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"Sense and Sentiment" Symposium at Pomona College

On February 10-11, Friday and Saturday, “Sense and Sentiment” will be held at Pomona College, a symposium featuring Alice Fulton, Catherine Gallagher, Jonathan Lear, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Bill Viola, and involving two new exhibitions at the Pomona College Museum of Art.

“Sense and Sentiment” brings together celebrated writers and artists to address the nexus where sense(s), sensitivity, sentiment(ality), and sensuality merge or clash. The conference explores the relation between reason and feeling – and its broad relevance.

What is the relation between reason and feeling, and between bodily perception and conviction or judgment? Is there a “language of real feeling,” in Jane Austen’s words, and if so, is it verbal, or does it display itself on the body? If emotions are plainly connected to bodily sensation, are patterns of reasoning also in some sense “embodied,” as cognitive scientists have begun to suggest? Does the impulse to make sense prevent us from sympathizing? Is reason the parent, the child, the slave, or the master of the passions? Are we being self-indulgent when we’re thinking about our own feelings? Or is this emphasis on our own feelings a way for us not to be self-indulgent and to care for other’s feelings?

Exploring these and other questions in relation to history, literature, philosophy, and visual art—past and present—the participants in this intellectual symposium and sensory festival will draw on such diverse topics as the slave trade, Melanie Klein, Tristan, feminism, shame, warmth, and grade A noise.

Lectures will be held in Rose Hills Theatre (Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont) and evening events in Lyman Hall (Thatcher Music Building, 340 N. College Ave., Claremont). For further information, call (909) 607-2212.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.


Sense and Sentiment: Symposium Schedule

Friday February 10:

3-4:15 Catherine Gallagher "National Sentiment in the Suppression of the Slave Trade”

4:15-5 Improv theater: "A Spoof of the Eighteenth-Century Sensibility Movement": Sarah Wheeler, Mac Barnett, and friends.

5-6: Reception, Pomona College Museum of Art. Exhibitions: “Almost Certified (grade A noise for non-discerning consumers),” Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain, Project Series: Machine Project, and “The Senses: Work from the Permanent Collection.”

8:00 “Warmth Sculpture”: Poetry reading Alice Fulton

Saturday February 11

9:30-10:45 “Melanie Klein: The Difference Affect Makes”: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

11-12:15 “The Transformation of Shame”: Jonathan Lear

2-3:15 “Sisterly Sentimentalism: Feminism and the Politics of Empathy”: Christine Stansell

3:30-5: Roundtable in Rose Hills Theater: Catherine Gallagher, Alice Fulton, Eve Sedgwick, Jonathan Lear, Christine Stansell, David Foster Wallace, Kathleen Howe, Rena Fraden, Moderator.

8-9:30 “The Tristan Project”: Bill Viola. Followed by a reception in the Pomona College Museum of Art.

**Showing and judging of short videos by Claremont Colleges students and professionals periodically throughout the two days.