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The 2016 Richard Beale Davis Prize

The 2016 Richard Beale Davis Prize e 2 Th 6 R 10 ichard Beale Davis Prize It is with sincere pleasure that the prize committee awards the 2016 Richard Beale Davis Prize to Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, for her essay “Atlantic Aesthesis: Books and Sensus Communis in the New World.” This essay considers the nature of aesthetic judgment, and finds in this familiar eighteenth- century subject a wholly new and startlingly fresh theory of the cultural processes and imperial contexts in which such judgment develops. Grounding its notion of the aesthetic in aesthesis—in sensory cultivation and embodied experience—Dillon’s essay advances the claim that “the aes- thetic is never wholly distinct from aesthesis—from the process by which sensation becomes a site of shared meaning and, conversely, the process by which sensation shears away from the constraints of collective sense into materiality as well.” Displaying substantial learning and great originality, this essay successfully shows how European colonial domination by way of Enlightenment technology can be rewritten from below. Following the decades- long turn in our field away from aesthetic evaluations of literary texts and toward historicist and culturalist ques- tions, “Atlantic Aesthesis” considers a historicist and culturalist under - standing of the aesthetic itself, demonstrating with admirable reflexivity http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X

Abstract

e 2 Th 6 R 10 ichard Beale Davis Prize It is with sincere pleasure that the prize committee awards the 2016 Richard Beale Davis Prize to Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, for her essay “Atlantic Aesthesis: Books and Sensus Communis in the New World.” This essay considers the nature of aesthetic judgment, and finds in this familiar eighteenth- century subject a wholly new and startlingly fresh theory of the cultural processes and imperial contexts in which such judgment develops. Grounding its notion of the aesthetic in aesthesis—in sensory cultivation and embodied experience—Dillon’s essay advances the claim that “the aes- thetic is never wholly distinct from aesthesis—from the process by which sensation becomes a site of shared meaning and, conversely, the process by which sensation shears away from the constraints of collective sense into materiality as well.” Displaying substantial learning and great originality, this essay successfully shows how European colonial domination by way of Enlightenment technology can be rewritten from below. Following the decades- long turn in our field away from aesthetic evaluations of literary texts and toward historicist and culturalist ques- tions, “Atlantic Aesthesis” considers a historicist and culturalist under - standing of the aesthetic itself, demonstrating with admirable reflexivity

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 6, 2018

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