The Eastern Division Meeting was held in the Old City District of Philadelphia at the Best Western Independence Park Hotel. In addition to many sessions on analytic aesthetics, this year’s meeting included a number of presentations on continental philosophers and themes. Robert Pippen delivered an expansive lecture, “After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Visual Modernism,” which was this year’s Monroe Beardsley Lecture, held at Temple’s Center City campus. This period in German philosophy and poetry was considered further in the panel, “Time, Being and the Inexpressible in German Romanticism.” Chaired by Kristin Gjesdal, this panel featured Jane Kneller, David Kenosian, and a commentary by Karl Ameriks. The conference closed with a special session on the value of art, in which Sean D. Kelly expanded upon fecund themes from All Things Shining (co-authored by Hubert Dreyfus), with a focus upon Herman Mellville. Michael Kelly’s talk, “The Value of Art: Art as the Enactment of Value,” gave an enticing preview of his forthcoming book, A Hunger for Aesthetics.
The arts most discussed this year were film and music. The panel, “Film: On Location,” featured Zed Adams, Jay Elliott, and Dan Wack. A session on film included papers by Craig Fox, Aaron Smuts, and Christy Mag Uidhir. There were two sessions on music; the session on ontology included papers by Oscar Barragan and John Dyck; the session on the emotions included papers by Phil Jenkins and James Young – the latter with a special commentary by Jeanette Bicknell.
The remainder of the sessions featured papers on a wide range of issues; for example, Casey Haskins, “The Network of Aesthetic Inquiry,” James Harold, “On the Idea that Music Shapes Character,” Eva Dadlez, “Being Evil: RPGs [role-playing games], Imaginative Immersion, and Moral Complicity,” Ira Newman, “Narrativizing Shame: A Study in Moral Psychology and Literary Structure,” Mary Beth Willard, “Historical Criticism and the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.”
It is noteworthy that graduate students from a range of area universities – Princeton, Columbia, Binghamton, NYU, Rutgers, Temple, etc. – participated as presenters and commentators.
The program co-chairs would like to thank the philosophy graduate students from Temple for their continued service to the Division. And we would like to give special thanks to those who served on this year’s review committee: Sondra Bacharach, Brandon Cooke, Alessandro Giovannelli, James Harold, Robin James, John Kulvicki, Margaret Moore, Jonathan Neufeld, Glenn Parsons, Bill Seeley, and Melissa Zinkin.
The 2012 Eastern Division Meeting conference organizers are Chris Bartel (Appalachian State University) and Jonathan Neufeld (College of Charleston).
Tiger C. Roholt