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November 22, 2004

February conference examines research

The Centre for Cultural Policy Studies and the Humanities Research Centre at University of Warwick present a one-day conference

"Exploring Critical and Instrumental Approaches to Cultural Policy Research"
Saturday, 19 February 2005 (Programme below)
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Humanities Center, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

An increasing amount of investigation and study in the cultural policy field is being carried out for purposes other than disinterested academic research – to evaluate cultural projects, provide evidence for policy development, and justify public expenditure or particular aspects of cultural practice. Such studies are being undertaken not only by academic researchers, but also, increasingly, by cultural funders, independent and commercial agencies, and by arts and media organisations or networks themselves.

The conference aims to contribute to the development of a theoretical understanding that will help to investigate some of the key problems caused by tensions between instrumental and critical research, while exploring the roles that both approaches have in the development of cultural policy research, and considering the extent to which the progress of each affects the other. It also aims to develop a basis for improving communication among the actors in the field.

J. Mark Schuster is professor of urban studies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. His work concentrates on mapping the cultural policy landscape. Schuster has penned articles such as "Sub-National Cultural Policy-Where the Action is? Mapping State Cultural Policy in the United States," "Neither Public nor Private: The Hybridization of Museums," and "The Other Side of the Subsidized Muse: Indirect Aid Revisited." His recent book is Informing Cultural Policy: The Research and Information Instructure (2003).

Sara Selwood is Editor of Cultural Trends and Principal Lecturer at the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster.

Henrik Kaare Nielsen is associate professor in the Department of Aesthetics and Culture at University of Aarhus, Denmark. His research focuses on the social and cultural development of modernity, with a focus on the development of Danish and German culture and society since 1945. A central effort in his research aims at renewing the theoretical tradition of Critical Theory thus making it more sensitive to the complexity of modern culture and society. He has authored “Critical Agent or Hired Hand?: Perspectives on Research in Cultural Policy.”

For information and a booking form, email

10.00 – 10.45 Coffee & registration (Graduate Space, 4th floor Humanities)

Morning Session

10.45 – 11.00 Introductions & practical information about the day

11.00 – 11.50 Professor J. Mark Schuster (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
11.50 – 12.00 Questions & brief comments

12.00 – 12.50 Professor Henrik Kaare Nielsen (University of Aarhus, Denmark)
12.50 – 1.00 Questions & brief comments

1.15 – 2.30 Lunch (Graduate Space)

Afternoon Session

2.30 – 3.00 In small groups to formulate questions/areas for discussion

3.00 – 4.00 Discussion facilitated by Professor Oliver Bennett (Centre for Cultural Policy Studies)

4.00 – 4.30 Tea and biscuits (Graduate Space)

4.30 – 5.30 Discussion continued

5.30 – 5.45 Speakers' responses & Chair's closing remarks

6.00 – 7.00 Drinks reception (Graduate Space)

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