New Visiting Obel Professor: Peter Dayan

Professor Peter Dayan, University of Edinburgh has been appointed Visiting Obel Professor by the Department of Culture and Global Studies

I began my academic career working on 19th-century French literature, trying to work out what the distinctive value of poetry was meant to be. Then I realised it was impossible to distinguish the value of poetry from the value of music, so I moved into “Word and Music Studies” (and acquired the title of Professor of Word and Music Studies at Edinburgh University) And then I realised that the visual arts were playing the same games with values – games whose rules remained largely unchanged until the 1960s (including through modernism, futurism, cubism, and Dada), and which remain strangely powerful today. I feel most honoured that the Department of Culture and Global Affairs has invited me to join in their debates about the nature of cultural value over the coming five years, and see my primary role as bringing to Aalborg the voice of the French cultural tradition, complete with its occasionally imperialist internationalism and arrogance.

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