Month: February 2017


February 20-24, 2017 – Winter School “Spectra of Transformation”, Nuremberg, Germany

Like every pedagogical field, the fields of aesthetic, arts and cultural education (AACE) have been confronted with various transformational dynamics in recent decades. These transformations concern all aspects of AACE: the conditions of pedagogical work, the conditions of aesthetic and artistic topics and genres related to it, as well as the conditions of learners in the progressively globalized, internationalized and transculturalized world under the conditions of economization, governementalization, demographical shifts, migration, mediatization and digitalization.

Though research on AACE rarely focuses on transformational dynamics empirically in a systematic way, the very impact of field transformations on the constituting concepts of the discourse of AACE are even less researched and reflected upon – in particular with regard to the questions of

  • how this research field is constructed,
  • how the topical constructs used in research relate to each other,
  • what normative, cultural and political presuppositions are implied, and thus
  • what strategies of inclusion and exclusion of cultural practices as research objects are applied explicitly or implicitly, the latter being of utmost importance for the current processes of internationalization of the research discourses on AACE.

Well-established and traditional theoretical concepts, while remaining unchanged on their surface, experience huge shifts underneath their surfaces. The very concept of art for example experienced notable transformations with the shifts brought about by mass production (Duchamps), mass media (Warhol), economization (Koons), feminist (Abramovic) and political (Ai Wei Wei) discourses, and digital changes (“postinternet art”). Likewise, post-nationalism, postmigration and postcolonialism revealed a multitude of concurring concepts on education, and in that regard, the deep cultural-historical embeddedness of allegedly abstract and neutral conceptions of learning, education and, not least, the implications involved for identity and personality development. The concept of aesthetics has been even more pluralized, if not fragmentized between e.g. their ideology-critical deconstructions, the shifts toward media theory and more materialistic approaches (Barad), the deconstructions of the “western” model of subjectivity (Spivak) and the digital/algorithmic de- and rematerializations of aesthetic objects as well as processes of aesthetic experience (Parisi).

As the transformational dynamics in the various fields are interconnected in multiple ways, complexity even increases. With regard to current and future research in the fields of AACE, it is crucial not only to gain systematic insights in the effects of those transformations on the fields of practice; beforehand, there has to exist an awareness of and sensitivity towards the dynamics, but even more so towards the resulting shifts of the core concepts on which research is based upon.

In order to cultivate and prepare this sensitivity, the planned international winter school lays the grounds for a systematic consideration of the conceptual dynamics in the current and future research on AACE. We think that this is an instrument of utmost importance for young researchers, and thus a crucial instrument for the development of relevance and quality in the future research in these fields.

In the context of our proposed winter school, we would like to discuss these transformational processes together with experts and young scholars on the basis of six main thematic areas and to determine their influence on the construction of the field of research in arts and cultural education. The winter school’s aims in regard to the young scholars involved are for them to gain a critical distance to their research object and to discuss methodological implications and innovations, but also to jointly develop theory. Young scholars from abroad may apply with their own projects, which will be presented and discussed within the duration of the winter school. Passive attendance (without a project presentation) is also possible.

The Winter School will be organized by the Chair of Pedagogy with a focus on Culture and Aesthetic Education at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nurembergwith the collaboration of the UNESCO Chair for Cultural Education, the European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education linked to UNESCO (ENO), the Academy for School Theatre and performative Education and the Netzwerk Forschung Kulturelle Bildung.

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