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Accepted Paper:

The aesthetics of proximity: towards a phenomenology of the auditory sublime  
Deborah Kapchan (New York University)

Paper short abstract:

The sublime is an aesthetic category and a structuring affect that emerges from an ek-static encounter with a sublime object. Examining Sufi song, I ask what a phenomenology of affect contributes to an ethnographic study of the auditory sublime, delineating what I call an "aesthetics of proximity."

Paper long abstract:

The sublime is both an aesthetic category that structures philosophical thought about aspects of human and non-human being; and it is a structuring affect as well - something that co-creates human sociality, like mourning, anger, or effervescence. It relies on an interaction with a "sublime object," and thus exists in the "ek-static" encounter of human and other. In this paper I take up writings on the sublime in continental and post-modern philosophy in order to ask what a phenomenology of affect might have to contribute to such thought. I sketch out a theory of what I call the "auditory sublime" - a sublime produced through listening. Unlike the sublime of the romantic era, evoked through the majesty and terror of visual distance, the auditory sublime is based on an experience of aesthetic proximity. Whether sublimity arises in relation to a visual object or an auditory one has important repercussions not only for the experience of the sublime but also for the work it does in the world (thus bearing on ethics). I illustrate what I call the "aesthetics of proximity" by examining Sufi sounds of worship as I have recorded and experienced them over the last two decades in Morocco and France.

Panel Body02
Affect and atmospheres in the ethnographic between [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -