‘Dramaturgy of the Dialectic’ by Rebecca Comay | Concept/s: Hegel’s Aesthetics Conference | AUFHEBUNG | 11 January 2018 | Video

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Concept/s: Hegel’s Aesthetics Conference
Ljubljana 11-14 January 2018
Hosted by Aufhebung
International Hegelian Association


Abstract:

The temptation is to pit the Aesthetics against the Phenomenology: the one provides a museum or mausoleum of dead artworks, the other presents an open-ended artistic experiment. The one examines art from Olympian heights of absolute knowing, the other mobilizes and transforms art from (almost) within: philosophy of art vs the art of philosophy—mention vs use, constative vs performative, Hegel’s Aesthetics vs Hegel’s aesthetics. This opposition in turn recalls the contrast between Aristotle’s Poetics and Plato’s dialogues: the former provides an anatomy of tragic poetry, the latter disarms tragedy by sublimating and absorbing its resources for philosophy. Things aren’t so simple, of course, but I’d like to understand why. I’ll be exploring the theatrical elements of Hegel’s Phenomenology. How does Hegel’s dramaturgical practice relate to this ambivalent praise of drama, at the end of the Aesthetics, as the “highest” – which means also the most self-overcoming or self-relativizing — of all the arts?


Rebecca Comay is professor of philosophy and comparative literature, a core member of the Literature and Critical Theory Program (Victoria College), and an associate member of the Germanic Languages and Literatures Department and the Centre for Jewish Studies. Her research interests include Hegel and 19th century German philosophy; theatricality; Marx and Marxism (including Frankfurt school); psychoanalysis; contemporary French philosophy; trauma and memory; iconoclasm and destruction of art; contemporary art and art criticism; Proust and Beckett. She is currently working on a book on the temporality of deadlines, as well as a project on dramaturgy and dialectic.