International Conference - Arts Education Research and the Challenge of Cultural Sustainability

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Nürnberg-Erlangen
02. - 05. Mai 2018

Culture only persists through lived practice. It exists within iterative practices which pass on – and by doing so, inevitably reinterpret and recontextualize – cultural forms, semantics, and values. Arts, taken as a particular realm of aesthetic expression by
culturally situated means, are thus important agents, shaping the tensional relation between tradition and heritage on the one hand and the multiple challenges of cultural transformation on the other: Through the discoursive practices of arts, cultures aesthetically reflect and become critically aware of themselves. Through the participation in aesthetic discourses and practices, people thus may participate in
such deliberative aesthetic transformative practices. This is where arts education, cultural education and aesthetic education intersect.

In an ever changing world
- facing huge, and more often than not hegemonial, transformative forces such as globalization, digitalization, mediatization, economization and displacement/migration,
- experiencing overwhelming, disruptive complexities as well as regressive reactions against those on a global scale,
- while at the same time being challenged with the need for change towards sustainable models and modes of living,
the necessity of change and learning processes on not only political, but more so on the level of inherited cultural practices, is evident. Accordingly, cultural sustainability can no longer be regarded as a process of fixation and determination of cultural norms and ways of living (against change), but has to be understood as an idea of generating cultural tradition by shaping the transformative moments of culture in a selfdetermined manner.

This perspective – understanding arts as a agent for non/anti-hegemonial practices of transformation, and arts, cultural and aesthetic education as an agent for the empowerment towards participation in such processes – may thus foster and sharpen our understanding of the potential role of arts education (and arts education research) for sustainable development. The resulting question: „How may and does arts
education contribute to cultural sustainability?“ differs vastly from sub-complex, utilitarian and functionalistic questions of how arts (education) may serve the purposes of pre-defined sustainability goals. It aims towards the multiple aesthetics of transformation in arts (and likewise in less institutionalized forms of aesthetic practice), the inherent connexion of education and transformation, and finally the
intersection of both.

Contributions may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- aesthetic/artistic conceptions, articulations, stagings reflecting upon/articulating the tensions between cultural traditions and cultural transformations and their (actual, potential, policy-related etc.) role in arts education
- transformative effects of less institutionalized (old or new) aesthetic practices and their relation to sustainability/cultural sustainability
- impact of particular transformational dynamics on arts, culture, (arts) education, and cultural sustainability
- aesthetics of (performative) educational practices and processes and their (shaping/fostering/inhibiting) relation to cultural sustainability and transformation
- shaping strategies, hegemonial and/or antihegemonial logics in policy-making and civil society related to transformational dynamics and arts education
- research methodologies for arts education research in transformative cultures (i.e., transmigration societies, postdigital cultures).

All interested researchers are invited to submit a proposal/abstract for a talk (about 200-300 words) until Feb 2, 2018. Proposals will receive a feedback until Feb 16. Please submit the proposal to Dr. Lisa Unterberg (lisa.unterberg[at]

The conference will be organized by the Chair of Pedagogy with a focus on Culture and Aesthttic Education at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg with the collaboration of the UNESCO Chair for Cultural Education, the Academy of School Theatre and performative Education and the UNITWIN Arts Education research for Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development.

Contact: Dr. Lisa Unterberg, Lisa.unterberg[at]

Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier.