The Rocky Mountain Division held its 29th annual meeting in the Hotel Santa Fe in downtown Santa Fe. The longed-for monsoons arrived in New Mexico slightly early this year (after two years of non-soons), and so we enjoyed clear Apollonian mornings followed by Dionysian thunderstorms in the afternoons. The Saturday evening reception was well attended, and folks seemed to thoroughly enjoy the new venue and surrounding railroad district. The dropping away of those whose papers were accepted but whose travel funds were cut remains a problem. However, we are up from last year’s count of 18 presented papers to 27 (not including the two keynotes) this year, which is an increase of 50%.
This summer marked the first year in the three-year terms of Division President James W. Mock and Division Vice-President Allison Hagerman. This year’s business meeting was brief. We had a unanimous vote to establish a five-year contract with our new conference venue, Hotel Santa Fe, and another unanimous vote to invite students and faculty from local colleges and universities to attend the keynote speaker addresses. The spacious conference rooms and amenities at the Hotel Santa Fe allow room for an increase in participants in the coming years.
The twenty-seven presentations reflect the long-standing interdisciplinary focus of the division: “Persons and Collingwood’s Account Revisited,” by Spencer K. Wertz; “Wit as an Aesthetic Property,” by Eva M. Dadlez; “Ploughing the Same Field’: The Friendship of Robert Coles and Walker Percy,” by Lawrence Rhu; “Is British Romanticism Alive and Well and Living in Taos? John Nichols Writes on the Environment,” by Michael Manson; “Fugue & Sonata: Heidegger, Nietzsche, & Hӧldelrin,” by Gabrelle Saurage; “Entertainment is not Art: A Pragmatist Defense of an Aesthetic Distinction,” by David Hildebrand; “Aesthetic Defenses of Civil Liberties in Philosophical Accounts of Three Historical Novels,” by Norman Arthur Fischer; “Fascism and Ecology: From Nazi Ecology to Environmentalism in Contemporary Literature,” by George Moore; “Jane Ellen Harrison’s Critique of Spirit: A Cultural Phenomenology,” by Sarah Woolwine; “Figure, painting, and Integrity in Merleau-Ponty,” by Daniel Guentchev; “Gadamer’s Play and Seriousness in the Aesthetic of Braid,” by Tad Bratkowski; “The Territoriality of Art: Gilles Deleuze, Hakim Bey, and Herman Melville,” by John Samson; “Elegance in Japan,” by B. Sandrisser; “Framing the Digital: Revisiting Perennial Issues,” by Raphael Sassower; “Sports and Religious Images in American Culture,” by Jeffrey Scholes; “The Unlikeliest Sublime: Unbounded Male and Female Light in Still Life Paintings,” by Patrick McKee; “A Defense of the Picturesque,” by Roger Paden; “Propaganda Power of Protest Songs,” by Sheryl Tuttle Ross; “The Ugly Americans: Gestures and Social Practice in the Work of Allora & Calzadilla,” by Emily Putnam; “Retablos and Folk Icons: An Aesthetic Study of Native Universals,” by Cornelia A. Tsakiridou; “Some Ideas about ideas and the Idea Idea,” by Wesley D. Cray; “Atlantic Shorelines and the ‘Sea-sounding Speech,’” by Tammy Armstrong; “The Question Concerning Photography: Heidegger and Cavell,” by Pioter Shmugliakov; “Affirming the Rational and Irrational Dimensions of the Judgment of Taste: Towards the Incorporation of the Cognitivist Theory into the Aesthetics Discourse,” by Arthur Bravo; “Danto, Hegel and Kant on Beauty and the Sublime,” by Jon M. Mikkelsen; “David Hume and Limitations on the Association of ideas in ‘Of the Standard of Taste,’” by James W. Mock; and “Artworlds, False Theories, and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,” by David Conter.
The session chairs managed the timing of presentations and discussions with uniform excellence and grace. We offer sincere thanks to all of them: James W. Mock, Elizabeth Graham, Jon M. Mikkelsen, Lawrence Rhu, Pamela Washington, Patrick McKee, Spencer K. Wertz, Eva M. Dadlez, Raphael Sassower, and Gabrelle Saurage. Special thanks is owed to Robin Jones, Executive Director of Cornerstones Community Partnerships in Santa Fe, and to the University of Central Oklahoma Office of Information Technology, for the loan of their digital projectors.
The Friday afternoon Manuel Davenport Keynote Address, “On Being Stereo-blind in an Era of 3D Movies,” was presented by Dr. Cynthia Freeland of the University of Houston. The Saturday afternoon Artist at Work presentation was by McCreery Jordan, McCreery Jordan Studio, Santa Fe.