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Dolan Awarded ASA Dissertation Fellowship

Wednesday, April 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The American Society for Aesthetics is pleased to announce that Caitlin Dolan, University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the ASA Dissertation Fellowship for 2018-19. Her dissertation is entitled: “Looking and Learning: Pictorial Representation and Visual Skill.” She received her BA in Philosophy from New York University.

Seven applications were received this year. The selection was made by a committee of three distinguished senior ASA members, who noted that this was an exceptionally strong group of applicants. The award is for $25,000, plus an additional $5,000 for tuition and fees.

This is the fourth year that ASA has awarded a Dissertation Fellowship. The previous winners:

  • David Johnson, Northwestern University (2015-16)
  • Marilynn Johnson [no relation], CUNY Graduate Center (2016-17)
  • Madeleine Ransom, University of British Columbia (2017-18)

The deadline to apply for the Dissertation Fellowship for 2019-20 will be January 1, 2019. ASA student members enrolled in doctoral programs in North America are eligible. Guidelines are here.

The abstract for Dolan's dissertation:

By reflecting on what is involved in making and using pictures, my dissertation gleans insights about the variety of forms that representation can take, and about the kinds of opportunities afforded by our basic capacity for sight. It puts the “immediacy” of appearances in a new perspective by arguing that seeing how things “merely” look does not stop short of seeing how they are, but instead happens only when visual investigation continues, and we exert the effort of more careful looking. It then develops the idea that depiction is constituted by this kind of perceptual project, and challenges the traditional conception of perception as passive by examining the intentional activity of making materials into pictorial artifacts. Having secured a sense in which seeing is the exercise of skill, it offers an understanding of the diversity of styles displayed by pictures made over the course of history, in terms of the style that episodes of looking and seeing themselves exhibit.

 Committee: Hannah Ginsborg (co-chair), Alva Noë (co-chair), Barry Stroud, Mary Ann Smart (outside member, Musicology) 

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