Upcoming Events

German Research Seminar | Sensualism in 18th Century Germany

4 April, 2014
3.00pm - 5.00pm

The Entry of ‘Feeling’ in the Theory of Art
Olga Katharina Schwartz, Freie universität, Berlin

While scholarship has for decades now accepted that ‘feeling’ went hand in hand with ‘reason’ in the late eighteenth century, discussion of Baumgarten and his successors such as Meier, Mendelssohn and Lessing still tends to classify their aesthetics as either rationalistic or sensualistic. There is, however, no basis for maintaining this binary distinction. The talk will discuss the dual character of early German aesthetics by investigating its rationalistic framework and its debts to French and British sensualism. Diderot’s influence on Lessing’s theory of aesthetic response and Dubos’s influence on Mendelssohn’s idea of conscience will be examined to show how ‘feeling’ made its appearance in art theory in the context of aesthetical, anthropological and moral philosophical discourse.

Olga Katharina Schwarz studied German literature and French philology at the University of Hamburg, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and the Freie Universität in Berlin. In 2011 she became a PhD candidate with the Languages of Emotion graduate school at the Freie Universität. In 2012-13 she was a Visiting Student Research Collaborator at the German Department in Princeton. Her dissertation on “Sensualism in Germany” traces the constitution of German aesthetics from Meier to Lessing.

Location: SLC Common Room 524, Brennan MacCallum Building

Contact:Dr Tristan Lay
Phone: 61 2 9351 2262
Email:tristan.lay@sydney.edu.au