Research / Projects

Perceptions of the other; aesthetics, ethics and prejudice

Perceptions of the other; aesthetics, ethics and prejudice studies the relation between prejudice, perceptive predisposition and aesthetic expression. The project brings three parts of study together: Prejudice, tolerance and aesthetic translatability; the cultural boundaries of sensibility. (German philosophy of the 18th century), The Protoethics of perceptual life. Perception and ethics in the field of phenomenology and psychoanalysis; (German philosophy of the 20th century). Postdoctoral project, Politics of representation; Jewish identity in recent art. (Contemporary artists of an Eastern European heritage). PhD project. The researchers share two lines of inquiry that are set in the foreground: 1) The first concerns the way in which cultural identity, prejudice and aesthetic experience are related. How does prejudice and cultural identity form our perceptive predisposition? In what way does this affect aesthetic experience? Aesthetic experiences provoke not only our intellectual capacity of understanding but also our ethical faculties. Starting its line of enquiries in the German enlightenment, the project examines a philosophical and cultural heritage where issues of perception, embodiment and ethics are placed in focus rather than those of taste, autonomy and intellect. Rather than pursuing ideals of universality and standard conceptions of reason, the “other” tradition of the enlightenment engages with issues of particularity and embodiment. 2) The second line of inquiry examines the way in which a Jewish philosophical-cultural heritage, developed in what is now an Eastern European region, may help us understand the relation between prejudice, perception and aesthetic expression. The aim of the project is not to identify a Jewish form of identity or specificity, but rather to open for an understanding of the heterogeneous nature of the European tradition of aesthetics, for instance through the heritage of Spinoza and Levinas. All projects will be concerned with the way in which unconscious categorizations present themselves already at the level of perception in the form of prejudice. These categorizations have consequences also for aesthetic experience: the way we perceive aesthetic works passes through the grid of what we perceive as having weight, impact and importance. Therefore, questions of prejudice and tolerance are still relevant on today’s globalized exchange of art and literature.

Publications

In: Phenomenology of Pregnancy. Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2016. 7-14.

This anthology takes its starting point in the conviction that a phenomenologyof pregnancy could play an important role in contemporary thought. Stating this is also an acknowledgment that it doesn’t play such a role—yet. The aim of this anthology is to contribute to making philosophical reflectionon pregnancy a greater part of the discussions to come.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Jonna BornemarkNicholas Smith

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2016

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
PhilosophyStudies in Practical Knowledge

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

In: Phenomenology of Pregnancy. Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2016. 15-49.

This introductory article is structured around the following themes: it begins with a brief overview of some important works that have paved the way for the present discussion (Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Adrienne Rich and Iris Marion Young). This is followed by a critique of the concept of “experience” and the philosophies based on it (such as phenomenology), that was first presented by feminist thinkers Joan Scott and Judith Butler in the 1980’s. The question this debate poses to the discussions in this book is whether focusing on experience is still a philosophically viable option. After that, the views of Edmund Husserl – often described as “the father of phenomenology” – are presented on the particular themes of motherhood and pregnancy, as it is often overlooked that he had anything to say on the topic. Then follows a short outline of the structure of the experience of pregnancy, and also the modest suggestion that pregnancy should be seen not only as “split subjectivity” (Kristeva, Young and others) but also as a specific mode of phenomenological “in-between.” Thereafter the question is taken up whether pregnancy as a philosophical topic might also affect the methodological core of phenomenology. The article ends with a speculative outlook towards certain themes that have developed as a consequence of thinking pregnancy philosophically. 

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Nicholas Smith

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2016

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Philosophy

Research area for doctoral studies

-

Divan 2015, 1-2 : 14-21.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Cecilia Sjöholm

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Aesthetics

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

New York : Columbia University Press, 2015.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Cecilia Sjöholm

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Aesthetics

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Genshogaku nenpo 2014, 30 : 31-47.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Nicholas Smith

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2014

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Philosophy

Research area for doctoral studies

-

Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 2013, 46 : 18-34.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Cecilia Sjöholm

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Aesthetics

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Status

Started

Project Manager

Cecilia Sjöholm
Professor
School of Culture and Education

People linked to the project

Nicholas Smith
Senior Lecturer, PhD
School of Culture and Education

Rebecka Thor
Doctoral Student
School of Culture and Education

More information

Project start: 2012
Project end: 2016

Financier: Östersjöstiftelsen

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: Yes

Information på svenska

Research area for doctoral studies to which the project is linked