April 12 2016
McKayla Sluga '17 presented her paper, entitled "Applying Walter Benjamin's Philosophy to Sebastiao Salgado's Photography: Are Salgado's Works Revolutionary?" at the 21st Annual SUNY-Oneonta Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, held April 8 and 9. She also served as the discussant for Marisa MacCaro's paper "Deprivation is Nothing to Us."
McKayla's paper employs Benjamin's aesthetic theory to evaluate whether Selgado's photographs of human suffering perform a revolutionary function and concludes that Benjamin would likely argue that they fail to serve any revolutionary aesthetic function.According to McKayla, "The actual paper presentation resulted in a discussion about the roles of art and journalistic photography, which pointed to the need to be aware of how artistic mediums function in daily, modern life. The conference illuminated the importance of philosophy itself as well as its role in various disciplines including physics, history, biology, anthropology, and art. Additionally, it provided an opportunity to engage with philosophy students and faculty from around the nation."