This is the website of the conference “Art & Activism: Resilience Techniques in Times of Crisis,” to be held in The Netherlands between December 13th and 15th 2017. The conference location will be at the Research Center for Material Culture within the Museum Volkenkunde (National Museum of World Cultures) in the city of Leiden.

Leading up to the three-day event, a monthly series of conversations between Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) scholars and artists on the topic of “KunstKracht: Verbeelding en activisme in een post-truth tijdperk” (ArtPower: Imagination and activism in a post-truth age) will take place in Amsterdam at SPUI25, sponsored by the Royal Academy’s Society of Arts (Akademie van Kunsten-KNAW). The evenings are announced here, and although the first one is already sold out (19 Sep), reserve now for the remaining three to avoid disappointment (10 Oct, 7 Nov, 12 Dec from 7:30-9:30 pm). They will take place mainly in English and partly in Dutch.

The conference “Art & Activism” aims to understand the force of art to engage and express political sentiment. At the heart of any art that can be called activist is a firm revolutionary belief in the possibility of societies reforming and improving. Behind its obvious involvement with present issues and concerns, activist art is always oriented to shaping an ameliorated future. This public role is not uncontested. The arts are (perpetually) under attack. A sense of crisis, moreover, is widely felt among contemporary artists and activists, who experience precarity, marginalization, and vulnerability on a daily basis and may put their bodies on the line. The idea of crisis, both in the arts and in society, has been widely articulated by scholars and critics. This interdisciplinary conference aims to create a space in which participants from scholarly, artistic and activist backgrounds can learn from and collaborate on a horizontal plane.

In the following lines you can find more information about the people working behind the scenes so as to make this event possible.

Conference Committee

Dr. Eliza Steinbock, chair of the committee, is an assistant professor in Film and Literary Studies at Leiden University in the Center for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). Next to Eliza’s NWO-funded (Veni) postdoctoral research project “Vital Art: Transgender Portraiture as Visual Activism”, they coordinate the minor Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture. Their research is guided by the question of how regimes of visuality shape public and private knowledges about bodies. Eliza publishes on trans* cultural production, porn/sexualities and contemporary mediascapes. Methodologically, Eliza incorporates experiences of programming, curating and collaborating with visual artists into their research publications. Eliza is also the editor of the Arts and Culture review section of the journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. For more CV information, please consult Eliza’s website.

Dr. Bram Ieven is an assistant professor of Dutch Literature and Culture at Leiden University, where he teaches courses on Dutch left-leaning communism and Dutch literature in a globalized world. His research focuses on Dutch and European modernist art and politics, as well as on contemporary culture in its relation to globalization. He obtained his PhD in Comparative Literature by Leiden University in 2007, and ever since he has taught at Leiden University, Utrecht University, and has been a visiting scholar at Duke University and a visiting professor at University of California Santa Barbara. His full CV information can be found here.

Prof. Dr. Kitty Zijlmans is a professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory and World Art Studies at Leiden University. She is also the co-director of the research programme “Contemporary Art Beyond Boundaries (CAbB)”, for which she manages the project on “Contemporary Art and Discourse in a Globalizing World”. Her research revolves around the contemporary development of art and art theory in the formation of History of Art as a discipline. Her main interest is in the field of contemporary art, art theory, and methodology. She is especially interested in the ongoing intercultural processes and the globalization of the (art) world, and increasingly collaborated and exchanges with artists in the context of the field of artistic research. Her full CV can be checked here.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Robert Zwijnenberg is a professor of Art and Science Interactions at Leiden University. He teaches Art History at a Bachelor level and Arts and Culture at a Master level. His research is focused on aesthetics, art and natural science, art history and art theory, especially in their relation to the development of science and technology. Trained in civil engineering and philosophy, he has worked as visiting professor at the University of Stockholm and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently is project leader of the interdisciplinary research program “The Mediated Body” at the University of Maastricht and the program “New Representational Spaces”, which aims to analyze the role of visual arts in the evaluation and dissemination of the results of genomic research. His full CV can be found here.

Dr. Marijke de Valck is an associate professor in Media Studies at Utrecht University where she coordinates the master’s program “Arts and Society” in the Department of Media and Culture. Her research is situated on the intersections of film studies, cultural studies and globalization studies. She specializes in film festivals as nodes for alternative film cultures, and has a particular interest in the ways diverging interests are negotiated to advance artistic, activist and humanist ideals. Her research ranges from programming issues and audience research to industry activities and film circulation. Her full CV can be consulted in this website.

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Wayne Modest (Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies) Free University Amsterdam. Dir. Research Center for Material Culture, National Museum for World Cultures.

Prof. Dr. Eugene van Erven (Media, Performance and the City) Head of Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Utrecht University.

Prof. Dr. Jeroen de Kloet (Globalization) Dir. Amsterdam Center for Globalization Studies, University of Amsterdam.

Research Assistant and interns

(current) Mir Marinus is Dr. Steinbock’s research assistant at Leiden University. Having obtained their bachelor in Philosophy by Radboud University Nijmegen, they now are a student of the Research Master on Gender and Ethnicity offered by Utrecht University. Their professional experience is marked by having worked for the Institute for LGTB studies of the University of Arizona under the supervision of Susan Stryker, and as an intern for Atria Kennisinstituut. Their research interests revolve around dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, Transgender Studies and feminist scholarship on emotions. Their full CV can be consulted on their LinkedIn page.

(current) Marta Kaprzyk, PhD candidate, is dr. de Valck’s visiting intern at Utrecht University. Having obtained her Master’s degree in Journalism & Social Communication and Spanish she is now a lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of Wrocław (Poland). Her research interests revolve around the topics of contemporary Spanish cinema, transnational cinema(s), production studies and digital fashion films.
Her full CV can be consulted on her LinkedIn page.

(former) Marta García is one of the two interns of Dr. Eliza Steinbock in the Spring 2017. Having obtained her degree in Journalism at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, she currently studies a Master in Gender Studies at Utrecht University. Her main interests are Gender and Politics, LGTBQ+ issues, and Sexuality Studies. Her main task is to develop the communications of the conference. Her CV information can be found in her LinkedIn profile, which holds the name she commonly uses for publishing as a journalist: Marta Sastre Haro.

(former) Ángela Cáceres is one of the two interns of Dr. Eliza Steinbock in the Spring 2017. Having obtained a degree in Psychology by the University of Granada in Spain, she then entered the Master of Gender Studies offered by Utrecht University. Her research revolves around the topic of vulnerability and sexual rights for bodily diverse people. Her LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Our Partners and Sponsors

The organization of this conference has been sponsored by the Leiden University Fund/ Dr. C.L. van Steedeen Fonds.

Our Partners and Sponsors:  nwo-logo.png b77bea67db0bbf876072a9f87829ba4b_XL.jpg ACGS-logo.png   Lucas.jpg