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William Morris

William Morris



Participate! Cultural Transformation and the Participatory Agenda, 2-3 October, 2015

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU), The Institute for The Study of Culture, in collaboration with Brandts and co-funded by the Velux Foundation.


The participatory agenda has been introduced in art and cultural policies in modern, post-welfare societies as a means of social transformation during the last decennial. The agenda has been driven forth by an entangled political, economic and social vision of democratisation, innovation and social integration. Now it is time to ask, what are the inherent paradoxes and ambiguities as this agenda is spelled out at different levels of cultural policies and in different types of art and cultural institutions? What are the dilemmas in real policy implications in and across institutions and in cultural communication practices in terms of professional principles such as arms’ length, quality and objectivity? How do we adapt inventive, collaborative methodologies from which to approach such questions and engage in the actual political rhetoric of ‘social impact’,‘value’ and ‘measurement’. The aim of the conference is to establish a dialogue between theoreticians, politicians, artists and professionals and raise questions of art and culture in relation to democracy, civic learning and empowerment.


Key note speakers:

Tony Bennett, Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. Tony Bennett has written extensively on cultural sociology, on cultural policies and institutions, and on cultural/national heritage and the museum. Among his recent publications is Making Culture, Changing Society, 2013.

Gerald Raunig, Artist, philosopher, Director of Dpt. Kunst & Medien, Zürich University of the Arts and the EIPCP (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies), Vienna. Gerald Raunig has published on art, art institutions and cognitive capitalism, forthcoming is DIVIDUUM: Maschinischer kapitalismus und molekulare revolution, 2015.

Nina Möntmann, Professor and Head of The Department of Art Theory and the History of Ideas, The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. Nina Möntmann is an experienced curator, critic and academic engaged in new institutionalism and among her recent publications is Scandalous: A Reader on Art and Ethics, 2013.

Celia Lury, Professor and Director of Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick. Celia Lury has been engaged in cultural policies in a broad sense, in global scaling and in inventive and performative methodologies. Among her recent books is Measure and Value (co-edited with Lisa Adkins), 2012.


Call for Papers:

Part of the conference will be organized in thematic workshops, and we invite cultural researchers and professionals to deliver an abstract (500 words) before April, 1 (to be proceeded before May, 1) and a final paper before September, 1. Workshops will include:

  • Governmentality and New Institutionalism
  • Participation, democracy und civic learning
  • Participation –challenges in commissioning, curating and facilitating participatory art/culture projects
  • Participation and/or/in Audience and Visitor Studies
  • Participatory practices in art, media and culture outside institutions
  • Critical/ethical practice and the performativity of research methodologies
  • Comparative/scaled cultural policies: EU, Nordic, national level etc.
  • Cognitive capitalism and creative commons

Contact: Professor Anne Scott Sørensen, Institute for the Study of Culture, SDU,


Abstracts to  be delivered to:




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