In recent years, the arts have gained increasing importance as part of strategies designed for culture-led urban regeneration. The general topic for the 10Midterm Conference is the connection between the arts, the city and the processes that link them, to examine the intricate interweave of aesthetic, social, cultural and economic dynamics in cities.
Primarily, the conference in Malta intends to offer a terrain for debates on the theoretical development of sociology of culture and of the arts, in particular the role of arts and aesthetics in city life. Specific attention is paid to theoretical paradigms on the arts and cultural regeneration and their implications for sociologists, anthropologists, cultural policy makers and planning practitioners. The conference aims to stimulate debates on the relationship and/or conflict between the ‘creative class’ who look at creativity as a tool for pursuing socio-economic goals, those who treat creativity either as an end in itself or as a partaking in wider cultural, social and ecological transformations, those who activate creativity in relation to solidarities and urban cultures, and the meanings of everyday creativity for local communities. Researchers on the European Capitals of Culture are invited to contribute to the discussion on the impact of strategic involvements and investments in artistic projects in cities, whether from approaches stipulating a need to invest in the ‘creative economy’ (or critiques of the neoliberalization process involved therein), from approaches aiming to reorient urban development according to goals of e.g. ‘cultural planning’ and/or ‘cultural democracy’, or from transdisciplinary approaches aiming for sustainable urban development.
Moreover, on a more micro level, this conference aims to present discussions on the reflexive, transversal and/or autonomous characters of culture as well as the role of artists and cultural audiences in urban change, their shared experiences of contested meanings of artworks and their engagement in cultural participation.
This conference brings together academics and researchers from areas of sociology of the arts, cultural anthropology, urban planning, cultural sociology, cultural studies, cultural policy and related fields.
The ESA Research Networks conferences are traditionally open to other issues beyond those related directly to the main conference theme. This plasticity is highly valued since the Research Networks aim to bring together researchers and support interchange and mutual learning. For this reason, the programme will be thematically broad and open for presentations to all core areas of sociology of the arts and sociology of culture. See the Conference Themes here.
The conference will feature keynote lectures, parallel sessions with contributed papers (each paper session will have the duration of 90 minutes, including 4 papers), distributed papers, and round-table or workshops (minimum 45 to 90 minutes) with particular research topics or approaches proposed by submitting authors. The language of the conference is English.