GER 530

Topics in Aesthetics and Poetics: Epistemologies of Rhythm

Spring 2024
1:30pm - 4:20pm

Rhythm is often taken for granted as an aesthetic form or natural phenomenon—from the form of a poem to the pulse of a beating heart. Yet not only does the concept of rhythm have a history, but a ‘rhythmic episteme’ (Janina Wellmann) has historically shaped many discourses, some of them politically problematic, particularly where the concept of life is at stake. This seminar examines rhythm in aesthetic, scientific, and philosophical discourses with a focus on the periods around 1800 and 1900 and the role of rhythm in later theoretical projects from poststructuralism to new materialism.