Inaugural Year Announcements, MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts
The MA program in Critical Theory and the Arts at SVA convenes discussions and lectures throughout the year in our seminar room for its participating faculty, students, and a small number of invited guests. To inquire about attending one of these gatherings as a guest, write us at email@example.com. Seating is very limited, but we will do our best.
Richard Foreman, “Richard Foreman in Discussion”
Richard Foreman is the founder and artistic director of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater. He has written, directed and designed over 50 of his own plays internationally and in New York City. He has received several “OBIE” awards for best play of the year, as well as several for directing and ‘sustained achievement.’ He has received the annual Literature award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a “Lifetime Achievement in the Theater” award from the NEA, the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and in 2004 was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. His archives and work materials were recently acquired by Bobst Library at NYU.
Martin Jay, “Chromophilia: Kandinsky, Benjamin and the Emancipation of Color”
Martin Jay is an intellectual historian and Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. Among his many works are The Dialectical Imagination, Marxism and Totality, Adorno, Permanent Exiles, Fin de Siècle Socialism, Force Fields, Downcast Eyes, Songs of Experience, The Virtues of Mendacity, and Essays from the Edge.
It is our additional pleasure to announce that Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo is to lead a short series of lunchtime lectures titled, “Notes on Political Life.” These lectures will take place in the fall and spring semesters. (Dates to be announced; see series description below.)
Brown Bag Lecture Series: Notes on Political Life
The central concepts of political life that continue to shed light on the present are the object of this series of talks. With the aim of gaining insight into the political questions of our times, we consider fundamental aspects of political life by examining the fate of citizenship, political forms, democracy, and political literacy. Thinking through these notions, however distorted they have become in the present, is crucial for a critical understanding of contemporary political predicaments. We attempt to retrieve these concepts, and gain genuine insight from them, in order to think through the overarching concerns of political life and how these mediate the ways we think about the political structures of contemporary society.
Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo is a political scientist. He has held appointments at the University of Massachusetts, Virginia Tech, and the University of Minnesota, and is currently finishing a book manuscript, Scenes of Responsibility: Responding to Power and Suffering in a Post-Political Age. He has written essays for journals including Telos and Political Theory, among others.
Faculty Announcement, MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts
The MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to announce that Babette Babich has joined our faculty as a philosopher. Since 1999, Babette Babich has been a full Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University. She has held appointments at the University of California (San Diego), Georgetown University, and Stony Brook University. She has twice been the recipient of a Fulbright Research Scholarship.
Professor Babich is deeply experienced in Continental philosophy and wide-ranging in her interests and achievements. She has particular expertise in modern aesthetics. Professor Babich is the author of many essays and books including Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science; Words in Blood like Flowers; and La fin de la pensee, and is the founding editor of New Nietzsche Studies. Her most recent book, forthcoming, is The Hallelujah Effect: kd lang’s Desire, Adorno’s Ghosts, and Nietzsche’s Beethoven.
In the academic year 2012-2013, Professor Babich will be teaching the spring semester, Art Theory and Aesthetics II. Professor Tom Huhn will be teaching the fall semester. (See course descriptions below.)
Art Theory and Aesthetics I
Professor Tom Huhn
The motivating concepts and history of aesthetic theory that continue to shape contemporary thought is the focus of these courses. We begin with a review of the Platonic and Neo-Platonic concerns with representation and the social as well as epistemological status of the artwork. An understanding of the developments that led up to Kant allows the class to closely study Kant’s Critique of Judgment, which continues to be a basic work of reference in all thinking about art. This is followed by an investigation of the philosophical complex of thought that Kant’s aesthetics spawned in the writings of Friedrich Schiller and G.W.F. Hegel. The first semester aims to provide an historico-philosophical undergirding for the theoretical and art historical work that follows.
Tom Huhn is chair of the undergraduate programs in Art History and Visual and Critical Studies at SVA. A critic and a philosopher, his books include Imitation and Society: The Persistence of Mimesis in the Aesthetics of Burke, Hogarth, and Kant; The Cambridge Companion to Adorno; The Wake of Art: Criticism, Philosophy, and the Ends of Taste; and The Semblance of Subjectivity: Essays in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.
Read Professor Huhn’s review of Gerhard Richter’s most recent monograph, published in the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews journal in March 2012.
Art Theory and Aesthetics II
Professor Babette Babich
The second semester is an intensive study of the questions of philosophical aesthetics as they develop throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Additional themes include the meaning of the so-called “end of art” debate; theories of the museum; the “art world”; the “New Aesthetic”; varieties of object theory and aesthetics; theories of the sublime; and tactics of subversion (e.g., feminist, vegan, erothanatic impulses on the fringe). We begin with the writings of Nietzsche and Heidegger, to be followed by selections from Adorno, Agamben, and Arendt; Sloterdijk and Žižek; and Bataille, Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Danto, Derrida, Foucault, and Rancière, among others.
Something to Learn: MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts, Fall 2012
The MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to announce that next year Jay Sanders will be leading the program’s Proseminar on the “Convergence of the Arts in the 21st Century.”
Jay Sanders is a curator and writer living in New York, and this year co-organized the warmly received and acclaimed 2012 Whitney Biennial with Elisabeth Sussman.
From 2005 until recently, Jay Sanders was a Gallery Director at Greene Naftali in New York, where he organized major monographic exhibitions of the artist/filmmakers Tony Conrad and Paul Sharits, along with shows by Allen Ruppersberg, Guy de Cointet, and curated group exhibitions at the gallery include Payday, Epileptic Seizure Comparison, and Motore Immobile. Sanders has programmed performance, music, and film exhibitions at such venues as the former Whitney branch at Altria, Issue Project Room, Anthology Film Archives, Sculpture Center, EAI, The Stone, Tonic, and for Performa. He is a member of the collaborative performance group Grand Openings, and has staged large-scale events at MoMA, Anthology Film Archives for Performa 05 (New York), the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (Japan), MUMOK (Vienna), and the Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle). He has produced and edited a DVD on the work of theater artist Richard Foreman, published a book of Jack Smith’s drawings, and co-edited, with poet Charles Bernstein, the seminal catalogue Poetry Plastique to accompany their exhibition by the same name at Marianne Boesky Gallery, where Sanders was formerly a Gallery Director. Sanders has written extensively for Artforum, Parkett, Texte zur Kunst, BOMB, and other publications.
The MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts is an intensively integrated year’s study in art theory, aesthetics, social theory, social history and art history. It is meant for students who bring an edgy interest to the situation of the arts today. The program is unique in presenting the philosophical, sociological, political, art and social historical contexts with which a student must be familiar to meaningfully pursue the questions that the contemporary situation of art poses. Society and art are studied in their actual tension, without reducing art to society, or pretending, narrowly, that society amounts to the world of art. To emphasize this tension, the curriculum is organized between two focal events of the year, the Proseminar—a forum devoted to a development in art—and the Serious Times Lecture Series.
The Convergence of the Arts may be the most striking aspect of art in the late 20th century and the 21st century. Today, artists—almost as a rule—combine their many talents in constantly hybridizing permutations: music is combined with sculpture, sculpture with dance, dance with architecture, architecture with performance, performance with photography—and everyone writes. Why has this happened; what potentials and difficulties has this development presented to artists, audiences, and art itself? Contemporary artists drawn from the various media are frequent visitors to help us understand what the arts face today in the struggle to make new work. Throughout, we are looking to discover the level of the problem in contemporary art. The open organization of the seminar invites students into discussions in which they will be able to locate themselves in what is truly at stake in this complex and fraught situation.
What Where Lecture Series
On Not Working
What has Paul Chan been up to during his break from making artwork? Has it been a break from making artwork? The artist will talk about the paintings he has been working on while meaning not to be working, as part of the Critical Theory and the Arts Spring 2012 What Where Lecture Series.
Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.
136 West 21st Street, Room 220-F (seating is limited)