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Rome Graduate Seminar in Aesthetics and Cultural Studies: Vision and Rationality
Temple University Rome offers a four-week graduate seminar designed to bring together the disciplines of aesthetics and cultural studies. In its interdisciplinary thrust, the six-credit seminar is intended to serve as a foundation for advanced study in the human sciences and to reflect the most current trends of thought in post-modern culture. The seminar convenes at Temple University's campus in Rome.
Graduate and post-doctoral students in fields such as literature, film studies, philosophy, art and social theory are welcome to apply. The seminar, taught in English, entails an intensive program of class work, field trips and guest lectures, and the city of Rome is used extensively as a resource.
The Temple Rome campus is ideally located in the heart of Rome, in the Villa Caproni, a handsome building facing the Tiber River. Just north of Piazza del Popolo and within walking distance of the lively Spanish Steps and the beautiful Borghese Gardens, the Villa Caproni is convenient to living accommodations, shops and restaurants. Its facilities include a 16,000-volume library – one of the largest English-language libraries in Rome, a computer center, academic classrooms, extensive art and architecture studios, an art gallery and student lounges.
Accommodations can be arranged in an apartment residence or students can make their own living arrangements in advance. Depending on the number of program participants requesting housing in the apartment residence, graduate seminar students may be housed with undergraduate summer session students.
This seminar topic focuses on the troubled relation between perception and cognition in three historical moments of Western culture: the Renaissance and the birth of single point perspective; the Baroque and Counter-Reformation; and the postmodern critique of Enlightenment rationality. We speculate about how our culture has been shaped by collaboration and conflict among visual, visionary, ideological and rational ways of knowing the world. The scope of inquiry embraces literary, philosophical, painterly and cinematic texts.
Among the questions to be raised are: What is the relation between visual and verbal representation? Is the perceptual realm of sight necessarily subordinated to rationality? What is the place of visual representation in the tug-of-war between imaginary and real spheres of being? What historical and ideological exchanges between vision and rationality continue to affect our social and political orders? What role does aesthetics play in the making of a public sphere?
Program participants enroll in either English 9089: Rome Seminar – Art & Culture (6 graduate credits), or its cross-listed course, Art History 8450: Special Projects (6 graduate credits).
The seminar is conducted in English through lecture/discussion sessions and closely coordinated field trips. The class sessions focus upon the listed readings below in the theory of ideology and the history of art. The field sessions focus upon Roman illusionist painting; Caravaggio and the Counter-Reformation; Baroque sculpture and architecture; and the holdings in futurism and abstraction at the Museum of Modern Art in Rome.
Alan Singer is Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English at Temple University. He writes on aesthetics, literary theory and cultural studies topics. He is the author of many scholarly articles and four critical books, most recently Aesthetic Reason: Artworks and the Deliberative Ethos (2003) and The Self-Deceiving Muse: Notice and Knowledge in the Work of Art (2010). He is the author of four novels, most recently Dirtmouth (2004) and The Inquisitor's Tongue (2011). His book-in-progress is A Perceptual Ethics, excerpts of which have recently appeared in the journals Symploke and Cultural Critique.
Robert L. Caserio, Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, is co-editor, with Clement C. Hawes, of The Cambridge History of the English Novel (2012), and editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth Century English Novel (2009). He is the author of The Novel in England 1900-1945: History and Theory; and of Plot, Story, and the Novel: from Dickens and Poe to the Modern Period. He has published numerous essays on narrative fiction, on poetry, and on gay and lesbian literature.
Brunella Antomarini, PhD in Aesthetics at Gregoriana University in Rome, teaches aesthetics and contemporary philosophy at John Cabot University in Rome and is the author of the books Pensare con l’errore (Codice Edizioni, Torino 2008), Thinking through Error (Lexington Books, 2012), L’errore del maestro (Derive Approdi, Rome 2006), and La percezione della forma in Hans Urs von Balthasar (Sie Edizioni, Palermo 2004). She is the editor of many monographs and has published many articles in international journals. A selection of her recent publications includes: Teatri dell'occhio. L'alternarsi non-lineare delle teorie dei colori, in AA.VV. Connessioni inattese. Crossing tra arte e scienza, Ignazio Licata, ed., Giancarlo Politi Editore, Milano 2009, pp.69-96. La natura come caso speciale della tecnica, in Il corpo e la tecnica, B. Antomarini and S. Tagliagambe, ed., Franco Angeli, Roma 2007. The Notion of afterlife in Benjamin's Philosophy of History. Proceedings of the International Conference at John Cabot University on Critical Theory, April 27-29, 2007. The Acoustical Pre-history of Poetry, “New Literary History,” tr. S. Stewart, vol. 35, no. 3, Summer 2004.
In past years we have invited guest lecturers and artists to conduct a one-day workshop in relation to the issues of the seminar, and we hope to continue this practice. Previous guests include: Rodolphe Gasche (theorist, philosopher), Juliet Mitchell (psychoanalyst), Jacqueline Rose (literary critic), Anthony Giddens (political theorist), Jean-Marie Straub (filmmaker), Marco Bellocchio (filmmaker), Enzo Cucchi (painter), Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel (installation artists), Peter Greenaway (film-maker), Bernardo Bertolucci (film-maker), Michael Fried (art historian), Peter Flaccus, (painter), the Brothers Quay (film-makers), Mieke Bal (theorist and art critic), Stefano di Stasio (painter), Jannis Kounellis (sculptor) and Sandro Chia (painter and sculptor).
*Fee includes housing in the apartment residence.
**Please note that the program fee applies to all students.
In addition to the items listed above, students should budget money for books and any personal travel.
We recommend that students follow the exchange rate prior to and during their summer abroad, either through the newspaper or a currency exchange web site (such as www.oanda.com).
Dates are tentative and subject to change
Please see General Summer Information to read about pre-departure information and orientation, passports and visas, scholarships, costs and payment policies, accreditation, and transfer of credits.
Please see Eligibility and Application Procedures for program eligibility, application requirements, and application procedures that apply to all summer programs. In addition, the following is required of applicants to this program:
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To speak with program faculty, please contact Alan Singer, Temple University,
For further information, contact Education Abroad, 215-204-0720, firstname.lastname@example.org.