Presented by the UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, in collaboration with the UQ School of Communication and Arts.

9 November 2017, 9am-5pm
Terrace Room, The University of Queensland, St Lucia

All welcome. RSVP online by Tuesday 7 November.

What does the cinematic imagination involve, how does it work, why is it important, and in what ways is it related to aesthetic and ethical judgment or to emotion, memory, belief, and make-believe? This film-philosophy symposium addresses such questions by bringing work on emotion and ethical engagement together with an exploration of imagination and ethical criticism in cinema and screen media more broadly. Imagination has complex connections to cognition, affect, and sensory perception—all of which interrelate phenomenologically and aesthetically in cinematic experience. Not only is the imagination central to generating images and ideas and to their aesthetic realisation in the screen production process, it is also crucial to the interpretation and evaluation of narrative and non-fictional film and television.

Despite recent research exploring how screen media induce empathy and emotional involvement, little work has been done to explore the essential role of the moral imagination in cinematic and televisual narratives that not only foster empathic and sympathetic concern for others but also invite spectators to envision alternative perspectives, experiences, and possibilities. This symposium proposes new perspectives on the potential of screen media to evoke and express ethical experience by exploring the dynamic relationship between empathy, emotional engagement, and imagination in narrative and non-fiction film, television, and digital media. It brings together phenomenological and cognitivist approaches with recent work in aesthetics and moral psychology focusing on the synergy between emotion, moral imagination, and ethical criticism. In doing so, the invited speakers will explore the productive or creative capacity of imagination, its role in synthesising and mediating between sensuous perception and cognitive understanding, as well as the evaluative dimensions of imagination pertaining to ethical evaluation and emotional engagement.

Keynote lecture: “Empathy, Emotional Engagement, and Moral Imagination: New Perspectives on Cinematic Ethics”, Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University)

The program for this event can be downloaded here