This page contains a listing of books authored and edited by Carolyn Korsmeyer. The listing of articles is here.
Authored Books: Philosophy
Things: In Touch with the Past
Oxford University Press, 2019
This book explores the value of artifacts that have survived from the past and that can be said to "embody" their histories. Such genuine or "real" things afford a particular kind of aesthetic experience--an encounter with the past--despite the fact that genuineness is not a perceptually detectable property. Although it often goes unnoticed, the sense of touch underlies such encounters, even though one is often not permitted literal touch.
My blog post related to this project can be read here. A forum discussing this book published in Studi di estetika #1, 2021, can be read here.
The book is available from:
Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics
Oxford University Press, 2011.
Disgust is among the strongest of aversions, characterized by involuntary physical recoil and even nausea. Yet paradoxically, disgusting objects can sometimes exert a grisly allure, and this emotion can constitute a positive, appreciative aesthetic response when explored by works of art--a phenomenon I label "aesthetic disgust." Most treatments of disgust mistakenly interpret it as only an extreme reaction, neglecting the many subtle ways that it operates aesthetically. This study calls attention to the diversity and depth of its uses, considering the enormous variety for forms it can assume in works of art and--unexpectedly--even in foods.
For a podcast interview with Carrie Figdor (New Books in Philosophy) about disgust in art, click here.
This book is available from Oxford University Press here.
and on Amazon, here.
Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction
Polish translation 2008, Korean translation 2010, Japanese translation, 2010.
Feminist approaches to art have been influential across a variety of disciplines, including art history, cultural and visual studies, and philosophy. This book is an introduction to feminist perspectives on major theories within philosophy of art and aesthetics. It examines the role of gender in forming ideas about art and artists, creativity, genius, and aesthetic qualities. Both contemporary and historical theorists are covered, including Plato, Kant, Hume, Irigaray, and Kristeva, among others.
The book is available from Routledge.
Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy
Cornell University Press, 1999.
Taste, perhaps the most intimate of the five external senses, has traditionally been considered beneath the concern of philosophy, too bound to the body, too personal and idiosyncratic. Yet, in addition to providing physical pleasure and nourishment, eating and drinking bear symbolic and aesthetic value in human experience, and the continually inspire writers and artists. This book explores how taste came to occupy so low a place in the hierarchy of senses and why it is deserving of greater philosophical respect and attention.
This book was honored with the International Prize from the Italian Society for Aesthetics in 2014. Its Italian translation, Il senso del gusto: Cibo e filosofia (Ed. N. Parullo, trans. S. Marino) appeared in 2015. Other translations: Chinese (2000), Spanish (2002), Korean (2020).
It may be purchased from Cornell University Press.
And from Amazon.
Carolyn Korsmeyer interview with Ian Werkheimer, Thought About Food podcast series.
Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe
by Ellen Carol Dubois, Gail Paradise Kelly, Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy,
Carolyn Korsmeyer, and Lillian S. Robinson
University of Illinois Press, 1985. Paperback 1987.
In this collaborative work, five scholars assess the nature and extent of the emergence of feminist perspectives in history, literature, education, anthropology and philosophy.
Available from Amazon.
Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials
Edited by Jeanette Bicknell. Jennifer Judkins, and Carolyn Korsmeyer
New York: Routledge, 2020.
For an interview with the editors, see our blog post at Aesthetics for Birds.
This collection of 25 new essays examines our relationship to physical objects that invoke, commemorate, and honor the past. How do memorials convey their meanings? What is our responsibility for the preservation or reconstruction or historically significant structures? How should we respond when the public display of a monument divides a community? The authors consider issues of preservation and reconstruction, the nature of ruins, the aesthetic and ethical values of memorials, and the relationship of cultural memory to material artifacts that remain from the past.
Available from Routledge and from Amazon.
The Taste Culture Reader: Experiencing Food and Drink
First edition London: Berg, 2005.
Second edition, Bloomsbury, 2017.
A collection of readings, both new and reprinted, concerning food and the sense of taste. Writers from many disciplines, including history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and psychology examine the role of taste in cultural identity, the assessment of authenticity, and the transmission of memory. The subtleties and meanings of flavors and the ability to cultivate taste are disclosed by scholars and artists alike.
Available from Bloomsbury.
And from Amazon.
Aurel Kolnai on Disgust
Co-edited with Barry Smith
Open Court, 2004
Hungarian phenomenologist Aurel Kolnai published his long essay On Disgust in 1929. This English translation is printed with the essay he wrote in 1998 that was published in Mind, "The Standard Modes of Aversion: Fear, Disgust, and Hatred."
Available from Open Court.
And from Amazon.
Literary Philosophers? Borges, Calvino, Eco
Co-edited with Jorge Gracia and Rodolphe Gasché
Eleven authors explore the complex relation between literature and philosophy, considered through the work of three literary figures, Jorge Lui8s Borges, Italo Calvino, and Umberto Eco.
Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective
Co-edited with Hilde Hein
Indiana University Press, 1990
This book was one of the first collections of essays on feminism and aesthetics. It contains 17 essays by scholars from philosophy, literary studies, music, African-American studies, and psychology.
Available at Indiana University Press.