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Why Art? The Anthropocene, Eco-criticism, and Adorno’s Concept of Natural Beauty

By professor Anders Johansson from Mittuniversitetet, Sweden.

Info about event


Friday 16 March 2018,  at 14:00 - 17:00


Nobelparken, Building 1453, Room 227

The lecture will introduce Theodor Adorno’s concept of nature and natural beauty.

One may argue that the historical situation we’re facing today (climate change, “Anthropocene”, etc) actually confirms much of Adorno’s ideas, for instance the “dialectic of enlightenment”.

There is also a certain concurrence between the current eco-critical attempts to study literature from an environmental perspective, and the way Adorno gives art a central role in relation to our predicament.

And yet Adorno’s account of nature differs quite a lot from the way nature is understood in today’s environmental studies. To Adorno “nature” is not really accessible at all.

To understand what is at stake here I’d like to focus particularly on the concept of natural beauty, that is crucial his understanding of art.