Professor Lauren S. Weingarden has had exciting summer and fall semesters. Between June and October, she presented five papers at five international venues. In July she directed and taught Paris Art & Culture program in Paris, France. At four conferences Prof. Weingarden was able to extend her recent research in Neuroaesthetics to both 19th-century French art and contemporary Installation art.
In June, she presented “Framing an Experiential Aesthetics: The Affective Turn in Contemporary Installation Art,” at the “Framing Emotional Perception” colloquium, sponsored by LangArts at the Paris-Sorbonne. This paper will be published with the colloquium proceedings during the winter 2014-2015. In August, Prof. Weingarden presented “Neuroaesthetics and Cognitive Poetics: Mapping Baudelairean Modernity in Neural Processing of Word & Image” at the 10th Triennial International Association of Word & Image Studies Conference, held at University of Dundee (Scotland). This paper was part of the six-person panel, which she organized, “Exploring Neuroscience and Word-and-Image Studies: Theoretical Efficacy and Affective Response,” and which address the conference theme “Riddles of Form: Exploration and Discovery in Word and Image.” For the first time, Prof. Weingarden had the opportunity to present her research to an international scientific community. In August, she presented her paper “Installation Art and Experiential Aesthetics: Mediating Art History and Neuroscience Research” at the 2014 Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA), held in New York City. This paper was published in the conference proceedings. Puerto Rico was the venue of the 40th Annual Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium. For the conference theme, “Flight, Escape, Fleeing, Escapism, Freedom,” Prof. Weingarden and doctoral candidate Jennifer Pride organized the panel “Interiority as a Means of Escape,” which included Weingarden’s paper “The Ironic Gaze as a Mode of Escape.”
Prof. Weingarden’s ongoing research on mirror reflections in 19th-century French art and literature garnered an invitation from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Münche Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts MIMESIS, to present a paper at the interdisciplinary symposium “Mimetic Surfaces. Reflections on Mirrors in the Arts.” In mid-July she travelled to Munich, where she gathered with the other attendees, who were then transported to the Bavarian Alpine village of Ettal, home to Ettal Abbey (Kloster Ettal), a Benedictine monastery that houses a spectacular Baroque abbey church. Prof. Weingarden presented her paper “Reflections on Baudelairean Modernity” to the gathering of other scholars who share her “obsession” with mirror reflections. She especially benefitted from the papers that treated the topic from a wide range of media and geo-cultural locations. No less important were the amazing scenic vistas of the Alps viewed from the conference room windows!
The Paris Art & Culture program celebrated its third year in the “city of lights” during the month of July. Here students immersed themselves in Paris museums, monuments and boulevards that are the classroom venues for the two courses, “Paris Avant-garde” and “Museums of Paris.” Other classroom locations include Chartres Cathedral, Versailles, and Monet’s House and Gardens at Giverny. Weingarden writes: “On a personal note: for me, the highlight of the summer was our informal gathering in a field outside Monet’s house and gardens. Having supplied the group with paper, paint, paintbrushes, pastels and pencils, I was thrilled to see the students record their own impressions of both the surrounding landscape and their memory landscapes of Monet’s gardens. I’m looking forward to seeing the next group of Parisian enthusiasts join me in the 2015 Paris Art & Culture program!”