Introducing the new Movers ‘n’ Shakers sessions on Political Aesthetics

Dear all, 

We hope you are fully recovered, relaxed, rejuvenated from, and a little sun-kissed by, last summer! As you might know, one of our beloved co-founders have crossed the Atlantic to take up an adventurous new positions whilst colonizing the new world in the name of the Political Arts Initiative (just kidding). However, the Dutch arm of the PAI will not slowly turn to stone as she stares at the sea like a seafarer’s wife. She will continue to engage with, in and through texts on the crossroads of philosophy, politics, ethics, and aesthetics, and she will not do so alone.
Together, w
e hope to continue grasping mind-boggling concepts,to create new ones and try breaking down old foundations. Not long will we linger on aesthetics as the philosophical discipline that discusses the nature of beauty. In contrast, the PAI is interested in the contemporary function of art and aesthetics in political-ethical issues. We hope to bring together our previous sessions on Bruno Latour and aesthetic theory to create a toolbox which we can use to build and exercise political thought. With this toolbox we wish to improve our understanding of how we can engage with the messy state the world is in. We have selected works from a wide range of thinkers ranging from classic aesthetic theory, to critical theory, and even postcolonialism. See the list below. Please mind that this list is provisional and subject to change. If you think we have missed something important, or think we should definitely not read something on the list, please tell us by placing a comment. We want to start on October 15th. If you are interested in joining our monthly discussions, sign up via ‘join us’ at the top of this page and stay tuned for announcements on the definitive reading list and our locations.  

Provisional reading schedule

Date Literature
October 15 2016
Aesthetic Theory
  • James Shelly, The Concept of the Aesthetic.
  • Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, chapter 23 ‘The permanence of the world and the work of art’.
November 15 2016
Some more Theory
  • Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, chapter 1 ‘Transcending the aesthetic dimension’ and/or chapter 2 ‘The ontology of the work of art and its hermeneutic significance’.
  • Johan Huizinga, Humo Ludens, Chapter I, chapter X ‘Play forms in art’
December 15 2016
The politics of aesthetic & the event: a turn.
  • Jacques Rancire, The politics of aesthetics, the distribution of the sensible
  • Alain Badiou, Being and Event, Part II & part III
January 15 2017
Some critical theory
  • Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, Chapter 9 ‘The aesthetisc dimension’.
  • Theodor Adorno, Prisms, Chapter 1, chapter 6 ‘Jazz’.
February 15 2017
Approximating the contemporary
  • Davis Turpin, Art in the Antropocene, ‘Introduction’.
  • Donna Haraway, Capitalocene.
  • Yann Moulier Boutang, Cognitive Capitalism, Chapter 3 ‘What is cognitive capitalism’.
March 15 2017
  • Glissant, Poetics of Relation, t.b.a.
  • James Tully, Cultural demands for constitutional recognition
  • James Tully, Public Philosophy in a New Key, Chapter 8 ‘Struggles of indigenous peoples for and of freedom’.

2 thoughts on “Introducing the new Movers ‘n’ Shakers sessions on Political Aesthetics

  1. Hello,

    Thank you very much for your message. I would like to inquire into practicalities of the reading group. How and by who will it be moderated, since Cissie is now in Canada? Thanks!

    Greetings, Marija


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