Cornell University

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Pedro Erber, "Aesthetic Economies"

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 4:45pm to 6:15pm

Klarman Hall, G42
232 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853

2018 ICM New Conversations Series:

Pedro Erber

In recent years, numerous scholars have called attention to the growing presence of economic rationality in every sphere of contemporary life—including those aspects of human existence portrayed by classical liberal thought as inherently removed from the realm of economic interests. This all-encompassing character of utilitarian calculation that blurs the limits between professional and personal, labor and leisure, interest and disinterestedness, has been repeatedly described as a crucial aspect of neoliberalism. In the realm of contemporary art, which is often described as an exemplary case, it is said that market expertise has replaced critical, aesthetic judgment. However, what if this mode of market expertise and, more broadly, neoliberal reason as such have more in common with aesthetic judgment than one might usually imagine? Can an economic rationality no longer centered on possession but rather on appearance still be described as utilitarian? In which sense can we even call it economic?

This event is co-sponsored by Comparative Literature, History of Art and Visual Studies, and Romance Studies.

PEDRO ERBER is an associate professor in the Department of Romance Studies and director of the East Asia Program at Cornell University. He is the author of Breaching the Frame: The Rise of Contemporary Art in Brazil and Japan (University of California Press, 2015), Política e verdade no pensamento de Martin Heidegger (Loyola/PUC-Rio, 2004), and numerous articles on art and aesthetics, literature, philosophy, and political thought. 

This event is free and open to the public. If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact as soon as possible.

Reception to follow in the Klarman Hall, Room K164.

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Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Romance Studies, History of Art and Visual Studies, Comparative Literature


Latin American Studies, africal, Romance Studies, complit, cashum

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Contact Name

Catherine Clepper

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Pedro Erber

Speaker Affiliation

Romance Studies, Cornell University

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If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact as soon as possible.

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This event is free and open to the public.

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