PhD projects Art Education

PhD Programme Art and Education – a programme designed for PhD candidates in the field of art education in formal and informal educational settings.

The programme was initiated by the Institute Art Education (IAE) at Zurich University of the Arts in cooperation with the Art, Art History and Art Pedagogy Seminar at the Institute of Art and Visual Culture at Carl-von-Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg and the Department for Art and Communication Practices at the University of Applied Art Vienna.

PhD research topics developed within this framework focus on the intersection between art and education, both in formal and informal settings. In this, the topics encompass and combine a broad spectrum of methods, from more empirical to arts-based processes and the purely theoretical.

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PHD projects Art Education

At the end of the 1970ies and the beginning of the 1980ies the cultural sphere in the Federal Republic of Germany experienced a series of shifts. Artists demanded a new position in a changing society. Against this backdrop, the Modellversuch Künstlerweiterbildung, predecessor of today’s Art in Context, was founded in 1976. This research will focus on two topics. On the one hand, it will be dedicated the postgraduate programme’s role in society, scrutinising how the structures and approaches of profressional development for artists reflect the political situation of the times. On the other hand, the changing meanings of the concept of “cultural work” will be explored, asking whether the concept has been depoliticized and what role it plays in the context of a neoliberal ideology.

An-Chi Cheng, cultural producer. 2012-2015 Postgraduate MA programme Art in Context, UdK Berlin, with a focus on “artistic work with communities”/”Art in public space”. In Taiwan he was involved in collaborative work with NGOs and activists. His research and practice focuses on the relation between art, learning and social transformation.
The core of this PhD project is to attempt a critique of (german-speaking) swiss cultural journalism regarding the reproduction of racism, exotism and Othering, drawing on postcolonial theory. The project works with an interdisciplinary approach, connecting theory and practice. The motivation is the discomfort of being part, as a journalist, of hegemonial visual and textual representations, and thereby of the reproduction of stereotypes about the “Foreign” and “Other”. The aim is to develop strategies for alternative writing practices that reflect and unsettle these representations.

Katharina Flieger is a cultural worker and freelance cultural journalist. She studied theory (BA) and cultural journalism (MA) at ZhdK. She lives and works in Winterthur, for a range of media (print, online and TV) such as SRF Kultur, the cultural magazines Coucou in Winterthur, Saiten in Eastern Switzerland and others.
Cultural education implies working at the interface of art and education. Following Antonio Gramsci, these are two fields in which hegemonic orders are being negotiated. Against the backdrop of current dynamics of gentrification and through the case study of the long-term project We decide how we reside, involving three artistic collectives in Berlin, Istanbul and Marseille with local neighborhoods, the dissertation aims to explore the effects of cultural education projects between reproduction and transformation of social orders. With a hegemony-critical and postcolonial approach, the focus of the analysis is on questions of representation and the possibilities of epistemic participation of social groups by means of the arts.

Leila Haghighat is a cultural worker in Berlin. She studied cultural and political sciences at Université Paris VIII Vincennes – St. Denis and Japanese studies and international economy at the University for Applied Sciences Bremen. From 2013 to 2017 she has been coordinator for cultural education at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Her work and research focus on participatory practices and knowledge production in art and cultural education and related issues of the relationship between art, politics and society.
Adopting a queer-feminist perspective, this project explores how in_visibilities can be negotiated socially. Methodologically hybrid, the study consists of an essay, artistic research, and a caste study of reflective teaching all seeking for stagings for concrete contexts associated with critical art education. The project is part of the “Zeichenwerkstatt” Research Group, which practises and reflects on cultural analysis as artistic practice.

Simon Harder, art educator, has been a research associate in the project “Zeichenwerkstatt” at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS), Zurich University of the Arts, since 2012. 2013 – the present: practitioner/researcher in the project Kalkül und Kontingenz (Between Calculus and Contingency) at the IAE. 2011– the present: art teacher at Olten High School. Qualifications: Master of Arts in Art Education, Specialization in Teaching and Learning, ZHdK (2012); Diploma for Arts and Design in Social Contexts and Special Needs Education, ZHdK (2008). The PhD project at the ICS is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
The pivotal question of the research project is which semantical options the term Vermittlung (may be translated as "mediation") may allocate in the theory of Kunst-Vermittlung (may be translated as "art-education", better: "art-mediation"). The project is methodically based on conceptual history (Koselleck 1972; 2006) and functional analysis (Luhmann 1972; John 2010). It includes a historical as well as a syncronal approach. The historical view refers to terms of Vermittlung in the philosophy of the German Idealism. Those are still effective even though they – in the context of art-education – have never been reviewed. The syncron view analyses the function of Vermittlung in different social contexts. Based on this it asks: What is the term Vermittlung able to fulfill or not.

Alexander Henschel is art-mediator in theory and praxis. 2008-2010 he worked as scientific assistant at the University of Hildesheim. In 2010 he moved to the Institute of Art, Art History and Art Education at the University of Oldenburg. Key aspects of his teaching and research are the term of Vermittlung in the context of art plus art-education/art-mediation as aesthetical praxis.
The planned research focuses on education and learning programmes in anthropology museums in german-speaking countries. Which position do current discourses and practices of education in ethnological museums take concerning the post-colonial critique of the anthropology museum? The aim of the project is to discuss the possibilities for an anti-racist, decolonizing educational practice with athropology collections, in an exchange with educators and drawing on current debates in post-colonial theory.

Nora Landkammer is a gallery educator and research assistant at the Institute for Art Education, ZHdK. She studied art and communicative practices as well as spanish in Vienna and was part of the education team at documenta 12 (2007) and at Kunsthalle Wien (2007-2008). At the IAE, she works on research and development projects in museum and gallery education.
This proposition researches the historical development of art as school subject at upper secondary schools and grammar schools, and the education of art teachers since 1970. Comparing the situations in Zurich and Basel, it aims to reveal locally, as well as historically established differences between the corresponding discourses on art education. Its central strategy is to explore art education’s concepts, theories, methods and models, in order to demonstrate how they were both used in, and changed through, practice. Additionally, the investigation focuses on the interdependency of schooling and qualification, on teachers and higher education, and their disputes. Of a special interest is the question how, through them, the subject of art has been conceptualized and developed, what the underlying definitions of art education are, and how they relate to referencial systems like fine arts and pedagogy.

Anna Schürch is a researcher at the Institute for Art Eduation and a teacher in the MA in Art Education at Zurich University of the Arts. She studied art education and art history in Basel and works on the historical and present development of formal art education in Switzerland.
The aim of my research is to examine the ways in which colonial governmentality shaped formal visual arts education in the Uganda Protectorate (1935-1962). I wish to analyse its role in the processes of subject formation and the aesthetic discourses that developed within the colonial educational context, and to assess the extent to which colonial governmentality continues to influence the discourses of art and art education in Uganda today.

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa as an artist works with a variety of media, which include installation, sound, video, photography, printing techniques, drawing and text. Since 2011 she has been researching the legacies of British colonialism in East Africa, focussing amongst other aspects on the history of art education in Uganda. She collaborates with the IAE in a research cooperation between the Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design (NIAAD), Uganda and the institute, and in the project Art.School.Differences.