Lecture Series: Prof. Wolf-Dietrich Sahr

Aesthetic Geographies—Spatial Questions in an Interdisciplinary Context (II)

Prof. Wolf-Dietrich Sahr
Departamento de Geografia
Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba

Prof. Wolf-Dietrich Sahr (Curitiba, Brazil): “Intercultural Geography and Aesthetics”

Prof. Sahr has held a previous ZIS Visiting Professor position in 2002/2003.

Lecture Series “Intercultural Geographies and Aesthetics”
  • Monday, January 26, 2009, 18:00, N3 Muschel: “Apollonian Body Worlds and Dionysian Dream Voyages Through Space—Regionalization Strategies in Aesthetics”
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 18:00 in Hörsaal 11, Alte Mensa: “The Word as Space—Landscape Images in Rainer Maria Rilke and Derek Walcott”
  • Monday, February 2, 2009, 18:00 in N3 Muschel: “World, Space, and Spheres: Psychological and Artistic Concepts of Geographic Globalization”
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 18:00 in Hörsaal 11, Alte Mensa: “The Sound of the New World in Dvořák and in Brazilian Samba—Musical Geography as Aesthetic and Political Challenge”

The lecture series attempts to concretize the meaning of the spatial turn from a transdisciplinary perspective and as a follow-up to five ZIS lectures given in 2003. In the process, the lectures apply the concepts of the “pictoral” and the “performative turn” from contemporary discussions and go on to develop a concept of regionalized aesthetics together with an aesthetics of regionalization. The lectures demonstrate that even in an age of globalization aesthetic-theoretical guidelines do not necessarily function homogenously, but rather are geographically distinguished by region. In other words, in different social and regional contexts, the models lead to varying constructions of space that, though partially translatable, in effect result in processes of demarcation and differentiation.

The question of order and disorder, i.e., what Nietzsche interpreted as Apollonian-Dionysian contrast, is the constitutive feature of every single aesthetic geographic theory. Taking the poetic language of Rainer Maria Rilke and Derek Walcott as exemplary of a new ordering of space, the lectures will identify the way in which Symbolist and postcolonial poetics are aesthetic responses to a worldwide reorganization of economic and social structures. Moreover, the contrary tendencies of globalization (fragmentation on the one hand and homogenization on the other) can also be interpreted via aesthetic categories; the lectures will establish relationships to Denis Cosgrove’s conceptualization of “Apollo’s Eye” and Peter Sloterdijk’s idea of spheres. The lectures will conclude by turning to Dvořák’s music and Brazilian samba in order to argue that aesthetic apparatuses can also have political efficacy.