Kent staff and students at BSA Annual Conference 2019

British Society of Aesthetics

Several members of School of Arts academic staff will be presenting at the British Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference 2019.

Professor Murray Smith, Professor of Film, Dr Dieter Declercq, Lecturer in Film and Media, Dr Mark Windsor and Claire Anscomb, Assistant Lecturers in History of Art, and Aurélie Debaene, PhD candidate in History and Philosophy of Art, will present papers at the conference which will take place at St Anne’s College, Oxford, from Friday 6 September 2019 to Sunday 8 September 2019.

The aim of the British Society of Aesthetics is to promote study, research and discussion of the fine arts and related types of experience from a philosophical, psychological, sociological, historical, critical and educational standpoint. As well as holding an annual conference, the BSA’s activities include publication of The British Journal of AestheticsDebates in Aesthetics, a newsletter, regional conferences, lecture series, grants to support research in aesthetics, and an essay prize.

Professor Murray Smith will be giving a paper as part of a symposium entitled ‘Filming Time: Film, Philosophy, and the Cinema of Richard Linklater’. Murray’s paper, titled  ‘Moving Pictures, Seriality and the Long Durée’, will look at Linklater’s exploration of extended duration – narratives encompassing and films shot over many years – in his Beyond trilogy and in Boyhood. In particular he will be exploring Linklater’s use of natural ageing – shooting performers as they visibly age – as a way registering the passing of time.

Dr Dieter Declercq will give a paper entitled ‘Satire and the Sick World. Coping, not Curing’. Dieter’s talk will reassess the idea of satire as therapy. He challenges the heroic conception of satire as a cure for the ills of the world and instead argues that satire is an aesthetic tool to cope with a sick world beyond full recovery.

Dr Mark Windsor will present a paper entitled ‘Hume’s Standard of Taste: Erasing the Circle’ Mark aims to defend David Hume against two charges that have been brought against his essay, ‘Of the Standard of Taste’. The first is one of circularity – that Hume defines good art in terms of good critics, and he defines good critics in terms of their ability to judge good art. The second is one of infinite regress – that good critics can only be identified as a matter of subjective sentiment.

Claire Anscomb will present a paper titled ‘Photography and the Contact Phenomenon’.  Dispute surrounds the realist basis of Kendall Walton’s “transparency” claim, however the claim that viewers may experience a sense of contact with the object of a photograph, remains largely unchallenged. To account then, for this sense of contact, Claire examines the photographic medium and the beliefs of viewers, and proposes a hybrid explanation, based on realist and psychological factors, including the sub-doxastic state of alief.

And finally, Aurélie Debaene will present a paper titled ‘#IWokeUpLikeThis: Demystifying Photogenic Images’. Aurélie will open a discussion of the photogenic by exploring what we mean by ‘photogenic’, how photogenic images are achieved, and some of the implications of their mystification. Identifying a cross-pollination between make-believe and the real as the root of such mystification paves the way for a more informed aesthetic appreciation of these images and the processes behind them.

Registration for the conference is now open, and tickets can be booked here: