Conference Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint

We take great pleasure in announcing the Conference Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint, organized by the Centre for Comparative Studies of the University of Lisbon, and to be held in the Faculty of Letters in November 6th-7th, 2014.

Modernism is the culmination of a process that became gradually visible along the several moments of deconstruction of the romantic aesthetics and ideas. The empathy and appealing rhetoric which were typical of Romanticism became during the 19th century the target of deliberate strategies designed to control and even to eliminate them, giving way to attitudes of coldness and emotional distance. These aesthetic discourses evolved towards modes of communication based on shock, aggressiveness, disgust and distance and are still in progress by experimentation and development in postmodern aesthetics.

Contemporary literature and arts present a complex and multifarious panorama, in which the expression and representation of emotions take place in many different ways. If, however, there are examples of exaltation and excess, there also remains the tendency to maintain the “cold gaze” and the reduction of emotionality. These attitudes are mainly present in trauma narratives and in fictions in which the main characters are defined by expertise and technical mastery. The same happens in the representation of absurd situations, in the use of narration/reading as a game, in the refusal of subjectivity and in the use of irony and of strategies of a fragmented focalization. The evolution in the media and especially in science and technology supports this tendency, turning literature and the arts into privileged sites for second order observation. This allows for the stressing of its cognitive capacity and the cooling down of its emotional and empathic effects.

It is now necessary to identify, analyze and describe the rhetoric models that were progressively introduced in order to “cool down” the specific languages of the different arts, which brought about a change in the understanding of the relationship between the artistic objects, their authors, and the public.


Keynote Speakers:

Martin von Koppenfels ( Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, Munich)

Gregory Currie (University of York)

Helmut Lethen (Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna)

Helena Buescu (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, University of Lisbon)


Speakers should be prepared for a 20-minute presentation followed by questions. Please send a 250-word abstract, as well as a brief biographical note (100 words) by April 30th 2014, to:

Panel proposals should be presented before March 28th.

Proposals should list paper title, name, institutional affiliation, and contact details.


Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

– Aesthetics of coldness

– Economy of emotion in literature and the arts

– Memory of Emotions

– Emotional restraint and empathy

– Melancholy and emotional restraint

– Engendered emotions

– Ethics and emotions

– Emotions and oppression

– Politics and emotional manipulation

– Aesthetics of trauma

– Re-mediating emotions

– Figurations of psychopathology

– Coldness and the sublime

– Emotions in cyborgs and machines


Conference fees:

Paper presentation (With certificate) : 75€

Participation (With certificate): 25€.

Students/ Paper presentation (With certificate) : 25€

Students/ Participation (With certificate) : 10€

Publicado em Sem categoria | Etiquetas , , | Publicar um comentário

Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint Conference

Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint Conference

Publicado em Sem categoria | Etiquetas , , , | Publicar um comentário