Engaging those outside of the humanities
Abstract: The talk summarizes and discusses experiences from engaging with funders, politicians, government representatives and academics in connection with co-writing a report on the state of the humanities in Norway. It tries to identify some shortcomings and pressure points for humanists who want to address the challenges of the humanities convincingly to others than themselves. The report was commissioned by the non-profit Free Speech Foundation in 2014; it featured a number of interviews with informants from outside of the humanities, and caused a relatively comprehensive public debate. It is downloadable here.
Espen Ytreberg (b. 1964) is Professor of media studies at the Department of media and communication, University of Oslo. He works in media history, media sociology and media and communication theory. Ytreberg has recently been affiliated with the interdisciplinary research initiative KULTRANS, at the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Humanities.
A new organization of knowledge?
In this presentation I will reflect on how the changing contexts for arts and humanities research affect the institutional organization of knowledge production. Three aspects are especially important: 1) the development towards postdisciplinarity within the arts and humanities; 2) the widening contexts of relevance for arts and humanities research and the lack of articulation of its knowledge claims; and 3) the role of the arts and humanities in the ongoing shift in knowledge politics from a paradigm of innovation to a paradigm more sensitive to the complexity of today's societal challenges. What can organization do to demonstrate the societal influence of arts and humanities research? What new institutional forms are emerging and how do they in turn reshape arts and humanities research?
Anders Ekström is Professor of History of Science and Ideas and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is the author of Alltings mått: Humanistisk kunskap i framtidens samhälle (2012; with Sverker Sörlin; title in translation: The Measure of All Things: Humanities-Based Knowledge in the Future Society).
Burying the research agenda: Strategies of re-articulation and the race for funding
In the UK context, the pressure on funding for scholarship in the humanities has become ever more defined by the neoliberal agenda and its effect on notions of 'research' and 'impact' such that the 'use-value' of the arts and humanities is now in question. This paper explores the idea that a 'lone-researcher' model of work is now defunct and that humanities scholars are expected to focus on collaborative models of research that produce 'measurable outputs' that 'add value' to the scene of policy-making by strengthening its benefits for individuals, organisations and nations. How is it possible to sustain the traditions of research with a humanities focus in such a setting? Drawing on the experience of the author, this paper explores the potential for re-articulating neoliberal vocabularies in order to carve out spaces for resistance and refusal. It maps the ways in which such strategies can lead to the award of funding for projects that preserve the integrity of the discipline without compromise.
Caroline Bainbridge is Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis at the University of Roehampton in London, where she is also Director of the Graduate School. She has various editorial responsibilities, acting as Film Section Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Editor of Free Associations and Series Editor at Karnac Books for a list entitled ‘Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture’. Caroline is a Director of the Media and the Inner World research network, which was generously funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council between 2009-13. She is also the author of The Cinema of Lars von Trier: Authenticity and artifice (2007) and A Feminine Cinematics: Luce Irigaray, women and film (2008). With Candida Yates, she has edited various anthologies including Culture and the Unconscious (2007), Television and Psychoanalysis (2013) and Media and the Inner World: Psycho-cultural perspectives on media, emotion and popular culture (2014). Together, they have also produced several special editions of journals. Caroline has written widely on themes of gender, emotion, psychoanalysis, film, television and popular culture.
A 2012-15 project funded by the Velux Foundation called "Humanomics" has investigated actual humanities - led by David Budtz and myself. The project gathered a group of senior scholars across several institutions with two main tasks - 1) to articulate a contemporary philosophy of science of the humanities; 2) to conduct a questionnaire-based survey of Danish humanities research. This paper presents some of the preliminary results of the work of the group. (http://www.mapping-humanities.dk)