Past Events


International conference on December  6th and 7th 2018
at the University of Roskilde and the University of Copenhagen


6th of December 2018, Roskilde University

Anne Elisabeth Sejten (Roskilde University)
Natural Beauty, So Far, So Near

Beauty and Design
Session moderated by Henrik Reeh (University of Copenhagen)

Jane Forsey (University of Winnipeg, Canada)
Functional Style, or the Beauty of Design

Mads Nygaard Folkmann (University of Southern Denmark)
Not Only Beautiful. Aesthetic Categories in Design

Fàtima Pombo (University of Aveiro, Portugal)
On Beauty, Design History and the Prosaic Relevance of Purpose

Esther Oluffa Pedersen (Roskilde University)
The Beauty of Theory

Carsten Friberg (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Aesthetics and Design. A Refuge for Beauty

Beauty and Art
Session moderated by Falk Heinrich

Carole Talon-Hugon (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France)
Absolute Beauty and Relative Beauty: Artistic Issues of a Classical Distinction

Else Marie Bukdahl (Aalborg University)
The aesthetic challenges in the field of sustainability – The relation of art, architectural design and sustainability in Michel Singer’s projects.

Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis (University of Milan, Italy)
From Beauty to Emotions. Du Bos and the emotionalistic theory of enjoyment

7th of December 2018, University of Copenhagen

Beauty and Body
Session moderated by Esther Oluffa Pedersen (Roskilde University, Denmark)

Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
Beauty, Aesthetic Experience, and the Powers of Possession

Max Ryynänen (Aalto University, Finland)
Cute, Ugly and Beautiful Kitsch

Falk Heinrich (Aalborg University, Denmark)
How Can There Be Beauty in Participatory Art?

Beauty and Art
Session moderated by Anne Elisabeth Sejten (Roskilde University, Denmark)

Danielle Lories (University of Louvain, Belgium)
Beautiful and the Aesthetic : a Lesson of the Eighteenth Century

Salvador Rubio Marco (University of Murcia, Spain)
Reflecting on Wittgenstein’s Culture and Value: the Value of Beauty

Beauty, Media and Everyday Life
Session moderated ny Mads Nygaard Folkmann (University og Southern Denmark)

Ulrik Schmidt (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Beyond Beauty: Aestheticization of Media as Environments

Claudio Rozzoni (New University of Lisbon, Portugal)
The Beauty of the Everyday: Baudelaire’s Legacy in Jeff Wall

Henrik Reeh (University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Fragile City Images: with Georg Simmel in Rome

Conference presentation

A cornerstone in aesthetics, perhaps the fundamental one, ‘beauty’ deserves close attention in the Aesthetics Unlimited research programme. Aesthetics is linked to beauty and vice versa. However, if beauty performs a long-living philosophical concept, ever since Plato connected it to truth, it encounters serious problems from Modernism onwards. Some of the most visionary intellectual sensibilities since the end of the 19thcentury are aware of the changes that may turn beauty into an antiquated concept, e.g. Paul Valéry who in 1928 asks whether ‘the Moderns still make any use of it’, only to conclude that ‘the Beautiful is no longer in vogue.’ Yet, Valéry and fellow spirits are sceptical about that which will replace beauty, when it is increasingly submitted to entertainment; or as Valéry puts it: ‘all the values of the chock have supplanted Beauty.’

The ambiguous decline of true beauty and the parallel rise of a pleasure or sensation-seeking beauty is an issue in aesthetic thought from Adorno to today. Aesthetics in Western late-modern society soon became a matter of embellishment of public and private space, while in return contemporary art is not necessarily pleasing. To be sure, the ‘aestheticization of everyday life’ blends economy and aesthetics, industry and style, mode and art, consummation and creation, mass culture and elitist culture. But how does this aestheticization of the contemporary world affect the very experience of beauty?

It is the issue of this conference to question and, if possible, revitalise the concept of beauty vis-à-vis aestheticized phenomena in everyday life, design, urbanity and elsewhere. Mapping the conceptual potentials of beauty points not only to a revaluation of modern and contemporary art and its ways of challenging beauty, but also to the need for rethinking the aesthetic experience as such. The extension of aesthetics into areas others than those of the arts might indeed reveal a certain unlimitedness of aesthetics. However, if the field of the aesthetic has no borders, this is perhaps what aesthetics is all about: a refusal to impose limits on our ability to perceive. The question remains whether, despite trivialization, beauty may still refer to an intrinsic value in aesthetic experience.


International conference on May 17th and 18th 2018
at the University of Milan, Palazzo Greppi


17th of May 2018

Anne Elisabeth Sejten (Roskilde University) et Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis (Università degli Studi di Milano): Introduction

Keynote lecture
Baldine Saint-Girons (Paris X-Nanterre)
Du sublime comme principe et pas seulement comme catégorie

The Sublime and Politics / Sublime et politique
session moderated by Serena Feloj (Università degli Studi di Pavia)

Eskil Elling (Northwestern University)
Aesthetic Judgment as Rebirth: The Sublime and The Limits Of Community in Arendt and Lyotard

Natacha Luna Malaga (Université Catholique de Louvain)
L’imprésentabilité de l’infini comme affirmation politique de l’homme : le rôle actif de l’imagination dans le sublime de Kant

The Sublime Facing Modernity and Contemporaneity /
Le sublime face à la modernité et à la contemporanéité,
session moderated by Claudio Rozzoni (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Martin Zerlang (University of Copenhagen)
The City and the Aesthetics of the Spectacular

Henrik Reeh (University of Copenhagen)
Eclair et tonnerre – Walter Benjamin et la réécriture du sublime urbain

Jacob Lund (Aarhus University)
Contemporaneity, a Sublime Experience ?

Keynote lecture
Andrea Mecacci (Università degli studi di Firenze)
Even Better Than the Real Thing: the Hyperreal Sublime

18th of May 2018

Keynote lecture
Peter De Bolla (University of Cambridge)
Tracking the concept of the sublime across the British Eighteenth Century: A distributional Concept Analysis

Rethinking the Origins of the Sublime / Repenser les origines du sublime, session moderated by Lorenzo Lattanzi (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Danielle Lories (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Kant : le sublime sans la passion

Laetitia Marcucci (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis)
Revisiter l’esthétique du sublime : sublime, goût et clarté chez un précurseur, le Père Bouhours (1628-1702)

Rita Messori (Università degli Studi di Parma): Poétique du paysage et sublime dans les Salons de Diderot

Revisiting the Sublime through the Arts / Le sublime revisité par les arts, session moderated by Adeline Thulard (Université Lumière Lyon 2)

Salvador Rubio Marco (Universidad de Murcia)
Sublime in Cinema: Notes on Gonzalo Suárez’s Remando al viento (1988)

Helena Canadas (Ateneu Universitari Sant Pacià, Barcelona)
Terrible, sublime et tragique dans la Rothko Chapel

Michele Bertolini (Accademia di Belle Arti Bergamo)
The Abstract Sublime et l’actualité du sublime dans l’école de New York

Élise Leménager-Bretrand (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III)
Le cri silencieux : sublime et (a)temporalité

Carole Talon-Hugon (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis)
Les émotions du sublime


December 7th, 2017, 10-15
Institut for Kommunikation og Humanistisk Videnskab, Roskilde Universitet
Bygning 43, lokale 43.2.37


Anne Sejten (RUC)
Velkommen. Om tre linjer i æstetikforskningen

Falk Heinrich (AAU)
Æstetik, den hjemløse

Mads Nygaard Folkmann (SDU)
Æstetik som indgang til forståelse og analyse af design

Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen (KU)
Politisk æstetik

Henrik Reeh (KU)
Rumlig kultur

Ulrik Schmidt (RUC)
Iscenesættelse, materialisme, kritik


December 6th, 2017, 14.00-16.00
Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University
Auditorium 46.1

Professor Terry Eagleton is revisiting the ‘aesthetic’ concept he submitted for critical survey in 1990. In his major work, The Ideology of the Aesthetic, he focused on the complex relations between aesthetics, ethics and politics throughout modern Western thought.

Terry Eagleton has published over forty books, especially in the domain of literary criticism, including Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983) and After Theory (2003). He is also the author of the novel Saints and Scholars (1987) and The Gatekeeper: A Memoir (2001). His latest books include: Why Marx Was Right (2011); The Event of Literature (2012); How to Read Literature (2013); and Hope without Optimism (2015). At Oxford University, Eagleton was the Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature from 1992 to 2001 and then became John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester. He has held visiting appointments at a number of universities around the world, including Cornell, Duke, Iowa, Melbourne, Notre Dame, Trinity College Dublin, and Yale. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the English Association. Terry Eagleton is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature within the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

See the video of the lecture here:

Video thumbnail for Terry Eagleton


ON TASTE – Inaugural Conference on May 4 th and 5 th 2017


4th of May 2017, Roskilde University

Anne Elisabeth Sejten, Roskilde University, Denmark:
Welcome and presentation

Carolyn Korsmeyer, University at Buffalo, New York, USA:
Taste and Other Senses: Reconsidering the Foundations of Aesthetics

Carole Talon-Hugon, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France: Aestheticization of Taste, Consequence of the “Aisthetization” of Beauty

Jérôme Lèbre, Collège International de Philosophie, Paris, France:
Taste, Touch and Truth: Can We Find the Intruder?

Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis, University of Milan, Italy:
Questions of Taste. Diderot and the Stratification of Aesthetic Judgment

Morten Kyndrup, Aarhus University, Denmark:
Aesthetics and Judgment

Esther Oluffa Pedersen, Roskilde University, Denmark:
Kant, Taste and Judgment

Falk Heinrich, Aalborg University, Denmark:
Between Imagination and Understanding: Poiesis

Anne Elisabeth Sejten, Roskilde University, Denmark:
From Hume’s “Delicacy” to Contemporary Art: Standards of Taste

Danielle Lories, University of Louvain, Belgium:
La temporalité de l’expérience esthétique selon Kant

5th of May 2017, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Art

Juliane Rebentisch, University of Art and Design, Offenbach am Main, Germany:
Distinction and Difference: Revisiting the Question of Taste

Salvador Rubio Marco; University of Murcia, Spain:
Why Arguing about Taste: A Critique of Kivy’s Phenomenological Art-Realism

Matilde Carrasco Barranco, University of Murcia, Spain:
A Matter of Taste: The Critical Use of Aesthetic Qualities

Dorte Jelstrup, Roskilde University, Denmark:
The Concept of Art, Aesthetic Properties and Taste

Liselotte Hedegaard, University College Lillebælt, Denmark:
Learning about and through Taste

Inger Louise Berling Hyams, Roskilde University, Denmark:
Judgments of Taste in the Architecture School Critique

Mads Nygaard Folkmann, University of Southern Denmark:
The Good Taste. What Defines the Aesthetics of Design?

Christian Jantzen, Aalborg University, Denmark:
The Ready-Made Taste War

Cynthia M. Grund, University of Southern Denmark:
Taste and Normativity