Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

A total of thirty-six sepia-tone stills, organized in three rows show a woman walking in a sheer, white dress. While each row shows her from a different angle, the photos within a row look almost entirely identical but for the placement of her feet. In all photos she holds the tail of her dress in her left hand, and raises her other to her head, perhaps shielding her eyes from the sun, her elbow pointing out far to the right.

February 3, 2023
by Aesthetics for Birds
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How Should Literature Mean? A Conversation About Art and Ambiguity

Scholars John Gibson, Magdalena Ostas, and Hannah Kim discuss how art creates meaning, and how we play a role in that meaning-making. Continue reading

A black man with a crown of thorns and the handle of a gun in his waistband holds a complacent child in his arms while a woman breastfeeds on a bed.

September 22, 2022
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Five Scholars Discuss ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’

Kendrick Lamar’s 2022 album has been met with controversy, even among general praise. Here, scholars across different disciplines examine and discuss it. Continue reading

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September 15, 2022
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Accessibility and the Problem of Alt Text: Who Is It For and How Could It Be Better?

An analysis of the intricacies of how alternative text is used to communicate fundamentally visual information in a linguistic mode. Continue reading

March 19, 2020
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Getting Past Form: on the Value of Literary Ideas

What follows is a guest post by Patrick Fessenbecker. In a recent column in The New York Times, Ross Douthat contends that English professors aren’t having the right kind of arguments. Reflecting on the analysis of the decline of the humanities in a series of essays in the Chronicle of Higher Education over the last year, Douthat makes a familiar diagnosis: the problem is that we literature professors no longer believe in the real value of the objects we study. Engaging Simon During’s account of the decline of the humanities as a “second secularization” in particular, Douthat argues that secular attempts to defend the humanities will fail just as surely as secular attempts to defend religious ethics and norms did: it doesn’t work unless you really believe in the thing. Correspondingly, the debates literary scholars are having about how to expand the range of texts and subjects we teach are … Continue reading