Arts and Humanities: Of(f) Course

June 25, 2013 - June 26, 2013
Department of Arts, Culture and Media, Research Centre Arts in Society, University of Groningen


Main speakers:

Jet Bussemaker
Minister of Education, Culture and Science
Bernhard Darras
Université Paris I
Mark Fisher
Goldsmiths College, University of London
Jan Masschelein
University of Leuven
Martha Nussbaum
University of Chicago
Vanessa Reinwand
Universität Hildesheim
Jean-Marie Schaeffer
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Murray Smith
University of Kent at Canterbury

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The title of this conference, Arts and Humanities. Of(f) Course points to the fact that both the arts and the humanities have lost their self-evidence in a world where economic standards are becoming increasingly dominant. Universities are confronted with the demand to ‘valorize’ academic research, but ways to do so are less obvious for the humanities than they are for (most of) the natural sciences. Whatever will be the outcome of this process, the arts and the study of the arts will not be able to carry on along the same path. How should the humanities deal with this problem? What kinds of theoretical frameworks and methodologies can be developed to respond to it? And, finally, what does it mean to be ‘off course’? Does it mean one has to steer back to familiar terrains, or does it mean steering away from the beaten track?

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