[SydPhil] The Contemporary Possibilities of Romanticism and Modernism

Nikolas Kompridis Nikolas.Kompridis at acu.edu.au
Mon May 8 16:05:03 AEST 2017

The Sydney School for Critical Social Thought 2017 invites you to join our discussion on:

The Contemporary Possibilities of Romanticism and Modernism

Prof Jay Bernstein, New School for Social Research

Prof Robert Pippin, University of Chicago

Prof Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University and Institute for Social Justice/ACU

Prof Nikolas Kompridis, Institute for Social Justice/ACU

Two decades into this perplexing century, it has become a question whether romanticism or modernism have the conceptual resources to make sense of and respond to its enormous challenges. Both seem fated to be historicised and provincialised as exclusively Eurocentric conceptual frameworks. But are romanticism and modernism really exhausted categories or are they in need of renewal through alliances with alternative perspectives and dissenting voices outside the Eurocentric frame? What within their respective conceptual and normative frameworks would make such alliances possible? In this two-day symposium on the contemporary possibilities of romanticism and modernism, J.M. Bernstein, Akeel Bilgrami, Nikolas Kompridis and Robert Pippin will address these and other questions.

When: 16 – 17 May 2017, 10am –5pm
Where: Level 7, Tenison Woods House, 8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney

Register here<https://www.acu.edu.au/connect_with_acu/registrations/sydney_school_for_critical_social_thought/sydney_school_for_critical_social_thought/_nocache>


"Late Style, First Art: The Fates and Politics of  Modernism"

Jay Bernstein

T. W. Adorno's aesthetic theory takes modernism as the bearer of the suppressed and delegitimated authority of material nature under conditions of capitalist modernity.  This lecture argues that the modernist sculpture of Isamu Noguchi, as the emphatic anticipation of land and earth art, offers a renewed exemplification of late style that "leaves only fragments behind, and communicates itself, like a cipher."  It is also argued that the social conditions that created and nurtured modernism now force art “to be based on another practice -- politics.””

"The Submerged Politics of Moral Realism: Lessons from the Romanticism of Marx and Gandhi”

Akeel Bilgrami

In this lecture I will give a brief argument for moral realism and then explore what philosophers have ignored —the political possibilities submerged in that doctrine, possibilities that owe to romanticism both in its canonical literary and philosophical traditions and in the outlying traditions that range from the work of Marx to Gandhi.

"Romantic Expression and Modernist Reflection
The Sincere and the Authentic Subject in Late Modernity"

Robert Pippin

The modernist moment arose from a sense that the form of life emerging in mid-nineteenth century Europe was so unprecedented in human history that art’s very purpose or rationale, its mode of address to an audience, had to be fundamentally rethought. The issue was: what kind of art, committed to what ideal, could be credible in such a world (if any)? A similar set of concerns arose in what is broadly characterized as romanticism, although in this case the difficulty addressed concerns an emerging social and economic world in which the possibilities for genuine self-expression, the translation of the “inner” world of sentiment, passion, desire and love into the “outer,” is confronted by fewer and fewer external vehicles for such expression, both aesthetically and politically. This situation is understood to require extraordinary talent, even genius, to overcome such alienation. In this paper, I explore the socio-historical dimensions of such aesthetic crises, and suggest some limitations in the romantic notion of “expression.”

"Romanticism and Vocabularies of Hope"

Nikolas Kompridis

Do we need romanticism in a skeptical age? Without a romantic vocabulary in which to describe its hopes, if hopes it can muster, how can these hopes be expressed, let alone realised (if they are hopes we wish to realise)? This is hardly straightforward, not least because we cannot use the vocabularies of the past. Can romanticism teach us anything about the hard task of working out vocabularies of hope for our times? By looking closely at some of Wordsworth’s writings and his reflections on language, I will offer some answers to this question, which in turn prompt further questions.

Click here for link to the Sydney School for Critical Social Thought and Program:


Professor Nikolas Kompridis | Director | Institute for Social Justice
Research Professor in Philosophy and Political Thought
Office: Level 2, 7 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060
Postal Address: PO Box 968, North Sydney, NSW 2059, Australia
W http://isj.acu.edu.au/  P + 61 2 9739 2728  E nikolas.kompridis at acu.edu.au<mailto:nikolas.kompridis at acu.edu.au>
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