Department of Arts and Culture Studies

The research objective of the Department of Arts and Culture Studies is to understand the mutual relationship between the arts, cultural heritage and society at large. This involves an in-depth analysis of the interactions between a changing society and developments in the ways art and heritage are produced, distributed and consumed.

Of central concern are recent economic and social processes that have fundamentally changed the world of art and culture. The programme focuses in particular on globalisation, fading or shifting cultural boundaries (e.g. between highbrow and popular art), and emerging financial and organisational strategies in the arts and cultural industries. As such, the Arts and Culture programme covers much of what is crucial in the art world except the works of art themselves.

Thus, when it concerns the value of artworks, researchers in the programme are typically interested in how artistic reputations are shaped by cultural gatekeepers, how this relates to the determination of prices, or from which segments of the population the audiences are attracted based on which characteristics and interests. Studies in the Department have demonstrated amply that the social, political and economic aspects of the worlds of art and heritage largely determine what is produced, made available and valued by whom.