Culture, Aesthetics, Values
Fields of Expertise
• Professional field: Philosophy – Aesthetics
The problem orientation of aesthetic studies is concentrated on the analytical and critical interpretation of the diversity of cultural and aesthetic phenomena, as the most important characteristics of modern and postmodern artistic development are shown in the foreground. These cultural and aesthetic issues are both unexplored in the Bulgarian scientific literature and needed. They correspond not only to the theoretical challenges in the analysis of aesthetic experience and the definition of aesthetics, artistic creation, ontological status of the contemporary work of art, but also to the pressing social needs of the development of adequate criteria for the assessment of artistic practice, for the methodological guidelines of the analysis of arts, for aesthetic dimensions of artistic taste. The integral and interdisciplinary character of studies allows to combine the theoretical issues with social actuality and importance.
Our projects are devoted to some complex cultural and aesthetic issues, which stand in the center of the contemporary cultural and aesthetic and represent their response in the Bulgarian scientific context. That also requires a commensurability of the proposed topics with the theoretical and practical details of contemporary aesthetics and cultural science.
The innovation in the content and themes of aesthetic research combines the theoretical analysis of the most significant conceptual transformations in the postmodern aesthetic paradigm (aestheticism, politicization, visualization, virtualization) as well as the analysis of the current problems of modern globalized culture (cyberculture, image culture, the culture of entertainment, commercial art practice, etc.).
The main political and social task facing Bulgaria – the authentic and full integration into the common European space can be realized in the utmost degree as an experiencing of culture and art in particular, and its achievement supposes understanding of the significance of the place and role of culture and art, as well as their analysis. Therefore, the main objectives of the research projects are aimed at the study of the most significant problems of the development of contemporary art culture and the application of aesthetic theoretical constructs as methodological guidance.
• Professional field: Philosophy – Critical Philosophy of History, Cultural Studies
Today, studies of historical knowledge are labeled differently on account of their background and institutional history: critical, analytic, formal, or narrative philosophy of history, theory of history, philosophy of history writing, metahistory etc. (one should take into account also older attempts to study historical knowledge in the frameworks of philosophy of history or in the frameworks of Droysen’s Historik). The common trait of those labels that emerged mostly in the second half of the 20th century is the object of study: the foundations and functions, the structure and representation of historical knowledge and academic history, the patterns of historical narrative, its theoretical and political problems.
Studies of historical knowledge relate to the project of cultural studies, launched by the Birmingham centre of contemporary culture studies, precisely on account of the emphasis on representation and its political effects. Both fields of study are brought to bear on each other after the reorientation of the Birmingham centre to continental philosophy, more specifically after its reorientation to Althusser’s theory of ideology and to the theory of cultural industry developed by the Frankfurt school, which in effect put the development of cultural studies under the influence of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and others. The critical theory that has laid down the ground of contemporary cultural studies is not reducible to research fields as philosophy of culture or culturology, as contemporary studies of historical knowledge are irreducible to Enlightenment or speculative philosophy of history.
The wide dissemination of cultural studies turned them into an interdisciplinary framework enabling one to bring together research in different disciplines and institutions of the social sciences and the humanities. This interdisciplinary prospect makes cultural studies one of the main fields of development of the department “Culture, Values and Morality”.
3. PhD, Assist. Prof. Galin Penev
4. PhD, Assist. Prof. Vyara Popova
Iskra Vasileva – Secretary