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5 June 2023 - 5 June 2023

2:00PM - 3:00PM


  • Free

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You are invited to an online book presentation in the framework of the German Research Colloquium. Anders Engberg-Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark) will join us for a presentation and discussion of his newest book ‘Martial Aesthetics’ published by Stanford University Press on Monday, June 5 from 2-3pm.

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'Martial Aesthetics. How War Became an Art Form’

The twenty-first century has witnessed a pervasive militarization of aesthetics with Western military institutions co-opting the creative worldmaking of art and merging it with the destructive forces of warfare. In Martial Aesthetics, Anders Engberg-Pedersen shows that today's creative warfare is merely the extension of a historical development that began long ago. Indeed, the emergence of martial aesthetics harkens back to a series of inventions, ideas, and debates in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Already then, military thinkers and inventors adopted ideas from the field of aesthetics about the nature, purpose, and force of art and retooled them into innovative military technologies and a new theory that conceptualized war not merely as a practical art, but as an aesthetic art form. This book shows how military discourses and early war media such as star charts, horoscopes, and the Prussian wargame were entangled with ideas of creativity, genius, and possible worlds in philosophy and aesthetic theory (by thinkers such as Leibniz, Baumgarten, Kant, and Schiller) in order to trace the emergence of martial aesthetics. Adopting an approach that is simultaneously historical and theoretical, Engberg-Pedersen presents a new frame for understanding war in the twenty-first century.


Anders Engberg-Pedersen is Professor of Comparative Literature at The University of Southern Denmark, and Chair of Humanities at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of Empire of Chance: The Napoleonic Wars and the Disorder of Things and editor of numerous volumes on war.



Where and when

Please find the Zoom meeting link here:

Alternatively, use the following ID and passcode:

Meeting ID: 991 9777 8723

Passcode: 376249


Contact the organizer Dr Michiel Rys via