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December 02, 2005, 8:00 PM

The Critical (Un)Conscious: Valuing the Literary and Visual Arts

Participants: Leon Balter, Roger Copeland, Grace Glueck, Geoffrey Hartman, Deborah Jowitt, Lois Oppenheim (moderator),William Wolf

Critical discourse is constructed socially, culturally, philosophically, linguistically, and psychodynamically. Indeed, there are always influences, external and internal, impacting the practice of critical writing. How varied are these influences across the arts? How significant are (conscious) ideological perspectives and (unconscious) motivational forces in determining critical reviews? What are the risks posed by criticism to the creative imagination of the artist? Or to the imaginative participation of the reader/viewer in the aesthetic experience? How much should the critic aim to reveal? And what might impel the critic to review artistic works in the first place? These are some of the questions explored by this panel of preeminent critics of theater, dance, painting, film, and literature.

Leon Balter is Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Roger Copeland is Professor of Theater and Dance at Oberlin College. He has published articles about dance and theater in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Village Voice, Partisan Review, and many other journals. His books include What Is Dance? and Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance.

Grace Glueck is an art reviewer at The New York Times.

Geoffrey Hartman is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and English at Yale University.

Deborah Jowitt is prinicipal dance critic at The Village Voice and a Master Teacher at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Lois Oppenheim is Distinguished Scholar, Professor of French, and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Montclair State University, where she also teaches courses in psychoanalysis and the literary and visual arts. She has authored or edited ten books and published over seventy articles. Her most recent books include A Curious Intimacy: Art and Neuro-Psychoanalysis and The Painted Word: Samuel Beckett's Dialogue With Art. Dr. Oppenheim is a member of the advisory board of The Philoctetes Center.

William Wolf is a film and theater critic at wolfentertainmentguide.com. He is President of The Drama Desk and an adjunct professor at New York University.


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