Continental philosophy is often, and unfairly, dismissed as (bad) literary criticism. While it is true that, thanks to Martin Heidegger, art and literature have played a crucial role in the development of continental thought, the past three decades have witnessed among continental thinkers an increasingly pronounced abandonment of literary and artistic obsessions in favor of an emphasis on the ethical and the political. In the meanwhile, traditionally marginalized artistic forms (film, television, graphic novels) have been granted philosophical importance, and writers traditionally regarded as literary figures (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, David Foster Wallace) are being considered part of the American philosophical heritage. What is the status of the aesthetic in the wake of these changes?

We invite papers that consider this question from a variety of perspectives. Some lines of inquiry that might be addressed include: What role can the encounter with a work of art or literature continue to play in shaping philosophical reflection? What relationship does the production of art and literature bear to the (political) organization of public space? Do literary and poetic forms have a home in philosophical discourse? Are there modes of philosophical reflection that require for their expression poetic or literary form? What promise remains in the Heideggerian inheritance that has, in many ways, been disregarded? Is there an inherent connection between the art work’s resistance (to interpretation, to appropriation) and political resistance? What counts as art today, and what is at stake in that decision? Have the answers to this question fundamentally changed? How does art shape or reshape the everyday and life as such?

We welcome papers from graduate, and advanced undergraduate, students in any area.

Please submit papers of 3,500 words or less prepared for blind review to: