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First session of the ASCA Film and Philosophy Seminar 2021-2022: Aesthetics of Contingency | Organizers: Monique Roelofs, Sudeep Dasgupta and Patricia Pisters | Coordinators: Pınar Türer and Tessa de Vet

Event details of The Aesthetic Question of Beauty and Lightness in Dark Times
Date 9 December 2021
Time 15:00 -18:00

Dates: Thursdays 15.00 – 18.00:  9 December 2021, 3 February 2022, 3 March 2022,  7 April  2022 | Location: 9 Dec: Belle van Zuylenzaal | 3 Feb: OMHP C. 3.23 

ASCA’s PhD seminar Film and Philosophy will restart this academic year with four sessions in which we will read both classic and new texts on what could be labeled as ‘aesthetics of contingency’.  We will investigate the relation of aesthetics broadly, including media practices and objects, to different perspectives on contingency.  These include ongoing dynamics of coloniality and racial and anti-migrant violence; changing climate conditions; the pressures and surprises of the Covid pandemic; a growing distrust in government, healthcare, journalism and science; questions of futurity. We will focus our readings each session around four themes: lightness, uncertainty, opacity and contamination. Readings will be selected from scholars such as Anne Anlin Cheng, Angela Y. Davis, Gilles Deleuze, Jennifer Faye, and Édouard Glissant.



Session #1: The Aesthetic Question of Beauty and Lightness in Dark Times

Date: Thursday December 9, 2021 - 15.00-18.00

Location: Belle van Zuylenzaal (Universiteitsbibliotheek C1.13, Singel 421-427, 1012 WP Amsterdam)


• Roelofs, Monique, short excerpt on aesthetics from Arts of Address. Being Alive to Language and the World. Columbia University Press, 2020, 19-20. 

• Cheng, Anne, ‘Wounded Beauty: An Exploratory Essy on Race, Feminism, Art and the Aesthetic Question.’  Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 19, no. 2, 2000, 191-217.

• Jue, Melody, ‘Interface: Breathing Underwater.’  Wild Blue Media: Thinking Through Seawater. Duke University Press, 2020, 34-70.

• Roelofs, Monique, ‘Light, Lush, Wondrous: Aesthetic Categories in the Age of Climate Disaster.’  Draft paper, please do not distribute or quote from without permission.

If you want to join the seminar and receive the readings, please email:

All information can also be found here: