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18 June 2024 - 18 June 2024

5:30PM - 7:30PM

Room 005, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 48 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN, United Kingdom

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The Durham Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) warmly invite you to join us for our colleague Professor Andy Hamilton in conversation with Andrew Cooper (Warwick), and to celebrate the launch of his book, 'Art and Entertainment: A Philosophical Exploration'. Andy's analysis throws light on the not-so-obvious connections between the seemingly exclusive worlds of popular entertainment and art. Held in person at the Department of Philosophy, Durham University. All welcome!

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Art and entertainment (book cover)

Join us for an evening with Professor Andy Hamilton, in conversation with Andrew Cooper -  Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Warwick, discussing his analysis of art and popular culture, as explained in his new book.    

Andy's thesis is that what makes something entertainment rather than art is not that it is 'popular' as opposed to high culture.  Instead, he finds them to be overlapping, interrelated concepts. In the book, he argues that whilst art should pass the test of time, entertainment must pass the test of its own time.  This is a conversation which will open our minds to what we see, in an area with few studies to examine how we experience these aspects of our visual culture. 

Do you agree, or disagree?  Save the date, and join us for this conversation! 

'Art and Entertainment: A Philosophical Exploration' will appeal to those working in art and aesthetics, and those in related disciplines such as cultural studies, music and film studies, with an interest in entertainment.

Drinks and nibbles will be available. 

Copies of the book will be available to buy at the venue.   

All welcome.  We hope to see you on June 18th! 

Book synopsis:

Philosophers have discussed art – or artistic practices such as poetry – since ancient times. But systems of art and entertainment appeared only in the modern era – in the West, during the 18th and 19th centuries. And philosophers have largely neglected the concept of entertainment. In this book Andy Hamilton explores art and entertainment from a philosophical standpoint. He argues, against modernist theory, that art and entertainment are not opposites, but form a loosely connected conceptual system. Against postmodernism, however, he insists on their vital differences.

Hamilton begins by questioning the received modernist view, examining artist-entertainers including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Entertainment, he argues, is by nature audience-centred – but so is art, in a different way. Thus while art should pass the test of time, entertainment must pass the test of its own time – it has to entertain at the time it is produced. Art and entertainment are inter-dependent concepts, and must be understood together with other aesthetic concepts including criticism, genius, canons and design. These concepts form the subject of later chapters of this book, where Hamilton develops a meritocratic position that is neither elitist nor populist. He also addresses the contemporary charge of cultural appropriation, and qualifies it.



Free to attend