Form is the eight installment of Conjuncture – an ongoing series of events on 21st Century philosophy, aesthetics, and politics coordinated and moderated by Nathan Brown and Petar Milat, since 2009 held at MaMa (Zagreb) and from 2017 on at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik.
The discrepant concepts to which form has been opposed — appearance, matter, content, history — suggest both the encompassing generality and peculiar malleability of this major category. Castigated as idealized abstraction or appealed to in the name of concrete determinacy, “form” traverses debates in philosophy, politics, and literary or art criticism with slippery familiarity. Although these fields could scarcely do without it, the term is deployed more frequently than it is defined or theorized. While “structure” was the site of direct theoretical elaboration in the twentieth century, “form” has not been the beneficiary of such rigorous attention, despite continual claims on its conceptual resources. Today this poses a particular problem in methodological debates between “formalism” and “historicism,” wherein sides often seem to be taken without a clear delineation of the conceptual stakes of this opposition or its proposed resolution. Moreover, to refer to form without a theoretical elaboration of what form is may obscure the thorny question of what form is not: what shadow concepts and categorial fringes encroach upon and extend from its uneven boundaries.
This five-day symposium will be devoted to querying the concept of form itself, to practicing its theoretical elaboration, and to critically applying its resources in ways that will hopefully clarify the contemporary extension and implications of the term.
SPEAKERS: Pearl Brilmyer / Emily Ruth Capper / Ronjaunee Chatterjee / Amanda Holmes / Naomi Levine / Jamila Mascat / Julie Beth Napolin / Nathan Brown / Greg Ellermann / Michael Gallope / Ante Jerić / Alexi Kukuljevic / Petar Milat / Marty Rayburn / Fillipo Trentin
* detailed schedule & programme-announcement [PDF-document]
Multimedia Institute – MaMa (Zagreb)