Call for applications: Philosophy in the Context of Art



Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm

Flaggmansvägen 1, Skeppsholmen
SwedenPhilosophy in the Context of Art is a postgraduate course exploring the artistic significance of philosophical ideas. The course is devised for practitioners within the fields of art, design and architecture interested in investigating and reflecting upon philosophical discourses on art and the arts.

The course is given by the rotating International Visiting Chair in Philosophy in the Context of Art, an initiative and cooperation between The Royal Institute of Art and the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University. The position is shared between Professor Peter Osborne and Professor Catherine Malabou who will give the course during the upcoming semester.

Autumn 2016: Symbol and the Symbolic: a New Moment?
The course aims at tracing the history and transformations of the concept of “symbol” from the 19th century up to the 20th century, more specifically from Hegel’s definition of “symbolic art” in his Lectures on Aesthetics up to Jacques Lacan’s definitions of the symbolic in Ecrits.

Starting with the Greek definition of the symbol as something together unified and broken (“symbolon”), or as something which stands for something else, we will show that the symbol obeys its own law, and is meant to always designate something other than itself. Therefore, during the 20th century, particularly with Sigmund Freud and Claude Lévi-Strauss, the notion of “symbolisation,” “symbolic representation” and “symbolic order” substitute for that, purely linguistic and aesthetic, of “symbol.”

The course further aims at studying the different attempts at deconstructing the “symbol” as well of all notions of “symbolic order” at the end of the 20th century, particularly in Jacques Derrida’s Ethic of the Gift and Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. It is proposing a new approach to the symbolic that roots it in the biological, and stops opposing it to the empirical. We will interrogate this new meaning of the symbolic in current neurobiological discourse in particular.

The International Visiting Chair, autumn 2016: Professor Catherine Malabou 
Catherine Malabou is a French philosopher. Malabou’s contention that plasticity has become a major category in philosophy, arts, psychology, neurobiology and cell biology has opened up new perspectives on the way in which subjectivity and materiality, mind and body, are interrelated, along with new relationships between philosophy, arts and biology. Malabou’s books include The Future of Hegel (2004), What Should We Do With Our Brain? (2008), Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing (2009), andThe Heidegger Change (2011).

Admission requirements
Admission requirement for the course is a BA in art or architecture, a BA in another relevant field, or the equivalent knowledge.

A selection is made based on the work samples, CV, and motivation letter submitted in the application.

RIA programmes are free of tuition for Swedish and EU students. For applicants outside the EU the programmes at BFA and MFA level have a tuition fee of 300 000 SEK (app 30 500 EUR) per academic year.

About the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm
The Royal Institute of Art is a leading art institution of higher education located in Stockholm that offers both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Fine Arts and post-master studies in Architecture