Program Overview

Temple University Rome offers a four-week graduate seminar designed to bring together the disciplines of aesthetics and cultural studies. In its interdisciplinary thrust, the six-credit seminar is intended to serve as a foundation for advanced study in the human sciences and to reflect the most current trends of thought in post-modern culture. The seminar convenes at Temple University’s campus in Rome.

The Temple Seminars in Art and Culture welcome applications from advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students in fields such as literature, film studies, philosophy, art, and social theory. The seminar entails an intensive program of class work, field trips and guest lectures. The city of Rome is used extensively as a resource. The Villa Caproni overlooks the River Tiber and is located just off the Piazza del Popolo and the Borghese Gardens. Accommodations can be arranged in a Temple student Residenza or students can make their own living arrangements in advance. All classes are taught in English.

Vision and Rationality

This topic of the seminar focuses on the troubled relation between perception and cognition in three historical moments of Western culture: the Renaissance and the birth of single point perspective; the Baroque and Counter-Reformation; and the postmodern critique of Enlightenment rationality. We speculate about how our culture has been shaped by collaboration and conflict among visual, visionary, ideological and rational ways of knowing the world. The scope of our inquiry embraces literary, philosophical, painterly and cinematic texts.

Among the questions to be raised are: What is the relation between visual and verbal representation? Is the perceptual realm of sight necessarily subordinated to rationality? What is the place of visual representation in the tug-of-war between imaginary and real spheres of being? What historical and ideological exchanges between vision and rationality continue to affect our social and political orders? What role does aesthetics play in the making of a public sphere?

For more detailed information on program specifics, including the dates of the seminar, a prospective reading list, and scholarships, visit Temple’s Education Abroad website, or contact the program director:

Dr. Alan Singer
954 Anderson Hall
(215) 870-8704