Phenomenality, Poeisis, and the Creature

Jane O. Newman
Comparative Literature
UC Irvine

This seminar drew together faculty and graduate students working in early cultures from six departments: English, Comparative Literature, European Languages and Literature, Art History, History, and Drama. Phenomenological approaches to medieval and early modern forms of art and thought include the traffic patterns between systematic phenomenology in the twentieth century and theological and existential thinking in earlier periods, whether in the vernacular theology of the late medieval period, the essais of Montaigne, or emerging philosophies of the image. In our seminar, phenomenality lays out the region of worldly experience and the visible object as the focus of much exploratory work in both early cultures and modern theory. Poiesis names the forms of making that exemplify and reflect on phenomenality. The creature embeds human beings in non-human processes networks and addresses the concept of creation itself.