Art and Culture

62-012  Art and Culture

second cycle master study programme Political Science

Course Supervisor: Prof. Ernest Ženko


The field of art (or, in a broader sense, culture) is a sphere within modern society, related to a considerably high degree of autonomy, regarding other social spheres. With the benefit of autonomy, this field preserves its creative potential, and – doing what no other sphere does – retains an important social function, promising vitality to the whole of society. Even though many believe today that art and culture can be found in all human times and societies, it is their specific development within the Western modernity that which enables us to grasp the beginning, subsequent development, and the consequences of this field. Moreover, following this path we enter the institutionalized and partially hermetic contemporary art and mass and globalized culture that looms in our society.
Within Art and Culture course, we discuss a specific role of art and culture, which they played in the context of social through history, pointing out concrete cases from artistic and cultural practices. Regarding the concept of art, we follow its historical development from Antiquity through Renaissance and Enlightenment, to modernity. Issues and problems that enable one grasping the role of art within society will be emphasized, such as the origin and development of aesthetics and  philosophy of art, together with key authors (Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Heidegger, Lyotard and so forth) and concepts (beauty, form, creativity, sublime, autonomy; historical avant-garde, modernism, postmodernism, end of art).
As for the role of culture, various aspects of the relation between culture and society will be studied, both from the methodological (phenomenology, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis), and thematical aspects (language turn, visual turn, culture studies, anthropological approach, postmodernity). Even though Raymond Williams has defined culture as one or two most complicated terms in English, the aim of the course is to give students a competent overview of key contemporary (mostly philosophical) debates of art and culture in order to grasp their role within contemporary global postmodern society.

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