Division of Philosophy

Aesthetics and Art History

The department, which is composed of three fields, i.e. aesthetics and art theory, art history, and comparative art studies, operates on the premise that these three fields are inseparably linked. Students can pursue an extremely broad range of research interests including anything that has been deemed art.

In terms of themes and methodologies, our studies can be classifted roughly into two categories: theoretical studies of art and studies of individual works of art. In theoretical studies, students may explore the essence of art in terms of its origin, its relationship to society, or the nature of various aesthetic experiences such as that of beauty, sublimity, humor and ugliness, using as a starting point various texts on aesthetics and art from ancient times to the contemporary age. In contrast, in studies of individual works of art, students may focus on particular works of art created in Japanese, Eastern or Western cultural contexts, and examine their stylistic features or the circumstances behind their creation and reception. In recent years studies of contemporary art outside the traditional paradigms are on the increase, and as conventional methodologies cannot be easily applied to these works that are in the process of being created, new approaches are being tested. Some undergraduate and graduate students also study film and popular music. In the future, the scope of research endeavors at the department is bound to grow even further in variety and diversity.

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NEDACHI, Kensuke Prof. History of Japanese art (Buddhist sculpture)
NAKAMURA, Toshiharu Prof. History of European art (Northern baroque painting)
HIRAKAWA, Kayo Prof. History of European art
SUGIYAMA, Takashi Assoc. Prof. Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art