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Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics

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A special volume on "Aesthetic Taste"

Concept Note: The 18th century was nicknamed the “Century of Taste” by George Dickie. This is not too surprising with thinkers like Burke, Hutcheson, Mendelssohn, Shaftesbury, Hume, and Kant. But discussions of taste have waned since then. The 2000s saw a revival in the core traditional aesthetic concepts: beauty, aesthetic experience, and the sublime.  However, taste has been slower in making an appearance. Some recent work (e.g., gustatory taste) has begun to show modest signs of renewed interest. However, there has yet to be a sustained effort to develop new theories of taste, even though it remains central part of our lives. Even popular culture has not abandoned the concept—a multitude of TV shows project ‘good’ taste, judging people’s talents, homes, cooking skills, and more. Rather than passively watching popular culture control the discussion, academics should be active participants in it. This special issue is an attempt to showcase how theories of taste matter today. Some suggested topics:
1. Taste in the digital age;
2. Beauty and disgust in politics;
3. Good and bad taste;
4. Taste in popular culture;
5. Standards of aesthetic appreciation in art and nature;
6. Everyday tastes;
7. Comparative aesthetics as it relates to taste;
8. Classical theories of taste in contemporary perspective, etc.