The essays collected in this volume examine the multidisciplinary and multicultural nature of the subject of aesthetics. The contributed articles address the vexed relation of the arts and criticism to contemporary social, political, and cultural issues of ethnicity, race, class, and gender in the United States today. These essays aim to resolve some of the issues of the so-called "culture wars" by bridging the gap that has existed for two decades between scholars and crtics who generally hold conflicting views of the purposes of art and criticism. Accordingly, this volume provides a serious assessment of aesthetic theory and practices within the arts and letters of our multicultural society.

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