Mark Kingwell

Mark Kingwell

Mark Kingwell

Toronto, ON

Keynote lecture: The City as a Work of Art - Friday, November 5 at 8:30 am

Mark Kingwell is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine.  He is the author of fifteen books of political, cultural and aesthetic theory, including the national bestsellers Better Living (1998), The World We Want (2000), Concrete Reveries (2008), and Glenn Gould (2009).  His articles on politics, architecture and art have been published in, among others, the Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Forum, the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.  His popular writing has appeared in more than 50 mainstream publications including  Harper’s, the New York Times, Utne Reader, BookForum, the Toronto Star, and Queen’s Quarterly; he is also a former columnist for Adbusters, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail.  Mr. Kingwell has lectured extensively in Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia on philosophical subjects and has held visiting posts at Cambridge University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the City University of New York, where he was Weismann Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities in 2002.  He is the recipient of the Spitz Prize in political theory for his first book, A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism (1995); National Magazine Awards for both essays and columns; an Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Toronto; and in 2000 was awarded an honorary DFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design for contributions to theory and criticism.  His recent books are a collection of his essays on art and philosophy, Opening Gambits (2008), and, with Patrick Turmel, the edited collection Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Public Space (2009).  He is currently at work on a book about 21st-century democracy.

Description of Mark Kingwell's talk:

The City as a Work of Art

Cities are living things, partly designed and partly random, sometimes conscious but often mechanical. They may be compared to many other systems: circulatory, market-capitalism, erotic-exchange, and so on. But at once the richest and the most challenging idea of the city is that of the work of art. Beginning with some general reflections on the origin and nature of the work of art, this presentation will open up a series of reflections on cities and the people, built forms, and transactions that make them what they are.

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