M104 | What is Art? What is Beauty? (LR)


3:30pm - 5:00pm


10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2

(No class 9/21, 9/28, 10/12)

Four sessions

This course is offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.


We will discuss, and try to find answers, many different answers, to these questions: What is art? What is beauty? Is beauty universal? Is beauty changing? Did art always exist? How many art forms are there? What does art have to do with entertainment? with business? with patrons? Is modern art art or a hoax? Is there a conflict between art and democracy? What do artists and critics and philosophers and the public say about art and beauty? What does science (neuroscience? neuroaesthetics!) say about the aesthetic experience? And what do we think, you and I, here and now, in this class?


Laszlo Dienes taught for 38 years at UMass Amherst, teaching Russian culture, literature, world cinema, digital culture, theories of aesthetics, and cultures in exile.  He was a Fulbright scholar in France and Germany and holds a PhD from Harvard University.



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