Visiting Fellows Talks
Ayelet Langer: 'The Miltonic Now'
The Miltonic Now is a book project which is being funded by the Israel Science Foundation (2020-2023). It aims to provide the first comprehensive updated analysis of Milton’s representation of time since Edward Tayler’s pioneering work (1979), by offering a new analysis of the present moment, the now, as key to our understanding of Milton’s representation of time. It will show that the Miltonic now is a concrete and fully intelligible poetic form that serves in Milton as a principle of organization, in and through which external, worldly time is transformed into inner temporality. Since this transformation depends in Milton’s poetry on the individual’s moral stature, the grasping of the Miltonic now reflects, facilitates, and even enhances the individual’s capacity for freedom and moral choice. In Milton’s poetry, it is only the moral mind which is capable of forming a concept of the full structure of the now and consequently using it as a means of regeneration. The fallen mind, which is capable of grasping only a fragmentary version of the now, is doomed to be forever fallen.
Grazia Pulvirenti: 'The debate about the Sublime as a sensory brain-body experience during the 18th Century through the Romantic era in the light of Aby Warburg’s Ergiffenheit'
My research presents a novel, unified interpretation of the concept of the Sublime as a multifaceted brain-body experience that elicits powerful and conflicting emotions. This approach challenges traditional beliefs that the Sublime is comprised of distinct outputs stemming from diverse sources. Drawing on recent scholarship on aesthetics from the period around 1800, my study highlights the role played by the brain and the body in shaping aesthetic concepts. In particular, I leverage Aby Warburg’s concept of “Ergriffenheit” / “Ergriffensein” to explore the diverse range of emotional experiences that fall within the spectrum of “being moved” while experiencing Sublime.
Sophie Hatchwell: 'Beyond the word-image binary: towards an embodied analysis of text within art objects'
This paper considers how we might analyse the ways word and image come together to constitute meaning within visual art, with a focus on contemporary British art objects that incorporate both media. My research is concerned with how an interplay of media within an art object encourages an open-ended encounter between a spectator and an artwork. In particular, I am interested in moving beyond a binary opposition of word and image, by which the two media have traditionally been placed in a relationship of tension. Critiquing anglophone scholarship that fixates on the borders and hostility between the two media, I instead aim to account for the processes of interconnection between word and image along multiple and non-hierarchical lines of contact. I shall indicate how expanded theories of affect-oriented ekphrasis, attendant phenomenological modes of interpretation, and theories of assemblage offer potential ways to move intermedial interpretation away from a paragonal model towards a focus on the experiential exchange between artwork and viewer.
The Work in Progress seminar explores the variety of subjects studied and researched at the Warburg Institute. Papers are given by invited international scholars, research fellows studying at the Institute, and third-year PhD students.
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