R1A - 002 | CCN: 20300

The Craft of Writing

Reimagining the Aesthetic: An Archeology of Aesthetic Philosophy

Instructor: Megan Alvarado-Saggese & Marcos Cisneros

4 Units

 This course aims to develop students' critical thinking, reading, and

writing skills through close analysis of works of literature, visual
art, and philosophy. Moving between foundational texts from the
history of aesthetic philosophy and contemporary works of art, this
course will facilitate proficiency approaching visual, literary, and
acoustic works. As such, students are expected to consider what close
reading means when applied to a variety of aesthetic forms. As the
first half of a year-long writing curriculum, we will focus on the
development of exegetical writing. This means that a clear understanding of the courses' texts is essential to successful essay

Beginning with Kant, we will trace the development of crucial debates
regarding the meaning, value, and power of aesthetics. While
the term was only introduced by Alexander Baumgarten in the mid-18th
century, the question as to whether aesthetics is a contribution or a
hindrance to the republic has long preceded his categorization of the
phenomena. The term "aesthetics," then, serves as a lens through which to consider larger questions of subjectivity, community, and
politics. While the readings will largely trace the thinking of French
and German aesthetic philosophy, we will pair these canonical texts
with contemporary works of art and literature, demonstrating the
persistence of these seminal debates.