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American Comparative Literature Association: “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Aesthetic Impulse” (presentation)

March 29, 2018 - April 1, 2018

Panel: The Aesthetics of Excess: Baroques, Blackness and the Will to Adorn

This seminar considers the astonishing versatility of the baroque in aesthetic forms that criss-cross the division between “high” and “low” expressive cultures in Black Diasporic, European, Euro-American, and Latin American settings. Most of the contributors turn to recent art forms or genres–installation art, post-apocalyptic fiction, transnational romance, hip-hop, mid to late 20th century painting, etc. Others return to more traditional forms, including the aesthetics of coronation and hymn, translation as style, and fables. The contributors also demonstrate the baroque’s versatility by turning to writers as diverse as Hurston, D’Ors, Glissant, and Adorno to serve as intellectual touchstones.

Paper: “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Aesthetic Impulse”

This paper explores the impulse toward abstractionist visual aesthetics in W. E. B. Du Bois’s novel Dark Princess. This impulse fulfills the German Romanitic aesthetic idealism outlined in “The Criteria of Negro Art,” and the essay collection The Souls of Black Folk.


March 29, 2018
April 1, 2018


American Comparative Literature Association
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University of California, Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90095 United States
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