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Aesthetics of the Body
Uppsala, July/August 1999


The Fifth Summer School of the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics

Aesthetics of the Body

Sätra Brunn, Uppsala, Sweden

31 July - 5 August 1999

Keynote speakers
-Paul Crowther, lecturer in art history at Oxford University
-Gert Mattenklott, professor in comparative literature at Freie
 Universität, Berlin.
-Richard Shusterman, professor of philosophy at Temple University

This year's topic can be interpreted in a number of different ways: for
example, as an application of aesthetic theory to various bodily-based
activities, traditionally less aesthetically esteemed than notational
music, written literature and the visual arts (i.e., as a generous
invitation to handicrafts, folk dance and sports, precisely in their
capacity as bodily-based practices, to join the aesthetic community of the
fine arts); or, alternatively, as a reference to "the aesthetic" as it,
from the very beginning, is practised, applied to and "of the" body (i.e.,
as a characterization of our pre-reflective engagement with the world as
aesthetic, without granting the fine arts any privileged status). 

The relation between human embodiment and aesthetics is the theme for this
Fifth International Summer School in Applied Aesthetics, organized and
sponsored by the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics.
Participants are welcome to investigate the subject in relation to the

1       Philosophical aesthetics (What is the relation between aesthetics
and the body in a historical perspective? How has it changed? What kind of
re-evaluations of the philosophical tradition are called for? Which
concepts need to be analysed and reactivated?)

2       A wider cultural context (Has our improved understanding of the
role of the body in all our interactions with the world also enhanced the
aesthetic aspect of these relations? What can we learn about embodied
aesthetic experience when it is informed by or contrasted with
non-aesthetic contexts, contemporary as well as historical: (a) scientific
disciplines such as medicine, physiology, evolutionary biology, etiology
and cognitive sciences; (b) politics, power structures, interest groups;
and (c) embodied practices not ordinarily recognized as aesthetic such as
sports and recreational activities, manual labour, meditation and
religious practices?)

3       The creation and reception of art proper (What is the role of the
body in psychological and artistic accounts of creativity? How does the
body figure in the arts themselves? How can we disclose the body as
thematic content in the different arts? How does our embodied interaction
with the world itself present itself in relation to works of art?)

Embodied Aesthetics is open to a wide range of interpretations, and it
will be the task of the Summer School to delineate in practice its
pertinent boundaries. 

The Summer School will be held at Sätra Brunn, a spa dating back to the
year 1700, located in the vicinity of Uppsala, Sweden. Participants will
be offered lodging in single rooms with full board at the reduced rate of
$100 (795 SEK) per day. Applications and proposals for workshop
presentations (max. 200 words) should be sent before May 31, 1999 to
Staffan Bengtsson or Katarina Elam, Uppsala University, Department of
Aesthetics, Slottet, Södra tornet, 752 37 Uppsala, Sweden, or,

Staffan Bengtsson