Postgraduate Diploma Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT) | Postgraduate Certificate Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

The Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT) semester-long certificate programme offers a rigorous introduction to western philosophy, art history, aesthetics, critical theory and a breadth of artistic praxis. Led by pre-eminent Indian and international scholars working at the frontiers of their fields, the programme places current research and practice in dialogue with the histories of critical thinking. 

This year, the ACT course takes a markedly fresh approach while keeping intact the foundational threads that make it unique. Its subtitle – Thinking Through Constellations draws from the seminal cultural theorist Walter Benjamin’s analogy that ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars. That is to say, ideas allow us to form relationships between seemingly unrelated objects, concepts and phenomena, allowing us to draw linkages while also providing autonomy to individual ideas. 

Majorly focused on the latest published research by the scholars leading the course, this year ACT proceeds through a foundational grounding in western philosophy focused on aesthetics through Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and the Frankfurt School. It also brings in, for the first time, seminars on Hannah Arendt, Stuart Hall and Hans Gadamer alongside discourses on colonialism and post colonialism, anti-caste movements and the multiple histories of modernism. Questions on otherness, identity, resistance and joy in art are addressed through the perspectives of philosophy, critical theory, art practice and the perspectives of those who experience art. The course concludes with an engaged look at the contemporary through new media practices, a critical reading of the place and impact of social media, art within and outside of neoliberal systems, and the role of aesthetics as a tool for discourse outside of expected boundaries. 

Learning how to read and engage critically is an essential part of ACT. Scholars carefully select texts, films, exhibitions and artists for each session and much of this material is available to the students on our online learning management-portal, JPM Think. Students are expected to come to class well-prepared.

Lecture Schedule

23 September 2022, Friday 

Orientation  

- Adira Thekkuveettil

 

28 September 2022, Wednesday 

Plato 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

30 September 2022, Friday

Aristotle 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

12 October 2022, Wednesday

Liberalism, Nationalism and Design Reform in the 19th century

- Dr. Matthew Rampley, Masaryk University

 

14 October 2022, Friday

Immanuel Kant 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

19 October 2022, Wednesday

Hegel 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

21 October 2022, Friday

Hegel and Aesthetics 

- Dr. Lydia Moland, Colby College

 

4 November 2022, Friday

The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant 

- Dr. Robert Doran, University of Rochester

 

9 November 2022, Wednesday

The Gaze of the Coloniser, the Gaze of the Critic 

- Dr. Jaya Kanoria, Jnanapravaha Mumbai

 

11 November 2022, Friday

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Mahatma Gandhi 

- Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, Duke University 

 

18 November 2022, Friday

Edward Said and Orientalism 

- Dr. Jaya Kanoria, Jnanapravaha Mumbai

 

22 November 2022, Tuesday

Vicarious Conquest: the Medici and the Americas 

- Dr. Lia Markey, Newberry Library

 

23 November 2022, Wednesday

Art and Alienation, A Marxist Analysis 

- Adira Thekkuveettil, Jnanapravaha Mumbai

 

25 November 2022, Friday

Friedrich Nietzsche 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

30 November 2022, Wednesday

Walter Benjamin 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

2 December 2022, Friday

Theodor Adorno 

- Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

7 December 2022, Wednesday

Hannah Arendt and Plato's Gorgias on the Ethics of Thinking 

- Dr. Frisbee Sheffield, University of Cambridge

 

9 December 2022, Friday (Public Lecture)

Ethics, Aesthetics and the Historical Dimension of Language; Selected writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer - 1 

- Dr. Pol Vandevelde, Marquette University, Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

14 December 2022, Wednesday (Public Lecture)

Ethics, Aesthetics and the Historical Dimension of Language; Selected writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer - 2

- Dr. Pol Vandevelde, Marquette University, Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

16 December 2022, Friday (Public Lecture)

Ethics, Aesthetics and the Historical Dimension of Language; Selected writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer - 3

- Dr. Pol Vandevelde, Marquette University, Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay

 

4 January 2023, Wednesday 

Visual culture and the Vernacular in 20th Century India 

- Dr. Suryanandini Narain, Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

7 January 2023, Saturday (Public Lecture)

Multiple Modernisms -1 

- Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani, Australian National University

 

12 January 2023, Thursday 

Everyday Photographies 

- Dr. Suryanandini Narain, Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

13 January 2023, Friday 

Critically Analysing Subaltern Studies 

- Dr. Y.S. Alone, Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

14 January 2023, Saturday (Public Lecture)

Multiple Modernisms - 2

- Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani, Australian National University 

 

18 January 2023, Wednesday 

Protected Ignorance 

- Dr. Y.S. Alone, Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

20 January 2023, Friday

Ambedkarite Aesthetics 

- Dr. Y.S. Alone, Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

21 January 2023, Saturday (Public Lecture)

Multiple Modernisms – 3

- Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani, Australian National University

 

25 January 2023, Wednesday

Photography, Time and the Other 

- Mark Sealy OBE

 

27 January 2023, Friday 

Sociopolitical Aesthetics, Art, Crisis and Neoliberalism 

- Dr. Kim Charnley, Open University London

 

28 January 2023, Saturday (Public Lecture)

Multiple Modernisms - 4, 

- Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani, Australian National University

 

1 February 2023, Wednesday 

Algorithmic Desire - Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media 

- Dr Matthew Flisfeder - University of Winnipeg

 

3 February 2023, Friday 

Investigative Aesthetics: Conflicts and Commons in the Politics of Truth 

- Dr Matthew Fuller - University College London

Classes, unless otherwise specified on the schedule of lectures, are from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm typically on Wednesdays & Fridays.

All classes will be online.

Students are expected to make a sincere attempt to attend all classes. To obtain an ACT Certificate, students must have at least 75% attendance at live online classes (held on Wednesdays & Fridays evening). 

For admission, you are required to submit:
a digital copy of each of your last degree certificate, CV, short bio (100 words) and passport size photograph.

Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully before registering.

Duration

23 Sep 2022 - 03 Feb 2023

Fees

Rs. 30,000
(PG Certificate)