Ms Soim Lee

Research project: Contemporaneity and Negativity


My dissertation project is titled ‘Contemporaneity and Negativity'. Tracing back the distributive unity of global contemporaneity to a complex debate between (German) post-Hegelians and (French) anti-Hegelians regarding the legacy of speculative logics in aesthetics, the dissertation enquires into the crisis and subsequent development of contemporary aesthetics after Adorno. Through an examination of the philosophical-historical and anthropological implications of the aesthetic category of negativity, the project attempts to reconstruct Adorno's and Benjamin's methodological elaboration of dialectical materialism in aesthetics against the Hegelian tradition of the immanence of aesthetics.


I hold a B.A. in Philosophy and Art History from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and an M.A. in Political Theory from Goethe-University Frankfurt a.M. My research interests lie in the fields of aesthetics, art theory and political theory. I also work together with artists, art historians and curators in the field of contemporary art.

Areas of research interest

  • Aesthetics
  • Political Theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Art Theory
  • German Idealism


  • M.A. Political Theory, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main
  • Visiting Master, Political Science, University of Vienna
  • M.A. studies Art History, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf
  • B.A. Philosophy/Art History, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf
  • Studies of Fine Art, Art Academy Düsseldorf

Funding or awards received

  • 2023: steirischer herbst research fellowship
  • 2022: Kingston University PhD Studentship



  • (Forthcoming),  "Contemporaneity and Transnationality - Contemporary Art in Central Europe since the 1960s", steirischer herbst 2023


  • "Symbolic Unity in Post-Marxism. How Should We Deal with the Symbolic in the Political?", in: The Political is the Symbolic, Materiali di Estetica 8.2, Milano, 2021, pp. 105-129. ;

Conference papers


  • "‘Matter' and Materialism - The Transformation of the Concept of Matter Between Schelling and Hegel", 6th International Doctoral Conference in Philosophy and Education Sciences, On Matter,  Ca' Foscari University – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Venice


  • "Adorno's Aesthetic Negativity", 14th International Critical Theory Conference of Rome, John Felice Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago, Rome


  • "Illocutionary Norm-Speech Act and Justification", Context(s). Dialogues Between the History of Ideas and Political Theory, with Quentin Skinner, Sciences-Po, Paris
  • "Vice Epistemological Criticism of Norms: Two Ways of Understanding Post-Kantian Practical Philosophy", What Makes a Philosopher Good or Bad? Intellectual Virtues and Vices in the History of Philosophy, Utrecht University/Leiden University