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About Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics

Discover New Ways of Thinking about Art and the Everyday

Designed for undergraduates, postgraduates, faculty, and scholars in philosophy, literature, and visual arts, Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics features primary texts, exclusive case studies, a bank of images, a digital-only reference work, Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South, as well as monographs, study aids, and edited collections covering aesthetics across the humanities.

About the Content


Chiapas tote bag

Case Studies

Exclusively commissioned for Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics, each case study centers around a single artwork or everyday item. They cover a vast array of objects including sculpture, art installations, nature, food, theatre, and beards, offering alternate ways of interpreting art, creativity, and beauty. These are entertaining, illustrated introductions to core aesthetic questions about taste, judgement and the definition of art.
General Editor: Darren Hudson Hick, Furman University, USA

Click here to view this collection of case study articles, or click below to read about the contributors to this series.



Nelson's Ship in a Bottle (artwork by Yinka Shonibare)

Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South

An essential set of critical readings for understanding the global roots, context, and counterparts of traditional aesthetic theories. It brings together selections from 47 aesthetic and political texts across South East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America in the 20th century. Authors include ground-breaking thinkers, utopianists, and revolutionaries including Rabindranath Tagore, Lu Xun, C.L.R. James, Suzanne Césaire, Claudia Jones, Albert Wendt, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Édouard Glissant. Aimed at students and scholars in philosophy, literary studies, and politics looking to decolonize the aesthetic tradition and expand their knowledge of aesthetics beyond Europe.
General Editor: J. Daniel Elam, The University of Hong Kong

Click here to view this collection of critical and primary sources

Book cover image for Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism

Primary Texts and Scholarly Monographs

The curated selection of over 100 eBooks cover aesthetics across the humanities, ranging from study guides and teaching aids to research texts and edited collections. Titles include Introducing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art (Second Edition) and series such as Bloomsbury Aesthetics, Contemporary Aesthetics and Art, Contemporary Thinkers Reframed, and Radical Aesthetics-Radical Art.

In partnership with Broadview Press, Hackett, Princeton University Press, and Yale University Press, the Primary Texts include influential works in philosophical aesthetics by authors such as Mieke Bal, Monroe Beardsley, Nelson Goodman, Jean-Marie Schaeffer, and Francis Edward Sparshott.
Click here to view the Primary Texts collection.

Okesa II (artwork by Norman Akers and heather ahtone, 2010)

Image Gallery and Video Case Studies

A collection of 250 images has been carefully selected by a team of philosophers who have identified visuals that can be used to spark class discussions or form the basis of a research paper. Images address issues such as the nature of aesthetic judgement, the status of art, and the place of arts within society.
Click here to view the image gallery.

Videos have been created around case studies to provide closer analysis of detail in the objects. Click here to watch the first set of videos accompanying ‘Okesa II: A Case Study in Indigenous Aesthetics as a non-Western Paradigm’ and ‘Katharina Grosse, It Wasn’t Us’.