Professor of Philosophy
She teaches and writes on aesthetics and feminist, critical race, postcolonial, and political theory. Her new book, “Arts of Address: Being Alive to Language and the World,” will be published by Columbia University Press in 2019. Roelofs is the author of The Cultural Promise of the Aesthetic (Bloomsbury 2014). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Hypatia, Confluencia, differences, M/m-Print-Plus-Platform, and Texte zur Kunst, and anthologies such as Race, Philosophy, and Film (Routledge, 2013) and The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race (2018). She has recently completed a second book manuscript on address titled “Aesthetics, Address, and the Making of Culture.” The guest editor of Aesthetics and Race, a special volume of Contemporary Aesthetics (2009), she is co-editing an anthology on Black Aesthetics, on which she co-organized a symposium at Hampshire. She is also co-authoring a book on aesthetics and temporality in Latin America.
What links aesthetics to gender and sexuality, along with other intersecting differences? Course in philosophy, feminist studies, and art theory examines notions such as disinterested attention, queering, and aesthetic experience, and invites students to ask what broadened aesthetic perspectives on things like information flows, food, humor, activism, everyday objects, agency, the erotic, and the state might look like. Discussion of feminist art practices alongside theoretical texts (from Hume, Kant & Adorno to contemporary interlocutors).
Recognizing the centrality of aesthetic frameworks and concepts to black thought and cultural production, this course examines conceptual frames and artistic/literary strategies that shape the burgeoning field of Black Aesthetics. What role do evolving notions of aesthetics, politics, and blackness play in shifts that are occurring in the field? How do philosophical understandings of aliveness, play, satire, gender, race, queering, and the everyday take form in current practices and theories? What new questions arise? Artworks in multiple media and traditions will be considered. The course is cosponsored by the Ethics and the Common Good Program and may involve visits by guest speakers. Theorists we will read will include Du Bois, Wynter, Davis Taylor, Hall, Lorde, Shockley, Moten, Wilson, English, and Quashie, among others.
Given the importance of letters to the Latin American colonial enterprise and nation-building project, literature is a privileged site to think through contemporary rhetorics of modernity, decoloniality, and neoliberalism. We will begin with the critique of modernity by Borges and Cortazar and then turn to the temporal dislocations introduced by Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, Jamaica Kincaid, Manuel Puig, Garcia Marquez, Diamela Eltit, Pedro Lemebel, Juan Vasquez, and Samanta Schweblin, as they confront the pressures of the marketplace and imagine alternative knowledges and socialities. We will also explore these implications in several works of film and visual art. Alongside the above artifacts, we will read selections of the postmodern and postcolonial projects of Anzaldua, Fanon, Franco, Lugones, Mignolo, Rama, Richard, among others.
Feminist philosophers have developed views of sociality and agency, subjectivity and cultural life, the public and private, and categories like gender, race, and coloniality, that bear on the shifting territory shared by politics and literature. Pairing models and concepts in feminist theory with approaches in literature and the arts, we will examine themes such as sensitivity and the senses, the distant and the intimate, freedom, love, democracy, and cosmopolitanism.