South Asian Aesthetics

University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2014

Session 22: Aesthetics Across Cultures

Guest speaker: Manpreet Kaur (Columbia University) One question that we have consistently run up against in the course is whether and to what extent aesthetic values, concepts and thinking are … Continue reading

November 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

Post: Art and Politics

Our most recent class sessions have found us discussing the relationship between art, literature and politics, and the potential for art to bring about political and social change.  These issues … Continue reading

November 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 20: Aesthetic and Performance of Devotional Music with Yogi Trivedi

During this session we will have the tremendous pleasure and benefit of listening to Yogendra (Yogi) Trivedi speak on aesthetics in the theory and practice of devotional singing in the … Continue reading

November 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 19: The Aesthetics of Dissent Part I- Art and Power

In this session we will explore the relationship between the aesthetic realm, aesthetics as a discourse, and power– in all its political, social, religious, and gendered forms.  The conceptual readings are … Continue reading

November 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 18: The Aesthetics of Desire Part II- Gender, Identity, and Consumption

Coordinator: TBD As we saw during the last session, which addressed the aesthetics of desire and human love sketched by Vatsyayana in the Kāmasūtra, pre-modern South Asian society imagined an identity … Continue reading

November 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 17: The Aesthetics of Desire Part I – Connoisseurship and Pleasure

Coordinator: TBD How much are our physical and emotional desires shaped by aesthetics, both as an unspoken ideology and as an explicit discourse?  Are love and desire ever unmediated by learned, … Continue reading

October 31, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 16: The Aesthetics of Devotion Part II- Discipline and Connoisseurship

“Sama is a proving ground for men of spiritual prowess.” — Nizam ud-din Awliya, in the Fawa’id al-Fu’ad جاں کیوں نکلنے لگتی ہے تن سے دمِ سماع گر وہ صدا سمائی … Continue reading

October 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 15: The Aesthetics of Devotion Part I: God as Love(r)

Guest speaker: John Stratton Hawley, Barnard College. Over the past month we have studied the concept of rasa (with its attendant concepts of bhāva, vibhāva, abhinaya, etc.) in the writings of several thinkers and in the context … Continue reading

October 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 14: Time

“In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.” — Bertolt Brecht. Coordinator: Corey Time: does art exist within it, … Continue reading

October 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

Session 13: What is Genius?

Coordinator: Vidya A couple of questions or problems will become apparent as you read the materials for this session: first, can the question of what constitutes artistic or literary genius … Continue reading

October 20, 2014 · Leave a comment