For Love: Taste, Evaluation, and Aesthetics in Criticism and Culture (Q3266)
15 credits, Level 5
“I don't know art, but I know what I like,” goes the disclaimer. In this writing-oriented seminar, we seek to unpack the relationship between ‘art’ and ‘what I like’ by examining a variety of cultural objects together with accounts of taste.
You examine concepts including beauty, the sublime, cuteness, the gimmick and formula through texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Christian Bök. We also cover an assortment of recent evaluative criticism and theoretical writings by Immanuel Kant, Thorstein Veblen, Clement Greenberg, Pierre Bourdieu, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Franco Moretti and Sianne Ngai.
You'll consider questions such as:
- what makes us care about art?
- could annoyance be an aesthetic principle?
- what is the place of evaluation in an age of analytical criticism?
- what are the uses of an art that nobody likes?
- what is the role of money in taste?
- what are the ethics of aesthetics?
- under what circumstances is an aesthetic pleasure guilty?
- when should the appreciation of art works be a matter of disinterested judgment and when a matter of passionate engagement?
- does love blind?
- what is the difference between a fan and a critic?
- what are the affordances and limits of the formulaic and the generic?
100%: Coursework (Portfolio)
Contact hours and workload
This module is approximately 146 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 124 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.
This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.
This module is offered on the following courses:
- American Studies and English (with a study abroad year) BA
- Drama and English (with a study abroad year) BA
- Drama and English BA
- English (with a study abroad year) BA
- English BA
- English Language and Literature (with a study abroad year) BA
- English Language and Literature BA
- English and Art History (with a study abroad year) BA
- English and Art History BA
- English and Film Studies BA
- English and History (with a study abroad year) BA
- English and History BA
- English and Media Studies (with a study abroad year) BA
- English and Media Studies BA
- Philosophy and English BA