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Art and Affect

Dates: 12‒14 July 2017
Time: 9am‒4pm
Venue: Toowong Rowing Club, 37 Keith St, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Registration: Register online here by 7 July 2017. Registration is essential.
Enquiries: Xanthe Ashburner uqche@uq.edu.au

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… the poets … are enamoured of the passions as such …
‒ Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (1881)

From antiquity to the present, literature and the arts have been associated with the solicitation of the passions. Thus a profound tradition, stretching from Plato’s dialogues to Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and beyond, has viewed art’s engagement of the passions as a form of bewitchment, opening the way to dangerous psychological, moral and political disorder. An equally powerful mode of thought, however (much championed by the Romantics), has conceived of art’s investment in the affective life positively, as a route to personal fulfilment, a vehicle for social sympathy, or as nourishing the imaginative powers necessary to bring about progressive political change. Still other traditions find in art capacities for governing, or subduing, merely passional attachments and drives. This conference, hosted by the UQ Node of the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100‒1800), will explore the long and complex history of the relation between aesthetic production and concepts of ‘the passions’. Topics will range from the medieval to the contemporary, and will address literature, visual art, film, philosophy, music and intellectual history.

Keynote speakers

Registration includes entry to ‘War of the Buffoons’, a concert of Baroque music performed by the Badinerie Players on original instruments (12 July, 5.30‒7pm, University of Queensland Art Museum).

Image: Guido Reni (Italian, 1575‒1642), Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, c.1630, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.