Announcing the online symposium “Thingly Affinities: Rethinking Aesthetic Form for a Posthumanist Future,” December 4-13, 2020

Posted by on Dec 3, 2020 in Conferences, Events, Faculty, Other | No Comments

This Friday will see the beginning of “Thingly Affinities: Rethinking Aesthetic Form for a Posthumanist Future,” an online symposium organized and moderated by artist and Honors Program faculty member Taney Roniger. The symposium will run through Sunday, December 13th, and can be accessed at

Here’s the symposium’s press release, with a full description of the subject matter and participants.


Thingly Affinities: Rethinking Aesthetic Form for a Posthumanist Future
Friday, December 4 – Sunday, December 13

An online symposium organized and moderated by Taney Roniger

While by most accounts visual art is becoming ever more discursive, prioritizing issues and ideas over the forms in which they are instantiated, a growing number of artists are expressing a renewed interest in form. Unlike the detached, purely optical formalism of the last century, however, the new sense of form is both fully embodied and emphatically worldly. Indeed, for these artists form is seen as a conduit to the larger world, a means by which we experience our fleshly connections to the rest of nature. Inspired by the current movement in the humanities known as the nonhuman turn, the emerging vision is of a wholly new approach to art – one that, in parting ways with Western art’s longstanding anthropocentrism, will embody the values of ethical posthumanism.

Bringing together artists and thinkers from a number of fields, this conference will explore the implications of posthumanist thought for this new orientation in art and how the latter might aid in our cultural advance toward a more ecologically sound future. To be held online, in the form of a written exchange, over the course of ten days, the dialogue will be accessible to readers in real time, and reader participation will be encouraged through moderated comments. In addition to the written dialogue there will be three guest speaker events, recordings of which will be made available on the conference website. (Please see for schedule and details.)

Participants: David Abram, Deborah Barlow, Jane Bennett, Christine Corday, Charles Eisenstein, Stephanie Grilli, Daniel Hill, Wendy Beth Hyman, Paul Myoda, Sarah Robinson, Carrie Rohman, Jon Sakata, Charlene Spretnak, Werner Sun, Arthur Whitman

Conference website:

Contact: Taney Roniger (, 607-435-6908)

Visual & Critical Studies