University of York

10th December 2012

Deadline: 15th September 2012




The purpose of this inter-disciplinary workshop is to explore the role of aesthetic education in the UK today.  The presence of the concept of aesthetic education in the thinking of British cultural critics can be traced to the profound influence of Matthew Arnold, who inherits the notion from its German Enlightenment proponents – Schiller, Herder, and Winckelmann.  The tradition holds that instruction in art and literature can bring about real changes in society.  In the UK today, however, education in literature and the arts is being increasingly threatened by social change rather than facilitating those changes.  In Culture and Anarchy, Arnold prescribed culture as the antidote to a looming threat of ‘anarchy’ which lay chiefly, he suggested, in vulgar monetary concerns.  In the fear of the neoliberalisation of the university driving the contemporary proliferation of neohumanist apologies for the arts and humanities, we hear the echoes of Arnold’s fear of vulgar monetarism.  Another, contemporary inheritance of this tradition of aesthetic education is a rapidly expanding field of ‘therapeutic’ reading.  Here, aesthetic education is not so much a politically decisive aspect of academic activity as a project of popular empowerment carried out at the level of public libraries, charitable education projects and health provision.  These are just two of many lines of inheritance in the contemporary UK cultural situation of the Enlightenment tradition of aesthetic education. 


The inter-disciplinary workshop will take place at the University of York on the afternoon of Monday 10th December 2012, where discussion will be led by Professor Philip Davis (English, Liverpool) and Dr Nick Jones (Philosophy, York).  Two postgraduate speakers will be selected from submissions.  We welcome abstracts from postgraduates and early career researchers working in all disciplines across the arts and humanities.  Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

·         The contemporary significance of Matthew Arnold’s cultural education
·         Martha Nussbaum’s Not For Profit (2010) and other contemporary interventions
·         Elizabeth Prettejohn’s Beauty and Art, 1750-2000 (2005) and the question of why we should care about Beauty in the twenty-first century
·         Comparative contexts – Britain and elsewhere, e.g., Jacques Rancière’s notion of aesthetics as a space of political non-domination
·         The contemporary significance of morality and ethics for art and narrative
·         The social mission of English literature and its twenty-first century legacy
·         Therapeutic reading as cure for modern problems


Submissions should consist of an abstract of up to 300 words for a paper of 30 minutes in length, and be emailed as an attachment toMildrid Bjerke at by 15th September.

Please direct any queries to Rafe McGregor at


The workshop is being hosted by the Humanities Research Centre at York, and has been funded by the Centre for Modern Studies.

Mildrid Bjerke & Rafe McGregor

University of York

International prize essay competition: Philosophy and the Expressive Arts

Would you like to win £1,500? The Philosophical Quarterly invites submissions for its 2012 international prize essay competition, the topic of which is ‘Philosophy and the Expressive Arts’.

From Plato on, philosophy has had an uneasy relationship with expressive arts such as narrative, poetry, drama, music, painting, and now film. If philosophy today can learn from science, can it learn from the arts as well– or even instead? If so, what can it learn?

Does expressive art access truths, particularly ethical truths, that cannot be expressed any other way? If it does, what can ethicists and other philosophers say about these truths? If it does not, what differentiates expressive from merely decorative art?

Some philosophers insist with Wittgenstein that “whatever can be said at all can be said clearly”. In that case, are artistic uses of language such as metaphor and imagery just “colour”, as Frege called it – just ways of dressing up thoughts that philosophers, by contrast, should consider in their plainest possible form?

We welcome submissions of 8,000 words or fewer addressing these or other questions about philosophy and the expressive arts.

Electronic submission is preferred and contributions may be sent as email attachments to

Essays should be typed in double spacing. Most formats are acceptable, but PDF is preferred. Alternatively, non-electronic submissions may be sent to the address below.

Three copies of each essay are required and these will not be returned. All entries will be regarded as submissions for publication in The Philosophical Quarterly, and both winning and non-winning entries judged to be of sufficient quality will be published.

The closing date for submissions is 1st November 2012.

All submissions should be headed ‘The Expressive Arts’ Prize Essay Competition (with the author’s name and address given in a covering letter, but NOT in the essay itself) and sent to:

The Journal Manager
The Philosophical Quarterly
University of St Andrews
KY16 9AR

Find out more about The Philosophical Quarterly at

XXI Jornadas de Filosofía. 4-5 de Octubre 2012

XXI Jornadas de Filosofía. 4-5 de Octubre 2012 (English version: LA FILOSOFÍA EN LA(s) NUBE(s).   Salón Lope de Rueda Facultad de Filosofía y Letras Universidad de Valladolid Fechas: 4-5 de octubre de 2012   Los lectores de Hegel son unos cuantos. Los espectadores de Woody Allen, algunos más, pero los fieles a los Simpson son multitud. Más allá de los círculos académicos, se hace filosofía, o se presentan tesis filosóficas que determinan –o al menos condicionan– qué consideramos verdadero, bello, bueno, real, quién o qué tiene derechos, cuáles son nuestros deberes, qué puede considerarse humano, etc. Cine, series de TV, novelas y, en general, los productos generados por los medios de comunicación de masas encierran determinadas cosmovisiones en las que se incluyen elementos básicamente filosóficos. Todo ello forma parte de la “nube”, el ambiente en que nos formamos y en el que se gesta lo que creemos y pensamos. Recientemente, la editorial Blackwell ha lanzado una colección de textos que analizan la filosofía de la cultura popular. La división entre alta cultura y cultura popular ha existido siempre y ha ido de la mano de la formación de las clases sociales. Asistimos hoy a la proliferación de espacios masivos que, sin embargo, adquieren una valoración semejante a los espacios reservados en otras épocas para la alta cultura y que, no obstante, se definen como cultura popular. Detrás de cada uno de los elementos de la cultura popular hay principios filosóficos (epistemológicos, ontológicos, éticos, religiosos, políticos…) explícitos o implícitos que inciden en nuestra autocomprensión. El objetivo de estas es pensar qué elementos filosóficos impregnan determinadas creaciones artísticas (fundamentalmente del arte de masas, en la medida en que éste es el que contribuye con más fuerza a generar ideas claras, distintas y fácilmente asimilables) y cuáles son las consecuencias filosóficas, sociales y políticas de las mismas. Se abre un plazo para presentar comunicaciones, que podrán versar sobre los aspectos generales de esta “Cultura filosófica en la nube”, la razón del triunfo de algunas tesis sobre otras, los intereses que apoyan esas cosmovisiones, sus implicaciones éticas, políticas, estéticas, etc. Igualmente, serán bienvenidas aquellas comunicaciones cuyo tema sea el análisis específico de los presupuestos o las conclusiones filosóficas de alguna obra, serie, película, saga de novelas, etc. Asimismo, invitamos a los comunicantes a desarrollar recursos, a partir de estos materiales, para explicar filosofía a las generaciones jóvenes o en cursos de adultos. Las comunicaciones no sobrepasarán los 15 minutos. Los idiomas de las jornadas serán el español y el inglés (no habrá traducción simultánea). La fecha tope para el envío de comunicaciones será el 30 de junio de 2012. La aceptación de las mismas se comunicará antes a finales de julio de 2012.   Dirección de envío:


Joaquín Esteban (Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes) José Zúñiga (Universidad de Granada)

Ricardo Piñero (Universidad de Salamanca) Luis E. de Santiago Guervós (Universidad de Málaga)

Programa de ecología en Bayreuth

Dear students and potential candidates, with the begin of another cohort approaching, we would like to present our interdisciplinary elite graduate program: Global Change Ecology (M.Sc.). Global Change Ecology is devoted to studying, researching and understanding the most important and consequential environmental concern of the 21st century; Global Change and its drivers. We encourage any holder of at least a Bachelor degree in a field related to “Global Change Ecology” to apply for admission. The application deadline for next winter term will be on July 15th, 2012. Please find attached a brochure with further information. Interested students can contact us (e-mail addresses below) if they need further information about the study program, enrolment and visa issues or scholarships. Details about our international study program are also available on our website: For further enquiries please feel free to contact us, or the GCE students board at We are looking forward to your application! Kind regards, Daniela Kretz ——- Daniela Kretz (M.Sc.) Coordination Global Change Ecology University of Bayreuth, Department of Biogeography Universitätsstr. 30, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany Tel. ++49-(0)            921-55-3905       Fax  ++49-(0)            921-55-2315