Animal Mimesis. Intersections of Aesthetics and Anthropology

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The difference between man and animal plays a crucial role in Western philosophy. As early as in Aristotle’s Poetics, this distinction is bound up with issues of mimesis. Aristotle considers mimesis as a property that distinguishes man from other animals, but also defines the human susceptibility to imitation as the basis of the production of art. Ever since, anthropological and aesthetic concepts have tended to overlap when it comes to mimesis. In the tradition of philosophy and aesthetics, however, thinkers have alternated in attributing mimesis to humans and animals. Instead of being an intellectual capacity in the Aristotelian sense, mimetic processes can also be conceptualized as mere reproduction. This ‘low’ kind of mimesis has often been compared to imitative animal behavior. Covering such aspects as animals as metaphors of imitation as well as the subversive potential of animal mimesis, this conference explores the outstanding, yet often unrecognized importance of the theory of mimesis for the dynamic field of Human-Animal Studies, and vice versa.

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Title: The Structure of Scientific Imitations: Hoaxes as Subversive Mimesis

The Structure of Scientific Imitations: Hoaxes as Subversive Mimesis

July 1st, 2016

Taking a meta-perspective on academic trends and publishing, this paper shows that hoaxes of scholarly and scientific research often rely on a somewhat… Go to Episode

The Structure of Scientific Imitations: Hoaxes as Subversive Mimesis

July 1st, 2016

Paper given at the International Conference of the Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts MIMESIS 2016, Taking a meta-perspective on academic… Go to Episode

Mocking Mimesis: Robinson's Parrot and the Rise of the Modern Novel

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This paper examines the blurring of boundaries between animal and human mimesis in Daniel Defoe’s "Robinson Crusoe" and argues that it is the seemingly… Go to Episode

Mocking Mimesis: Robinson's Parrot and the Rise of the Modern Novel

July 1st, 2016

Paper given at the International Conference of the Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts MIMESIS 2016, This paper examines the blurring… Go to Episode