RS1 - Arts Management

RS Coordinators:

  • Constance DeVereaux, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA


  • Nina Tessa Zahner, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany


  • Kerry McCall, Institute of Art, Design, and Technology Dublin, Ireland



General call for papers:


The Research Stream on Arts Management is interested in paper presentations that push the boundaries of arts management research and practice from a sociological perspective. As the fieldcontinues to develop there is a need for forward thinking inquiry as well as contextualization of thediscipline’s norms within the trajectory of its past development. The ESA Research Stream Arts Management invites abstracts on all aspects of arts management theory andpractice. We express a special interest in papers addressing the following themes

1. General session

2. Special session. Arts Management: Differences, Inequalities, and Sociological Imagination

How do arts managers in practice and arts management scholars in research confront issues of differenceand inequality? It is well known that despite efforts to increase access to people of color, disability, age,different ethnicities, religion, or other characteristics of difference, the production, dissemination, contexts,participation, and many aspects of art systems present closed doors. Is there room for sociologicalimagination in addressing these challenges through management of the arts? If yes, what does it look like?Are there ways that sociological research and practice can ameliorate the harm that inequalities anddifference bring in the arena of arts and culture? We are looking for papers that put imagination at theforefront in terms of new ways of doing, innovative strategies, programs and projects that addressdifference and equality through arts management practice or that provide insight through arts managementresearch?

3. Special session. Theories and Methods in Arts Management

Arts management as academic discipline, but also as practical activity, lacks field specificmethods and theory. This is partly due to the fact that arts management is a hybrid disciplineand activity that has to deal with a number of conflicting issues all at once: Questions ofefficiency, cultural policy, aesthetic theory, art history, various self-conceptualizations of artistsand audience members, as just a few examples. Arts management as an academic discipline hasto systematically investigate these heterogeneous pressures and reflect on how they affect theproduction of art and culture, as well as the practice of arts management. But it also has toreflect on its own methods and theories. We would like to bring together theories and methodsthat are being applied in arts management in the present and discuss their impact on artsmanagement as an academic discipline. We are not only interested in successful, proven methodsand theories, but also “works in progress” in terms of those theories and methods that you may benewly developing or borrowing from other disciplines that you are trying to work out.

4. Special session. Sociology of Arts Management

This session addresses Arts Management as an object of sociological research and theoryformation. We are looking for different sociological theories and empirical methodologies thatare being applied to arts management as a practice, an institution, a social field, as a sub-systemof society, and as a subject and object of arts policy. The aim is to stimulate the sociologicaldebate on the management, the mediation, and co-ordination of the production, exhibition, andperformance of artistic and cultural expression in their many forms. What are the insights thatdifferent sociological theories and empirical research projects come up with when it comes toarts management? Can arts management be seen as a social field? If yes, what are the insightswe gain form field-reconstructive research or field theory? What happens when we treat artsmanagement as a practice or if we take a system theory approach or a knowledge theory one?What insights do we gain by choosing a specific sociological view? And what assumptions onarts management or the arts and management are transported by these perspectives?

5. Special session. Foucault and other Challenges of Arts Management Practice and Theory

Scholars and researchers in arts management often strive to find a theoretical framework thatmakes sense of the unique field that is the management of the arts. While the field, asinterdisciplinary and hybrid, borrows heavily from other disciplines, the over reliance onstandard, knee-jerk, and even somewhat tired theories is sometimes seen as hampering ratherthan enhancing inquiry. The title of this themed session evokes the expressions someresearchers have voiced at many past conferences. This session is for those who may feel thesame and are interested in very fresh approaches or in exploring why Foucault, Habermas,Derrida, Heidegger, Bourdieu, and other seminal, though standard, thinkers may not provide the best direction for future arts management research.

Notes for authors

Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transferpapers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours.Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by emailcannot be accepted. The Research Stream coordinator will organize the peer-reviewing of the abstracts;the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

Abstract submission deadline (extended): 15th February 2015

Abstract submission platform:

If you have further questions regarding the conference, please visit the conference website. For furtherinformation on the Research Stream, please contact the RS coordinator.