Benjamin Laboratory I: The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility

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Modalità esame

Written and oral exams, seminars


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No prerequisites are required.


The course intends to present and discuss the main theoretical questions posed by Walter Benjamin in his essay "The Work of Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility" by drawing on the wide range of thematic variations contained in his five drafts (1935-1936). The course will closely read the evolution of Benjamin's reflections on the anthropological changes introduced by technical reproduction at the level of the processes of autonomisation of the image, the historical modalities of structuring experience, the social function of art, and the relations between aesthetics and politics.

Obiettivi formativi

By analysing the different versions of the essay, the course aims to introduce students to Walter Benjamin's philosophical laboratory, paying particular attention to reconstructing the historical development of the main concepts of the essay - aura, technique, magic, mimesis, play, appearance - in the author's intellectual biography. 

Riferimenti bibliografici

W. Benjamin, L'opera d'arte nell'epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica, a cura di F. Desideri e M. Montanelli, Feltrinelli, Milano 2022 (complete edition including the five drafts)

H. Eiland, M.W. Jennings, Walter Benjamin. Una biografia critica, Einaudi, Torino 2016

Further bibliographical information will be provided during the course.