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Reading: Berlin Symposium on Post-culturalist Art History


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Critical Note

Berlin Symposium on Post-culturalist Art History


Whitney Davis ,

University of London, GB
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Hans Christian Hönes,

Charles University, CZ
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Jakub Stejskal

Freie Universität Berlin, DE
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‘Post-culturalist art history’ doesn’t take for granted the ontological fact of culture as the context and content in dealing with the concrete material things and aesthetic practices which make up the putative ‘objects’ of art history. And therefore it doesn’t take for granted the epistemological primacy of cultural history in interpretation and explanation of its objects. It means offering a nontautological analysis of the social emergence and partial consolidation of visual culture, including traditions of pictorial art. What this analysis claims and does in its terms and details is less important than the very fact of a strenuous effort to provide it. Precisely because post-culturalist thinking doesn’t take for granted the fact of culture and the primacy of cultural history, potentially it can situate itself in productive and practical ways in relation to non-cultural inquiries in art history and in studies of art.

The present essays began as presentations given at a symposium organized by Jakub Stejskal at the Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin, in April 2016.

How to Cite: Davis, Whitney, Hans Christian Hönes, and Jakub Stejskal. “Berlin Symposium on Post-culturalist Art History”. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 54, no. 2 (2017): 238–92. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2017.


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