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Department of Arts, Culture and Media

Department of Arts, Culture and Media

Oude Boteringestraat & Academiegebouw
Oude Boteringestraat & Academiegebouw

Arts, Culture and Media (ACM) is a strong multi-disciplinary platform for research and teaching. We emphasize the role performed by the arts in culture and society and the many ways in which media practices and networks continually transform arts worlds. Since the onset of digitalization, artists, (local) institutions, and the public interact in increasingly complex ways. Through new media networks, the interactive everyday activities of cultural publics are deeply transforming how arts worlds function in contemporary society.

Drawing from the versatile research of scholars within the fields of Film and Television Studies, Music Studies, Literature Studies and Theatre and Performing Arts Studies, as well as those from the fields of Arts Education, Arts Criticism, Arts Policy and Arts Management and Marketing, the Department of Arts, Culture and Media boasts a team of scholars who study and understand the arts from a wide array of perspectives. Their work reflects the transformations in the contemporary arts worlds brought about by digitalization, intermediation and globalization, as well as the many ways in which arts institutions are driven both by governmental policies and by economic imperatives.

The Relation Between Media and the Arts

Our researchers are fundamentally preoccupied with the mediated nature of arts worlds, whether involving the recently expanded dissemination of digital arts media, or current interactive arts practices such as the remake YouTube video archive and the digital musical mashup. Because of our specialized knowledge with various technologies and media histories, our faculty offers students a concrete and nuanced understanding of the development and expansion of various media in the contemporary arts worlds. Finally, ACM draws attention to the material properties of (new) media to reflect upon how these influence modes of experiencing and thinking, societal values and collective cultural identifications. We aim to better understand how wide-spread media such as mobile phones reflect changing social relations within the public sphere.

Four Critical Perspectives

While the relation between arts and media is one critical facet of this department, in education we teach our students how to recognize and adopt relevant theoretical models for examining how the arts function in culture and society. We highlight four critical perspectives, which incorporate a variety of research methods from the interpretive and qualitative to the empirical and quantitative. These perspectives also drive our own research initiatives.

A cognitive and psychological frame for examining arts, media and culture. Here scholars examine art from an evolutionary perspective, in terms of its affective and semiotic functions. The recent cognitive turn has brought about an interest in the relation between the arts and the complex contours of human experience and behaviour.

The historical and archaeological frame of many of our faculty impacts research and teaching and enables students to learn about the norms, conventions, and collective movements driving historical development within the arts. These might draw upon theories of race, gender and sexuality within performance worlds to incorporating models for examining politics and ethics in relation to life writing and storytelling.

The institutional and sociological frame of faculty offers students a nuanced model for recognizing how cultural policies and institutional structures further influence the performative lives of artists, actors, dancers or arts collectives. In some periods, such dynamics can influence the autonomy and material means of artists who are often forced to diversify their skills while leading precarious lives. Conversely, the sociological approach also examines how arts organizations impact spectators of local events and influence the creation of a public sphere more generally.

The aesthetic and formal expertise within the fields of literature, film, theatre, and music is an asset of our faculty. Researchers bring their own specialized knowledge of the various artistic disciplines, which enables them to make nuanced and specialized claims about how music, film, literature, or theatre, function within society. While some studies provide useful quantitative studies of music’s power to elicit emotions, without the specialized knowledge of how music is composed, produced, recorded and performed, such studies fail to recognize the complex processes involved in eliciting affective, political and/or collective experiences.

Connection Between Theory and Practice

The diversity of our faculty brings research projects in line with contemporary arts worlds. Our Research Centre for Arts in Society is the umbrella forum for sharing new research as well as inspiring collaborations amongst disciplines. Many scholars work closely with current arts institutions and collectives to make links between theory and practice.

Laatst gewijzigd:24 juni 2016 11:22