Peripheral Visions: Lecture Series on Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Contemporary Art

Politics of Art and Cultural Policies

Evaluating the Social Impact of the Arts: a Question of Method?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013
18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Back-page illustration from The Glasgow Keelie, No.4, September 1990The impact of Glasgow 1990 European City of Culture for the people of Glasgow: the view from below. Back-page illustration from The Glasgow Keelie, No.4, September 1990Speaker(s): Dr. Paola Merli (University of Nottingham)
Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission
Organised by: Kaija Kaitavuori and Liz Kim with Prof Julian Stallabrass (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

What can the arts do for society? This question has been asked, or at least implied, by neoliberal politicians of both conservative and progressive outlooks. It is certainly not new, but what does it really mean in a neoliberal political context? What specific expectations has it placed on the arts? And how has the success of the arts in meeting such expectations been evaluated? What methods have been used, and with what implications?

Series Introduction: Contemporary art extends beyond the visual and aesthetic and operates in multiple areas of human activity. In order to study contemporary art in its multifariousness, art historical research needs to reach beyond its disciplinary boundaries and make use of methodologies of other research traditions.

This series of lectures brings together researchers studying art within other than art historical frameworks. They will present approaches that utilise methodologies pertaining to cultural policy, sociology, law and economics. Together with art historians they will ask what it means to adopt concepts and methods from other disciplines and to engage in cross-disciplinary research.

We anticipate that this series will continue in Spring, with focus on sociology of markets and art and social relations. Dr. Olav Velthuis (University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Nathalie Heinich (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris) are to be confirmed at a later time.

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