Duke In Berlin Lecture: "Emancipation, normalization, or violence? Aesthetic education from Kant to Spivak"
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 6:00pm
“A critical examination of the invention of aesthetic education in Kant and Schiller in light of contemporary work by Jacques Ranciére and Gayatri Spivak.” Another case in point is Gayatri Chakraworty Spivak’s most recent book An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization. Despite the fact that Spivak is much more critical of Kant and Schiller – she speaks of the necessity to sabotage them, and contends that „Enlightenment is sick at home“ – she insists on the importance of Kant and Schiller’s aesthetic theories. If anything can help us to navigate through the recent crises of globalization, or so she seems to argue, it is aesthetic education.
Why would a philosopher as suspicious of education as Rancière believe so strongly in Schiller’s project? And why would a postcolonial theorist such as Spivak expect so much from European philosophers who, obviously, contributed to colonial ways of thinking? Or, to put it more generally, why is aesthetic experience so often associated with an educational process towards emancipation and freedom despite the fact that we know of numerous and monstrous examples that testify to the fact that aesthetic experiences can accompany the most barbaric acts?
Lecture: Prof. Dr. Ruth Sonderegger, Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetic Theory
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Response: Professor Henry Pickford, Associate Professor of German and Philosophy