Controlling (Mental) Images and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Racialized Bodies
Adriana Clavel-Vazquez (Oxford University)

March 11, 2021, 9:30pm - 11:30pm
Philosophy Department, University of Sheffield

United Kingdom

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The Sheffield Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) committee is happy to announce that this year's Minorities and Philosophy Annual Lecture will take place on Friday, 12th of March 2021, 2:30-4:30 GMT with Adriana Clavel-Vázquez (University of Oxford)! We'll be hearing about “Controlling (Mental) Images and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Racialized Bodies”.

Please find the abstract below:

Abstract: “The aesthetic evaluation of human bodies is part and parcel of our everyday lives. Not only do we judge Francesca Hayward’s elegance as Odile in Swan Lake, but we take notice of a stranger’s beauty while walking down the street, or even a colleague’s scruffiness as they walk into a meeting. These evaluations concern human bodies treated as aesthetic objects, objects that invite certain responses or attitudes as a result of being perceived as having specific aesthetic properties. Unfortunately, aesthetic evaluations of racialized bodies favour white individuals. How can we explain this common aesthetic disregard for non-white bodies? This is not simply a problem of aesthetic norms designed to favour white bodies. Aesthetic evaluations depend on aesthetic properties: how we aesthetically evaluate an object depends on the aesthetic properties we regard it as having. And we perceive aesthetic properties. In this paper I argue that racial stereotypes impact how we perceive aesthetic properties because of top-down influences on perception. In particular, I argue that racist mental imagery we have acquired through our interaction with aesthetic practices structures the way we perceive non-aesthetic properties of bodies so that aesthetic properties are brought into perceptual presence.”

We hope to see you there!

The Sheffield MAP committee

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March 11, 2021, 9:30pm BST

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