Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Teaching with AFB

Posts at AFB make excellent teaching resources, both for instructors and as primary or supplementary readings. Faculty across many disciplines, universities, and countries already use Aesthetics for Birds posts in their teaching.

On this page:

  1. Why Use AFB?
  2. Existing Syllabus Resources on AFB
  3. How to Find What You Want
  4. Tips for Assignments

Why Use AFB?

Accessible: AFB posts are generally written by academics but accessible to a wide audience.

Current: Posts often engage with current events

Concise: Posts are relatively short, ranging from roughly 500 to 5000 words.

Diverse: Many posts are by philosophers from marginalized groups. These posts are not tagged in a special way, but should be readily enough available that you won’t have to search far.

Existing Syllabus Resources on AFB

A list of books and articles by women

A list of books and articles by BIPOC authors

A collection of the “Top 50” key terms in aesthetic theory and philosophy of art, ranging from aesthetics and art to rasa and rhizome, each explained in a few hundred words in ways accessible to those with no previous familiarity.

How to use Dungeons and Dragons (and role-playing games generally) to teach ethics courses

How to Find What You Want

Below are some suggestions for pieces from the archive. It is organized according to topics one might find on a syllabus: ontology of art, art and ethics, and so on.

Because it’s a less useful list if we include everything, there’s a lot of good stuff left out. And it’s not as helpful if you’re looking for something on a specific topic (say, cultural appropriation).

To find things on specific topics, explore our tags or use the search function. All of our posts are tagged with keywords, which helps if you’re looking for, say, Black aesthetics or feminism or something related to architecture or music.

Selected Posts Organized by Topic

Definitions and Ontology of Art

Art Criticism and the Art World

Art and Ethics




Internet Art

Other Media: Video and Podcast Series

Tips for Assignments

The following suggestions are taken from people who use our articles in their courses.

  • Use it as a reading.
  • Have students pick a roundtable contribution (usually these are relatively short, under 1000 words) and elaborate on the author’s perspective.
  • Using this piece on punk rock or this one on heavy metal, have students describe central values or ideals of some genre they care about.
  • Using this piece on satire, have students find cases of satire and explain how they confirm or conflict with the author’s view.
  • Pick an interview and have students extract and elaborate on the philosophical implications of something the artist says.