TitleAesthetic Categories and the Boundaries of Art in the Middle Ages: A Round Table Discussion
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 19.00-20.00
OrganiserStephanie Batkie, Department of English, University of the South, Tennessee
Moderator/ChairStephanie Batkie, Department of English, University of the South, Tennessee
AbstractAesthetic categories, as Sianne Ngai has argued, are places in which judgement, communal sensation, (dis)interest, and labour come together, and, in her reading, modernity is defined by the 'hyperbolic expansion' of the aesthetic within a larger desacralisation of the aesthetic's social function (Ngai, 2012). This round table will ask the simple question: what are the boundaries of the aesthetic in the Middle Ages? Is it useful to propose, as Ngai does, 'categories' of the aesthetic in the pre-modern period? Or is the idea of aesthetic categorisation inappropriate or unproductive for the medieval? Participants will address this question in an interdisciplinary conversation that ranges between the literary, the philosophical, and the art-historical.

Participants include Zac Clifton Engledow (Indiana University, Bloomington), Stefan Forrester (University of Montevallo, Alabama), Katherine Jager (University of Houston-Downtown, Texas), Nicholas Melvani (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz), and Spencer Strub (Princeton University).