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A new book in theatre and performance studies: "Aesthetics of Presence"

The new book Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations, authored by Professor emeritus in theatre and performance studies Willmar Sauter, has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2021.

Willmar Sauter. Foto: Eva Dalin

The book Aesthetics of Presence: Philosophical and Practical Reconsiderations (2021) develops central aspects of an aesthetics of presence.

Book description

"In the field of aesthetic experiences, presence must be seen as mental activities such as attention, curiosity, and participation. The mere physical ‘being-there’ guarantees no aesthetic responses to artistic or natural appearances. When aesthetics became part of the discourse in eighteenth-century Enlightenments philosophy, the beholder was the centre of interest: how observations turned into aesthetic experiences. In this book, the spectator, reader, listener and viewer have again become the focus of scholarly attention, replacing the century-long dominance of the artwork as exclusive object of aesthetics.

In the light of such historical observations, the book develops central aspects of an aesthetics of presence, and introduces, interfoliated with cases of aesthetic experiences in arts and theatre, cities and nature, new parameters of presence. Perceiving, playing, placing and performing are explored and systematised here as theoretical cornerstones of a renewed ‘Aesthetics of Presence’."

Find out more about the book and get access to the first 30 pages

Find out more about Willmar Sauter's research

Willmar Sauter is one of the keynote speakers at the international conference Utopia and Performance, at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics.