Aesthetics, Art, and Pornography

An interdisciplinary conference 

16-18 June 2011

Institute of Philosophy, London

This conference will bring together philosophers and aestheticians, art historians and film theorists to investigate the artistic status and aesthetic dimension of pornographic pictures, films, and literature. Its interdisciplinary approach is intended to lead to a more accurate and subtle understanding of the range of representations that incorporate explicit sexual imagery and themes, in both high art and demotic culture, in Western and non-Western contexts.

Download the conference poster.

Group photo:

Plenary and session speakers* (mainly day 3) with chairs and coorganisers (l-r): Back row: Petra van Brabandt*, Jesse Prinz*, Jerry Levinson*, Tzachi Zamir*, Ed Winters*, Mimi Vasilaki, Mahlet Zimeta*, David Davies*, Nick Zangwill*. Middle row: Edward Miller*, Camile Henrot*, Hans Maes, Hazel Donkin*, John Tercier*. Front row: Aiste Griciute, Gabriela Ochoa, Sara Protasi*, Mari Mikkola*, Katrien Schaubroeck, Marghrete Bruun Vaage, Shahrar Ali. (Photo by S Ali)

Keynote Speakers

Martin Kemp - History of Art, Oxford University (Emeritus Research Professor)
Jerrold Levinson - Philosophy, University of Maryland
Jesse Prinz - Philosophy, City University of New York
Elisabeth Schellekens - Philosophy, University of Durham
Stephen Mumford - Philosophy, University of Nottingham
Pamela Church-Gibson - Film & Cultural Studies, University of the Arts London

David Davies
- McGill University

Organising committee

Hans Maes, Michael Newall, Grant Pooke, Murray Smith, Barry C. Smith, Jerrold Levinson, Jonathan Friday.

Contact: H.Maes [@] (
Aesthetics Research Group Website (

Assistants to the organisers: Gabriela Ochoa, Aiste Griciute.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the The American Society for Aesthetics, The British Society of Aesthetics, The School of Arts and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kent.


© site design C.S. Meijns 2011