The Eastern Division of the ASA held its first meeting in its new permanent location this past April 6-7 in Philadelphia, PA. The meeting was a success in part because of a relationship with Temple University. The meeting coincided with the Temple University Monroe Beardsley lecture. Even though our guest speaker, moneyman JS Boggs decided not to come at the last minute, the presenters who were there more than made up for our loss.
To begin the program, John Brown delivered a paper entitled “Digital Technology in the Service of Aesthetic Analysis and Theory” in a session with John Dilworth who read “Re-Orienting Artistic Depiction.” In a concurrent session Steven DeCaroli (Philosophy, Goucher College) read “Physiognomic Fragments: Hegel’s Aesthetics and the Implications of Pseudo-Science” in a session with Chris Perricone (Philosophy, Iona College) who read “Art Selection, or the Preservation of Art Works in the Struggle For Art.” In the next session, Lee Brown (Philosophy, The Ohio State University) read “Categories, Revisited” with Jesus Ilundaian-Agurruza (Department of Social Science, Truman State University) reading “Unoriginal Masterpieces: a Critique of Originality as a Criterion of Excellence in Art.” This was followed by a session on Continental Aesthetics with Robin James (Philosophy, DePaul University) reading “Kristeva and Kant: Abjection in/as Aesthetics” and Michael Dahnke (Philosophy, Temple University) reading “Visceral Pleasures: Foucault, Butler and Cinema.”
After the morning sessions we all made it down to Temple University to hear Peter Kivy give the Beardsley lecture entitled “Mozart’s Second Childhood,” after which Temple provided a very nice reception for the Beardsley attendees and the ASA. Saturday, the sessions began with Elisa Galgut (Philosophy, University of Capetown) reading “The Poetry and the Pity: Hume’s Account of Tragic Pleasure” along with a session on Gender and Beauty with Mary Bittner Wiseman (Philosophy, CUNY) reading “Gender Matters” and Marcella Tarozzi-Goldsmith (New York) reading “Sublime Sublimity.” In the next session Emily Brady (Philosophy, Temple University) read “Difficult Aesthetic Appreciation: The Case of Topiary” along with James Sheppard (Philosophy, SUNY Binghamton) who read “Overcoming Aesthetic Blight: Activism and the Challenge of Transforming Urban Landscapes.” In the last session before lunch, James Harold (Philosophy, University of Minnesota) read “Flexing the Imagination” along with Jeff Dean (Blackwell Publishers) who read “Fiction and Moral Emotions.” Following these, Gabriel Ricci (Philosophy, Elizabethtown College) read “Wyndham Lewis: A Portrait of the Artist as Ideologue” along with David Martinez (American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota) who read “Along the Horizon a World Appears: George Morrison and the Pursuit of An American Indian Aesthetic.” In a concurrent session Roger Bell (Philosophy, Sonoma State University) read “Beauty, Palm Trees and Imperial Nostalgia” along with Stephen Croddy (Philosophy, Westchester University) who read “Realism, Abstraction and Our Perception of Images.” In the last session, Gregory Reish (Performing Arts, Buffalo State College) read “Giacinto Scelsi’s Spiritualist Aesthetic and the Creation of a New Music” along with Becky Ringer (Musicology, University of North Texas) who read “Vanitas vanitatum! Robert Schumann’s Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102: An Examination of ‘Folk,’ Dialogue and Persona.” In a concurrent session Monique Roelofs (Philosophy, Brown University/Pembroke Center) and Leslie Bostrom (Visual Art, Brown University) led a panel on emotion and the arts entitled “Visual Art and the Conditions for Aesthetic Exchange.”
Overall, the program worked out nicely with papers covering a wide range of topics in aesthetics with attendees coming from all over the US and even from South Africa. The program will be held next year (2002) in Philadelphia at the Doubletree Hotel again. Mara Miller will be program chair and Sarah Worth will be local arrangements chair. Kirk Pillow was also nominated to the program committee for 2002-2006.