Events & Lectures

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Visual Attention as Ethical Action:
Tolstoy - Cézanne - Salgado

Thomas Pfau, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English, Professor & Chair of Germanic Languages & Literatures, Duke Divinity School
RKC 103  5:00 pm
This lecture will explore three case studies of visual attention and its ethical dimensions: a photograph by Sebastião Salgado; two paintings by Cézanne discussed by R. M. Rilke, and the harvesting scene opening Part III of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. In each instance, Thomas Pfau's focus will be on how the response elicited by a specific image triggers a distinctive ethical insight, a type of knowledge impossible to capture in propositional terms and achievable only through the medium of the image. The ethics of attention solicited by the image and subsequently articulated in writing involves empathy and, ultimately, demands a kind of participatory action on the part of the beholder. The lecture's overriding aim is to present attention as a form of knowledge neither "owned" nor "controlled" by the beholding subject but, on the contrary, transformative of the beholder.

Upcoming Events

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Virtual: BlueJeans Video Conferencing11:00 am – 12:00 pm
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Thursday, October 20, 2016 – Friday, October 21, 2016
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Thursday, March 30, 2017 – Saturday, April 1, 2017
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