in|discussion - Public lecture series 2011


6th April 2011

Brian O’Connor - Mimesis and Modernism

4pm Friday, 6 May
Lecture Room G6, School of Art Design and Printing
Dublin Institute of Technology, 41 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

Brian O’Connor is Associate Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin. He is the author of Adorno’s Negative Dialectic (2004), Adorno: The Routledge Philosophers (2011) and of papers on the German Idealist and Critical Theory traditions. He is the editor of The Adorno Reader (2000) and (with Georg Mohr) of German Idealism: An Anthology and Guide (2007).

The idea of mimesis appears, like the word itself, to be a category of an earlier and long past period of European culture. Identified with realist imitation it could have no apparent place within the defiantly non-representational art of modernism. Yet we find in the aesthetic theory of Theodor Adorno an effort to explain modernist art’s capacity to stand in critical relation to society as grounded in its mimetic properties.

This paper will reconstruct and critically evaluate Adorno’s innovative thesis, exploring, in particular, his notion of the ‘authentically’ aesthetic expression of social reality that is not an imitation of that reality.

All are welcome to this free event.

To secure your place, please book by email:


  • Fintan Cullen February;
  • Aoife Monks February;
  • Colin Graham April;
  • Brian O’Connor May;
  • Jean Fisher September;
  • Jane Pavitt October;
  • Mieke Bal November

Lecture Room G6, School of Art Design and Printing,
Dublin Institute of Technology, 41 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

All are welcome to these free public events.

This public lecture series is a forum to discuss contemporary issues and current research in typography, art, design, material culture, critical theory, pedagogy, philosophy, society and technology. The series marks the launch of the BA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of Art Design and Printing DIT:

Updates on the lecture series at:

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