PHD projects Art Education

The Institute Art Education (IAE) at the Zürich University of the Arts cooperates with the Department for Art and Communication Practices at the Institute for Art Sciences and Art Education of the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Art, Art History and Art Pedagogy Seminar at the Institute of Art and Visual Culture at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg in the development of the research field of art education both within and outside of schools. The doctoral programme Art Education was initiated within the framework of this cooperation towards the promotion of young academics.

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.

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 aim of the thesis is to explore through both empirical and theoretical investigation the ways in which the concepts of “the impacts of cultural education” are constructed. It is my intent to identify the underlying ideas on education, arts and culture by investigating the narratives about the impacts of cultural education used by the different parties involved (art educators, institutions, teachers, politicians, participants) and to re-construct the concept of “the impact” within a critical perspective. The empirical source for the investigation is the programme “Kultur macht Schule” in Aargau, Switzerland.

Since 2009 Anna Chrusciel works for the Institute of Art Education. She is responsible for the scientific-support of the Arts and Audience Programme of Pro Helvetia and the study of the programme “Kultur macht Schule” in Aargau. She is the initiator of the drawing festival The Big Draw Berlin that promotes the idea of contemporary drawing for a wider public. She studied Business communication in Berlin and worked for the Marketing Department of the Jewish Museum Berlin.
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.
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.