectrum of practices regarding sensorial experiences, forms of perception and the affective potential of formation, as well as sensorial ways of comprehension. Talking about ‚premodern aesthetics‘, we intendedly include reflections implicitly made with and through objects, their materiality, or practices. In which contexts do they take effect and how can they be described? In paying specific attention to the material and medial conditions of aesthetic practices, to objects and perceptions, we aim to investigate the relevance of aesthetic dimensions in premodern cultures of knowledge.

The annual conference is conceived and organized by the Concept Group “Materiality and Mediality” under the direction of Anne Eusterschulte and Claudia Reufer.


Thursday, 24 June 2021

14:00   Welcome and introduction (Anne Eusterschulte, Claudia Reufer)

14:30   Annette Gerok-Reiter, Universität Tübingen
Süezes‘ Wissen. Zum Erkenntnispotential einer ästhetischen Konfiguration in mittelhochdeutschen Texten (with simultaneous translation)

15:30   Claudia Reufer, Freie Universität Berlin
Ästhetische Aufmerksamkeitslenkung in italienischen Zeichnungen der Renaissance (with simultaneous translation)

–– Break ––

17:00   Jan-Peer Hartmann, Freie Universität Berlin
Glass, Crystal, and the Temporal Topography of Faerie in
Sir Orfeo

18:00   Sugata Ray, UC Berkeley
From New Spain to Mughal India: Rethinking Early Modern Animal Studies with a Turkey, ca. 1612

–– Break ––

19:30   Lautentrio Berlin
Performance with Lutes

20:00   Niklaus Largier, UC Berkeley
Aesthetic Transcriptions of Dogmatic Knowledge


Friday, 25 June 2021

10:00   Freestyle (lectures and exploratory presentations)

–– Break ––

14:00   Jörg Robert, Universität Tübingen
Ästhetische Immunisierung – Infektion und Impfung in der Lehrdichtung der Aufklärung (with simultaneous translation)

15:00   Rana Raeisi Dastenaei, Universität Isfahan
Die persische Poesie der Vormoderne als ästhetische Wissensform (with simultaneous translation)

–– Break ––

16:30   Ulrike Schneider und Anne Eusterschulte, Freie Universität Berlin
Ästhetisches Wissen – Sibyllen & Propheten (with simultaneous translation)

17:30   Jens Baumgarten, Universidade Federal de São Paulo
Das Marginale und das Unscharfe. Transkulturelle Ästhetiken im kolonialen Kontext Brasiliens

–– Break ––

19:00   Sharon Kinoshita, UC Santa Cruz
What’s in a Frame?
Hybridity and Containment in the Premodern Mediterranean

20:00   Julia Orell, University of British Columbia Vancouver
Landscape Painting and Geographical Knowledge in Song Dynasty China (involving Cartography and Geomancy)


Saturday, 26 June 2021

10:00   Inga Mai Groote, Universität Zürich
Choralbearbeitungen und die Rekontextualisierung einer ‘bekannten’ Melodie (with simultaneous translation)

11:00   Almut Bockisch, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Ästhetik des Hohelieds in seiner antiken Kommentierung (with simultaneous translation)

–– Break ––

13:00   Vladimir Glomb, Freie Universität Berlin
Beautiful Surroundings and Diligent Studies: The Role of Aesthetics in Korean Confucian Academies

14:00   David Lurie, Columbia University New York
Ugliness and Spiritual/Political Power in Some of the Most Important Early Myth

 –– Small Break ––

15:00   Round-up and discussion in the garden of our Villa
What are Aesthetic Practices?


Weitere Informationen

This is a digital conference hosted at the CRC-Villa at the Freie Universität Berlin.
If you wish to participate, please, register at info@sfb-episteme.de and you will then receive an access link. Please give us your name and institutional affiliation.