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Engaged Humanities

Rethinking Art, Culture, and Public Life

362 pages
Amsterdam University Press
What is the role of the humanities at the start of 21st century? In the last few decades, the various disciplines of the humanities (history, linguistics, literary studies, art history, media studies) have encountered a broad range of challenges, related to the future of print culture, to shifts in funding strategies, and to the changing contours of culture and society. Several publications have addressed these challenges as well as potential responses on a theoretical level. This coedited volume opts for a different strategy and presents accessible case studies that demonstrate what humanities scholars contribute to concrete and pressing social debates about topics including adoption, dementia, hacking, and conservation. These “engaged” forms of humanities research reveal the continued importance of thinking and rethinking the nature of art, culture, and public life.
Author Bio
Aagje Swinnen is Professor in Aging Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. She has published on representations of aging in literature, photography, and film; meanings of art interventions in dementia care; and ways in which professional artists understand and give meaning to creativity in the later stages of their career in journals such as Journal of Aging Studies, The Gerontologist, Dementia, Ageing and Society, and Feminist Media Studies. Swinnen is co-founder of the European Network in Aging Studies and the open access journal Age, Culture, Humanities. Amanda Kluveld is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. Her research focuses on the role of genealogy in academic Holocaust studies. Central to her current research project are the forgotten Jewish prisoners of the Amersfoort concentration camp (Kamp Amersfoort) from 1941–1945. Renée van de Vall is Professor in Art and Media at Maastricht University. She has published on the phenomenology of spectatorship in contemporary art and on the theory and ethics of contemporary art conservation. Between 2016 and 2019, she was project leader of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA). Joep Leerssen holds the Chair of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam and is an Endowed Research Chair at Maastricht University. For his work on national stereotypes and self-images and on the comparative history of European nationalisms, he received the Spinoza Prize in 2008. He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2018). Miriam Meissner is Assistant Professor at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Her research explores the interrelation between cities, popular culture, political economy, and the environment. Her publica_x0002_tions include Narrating the Global Financial Crisis: Urban Imaginaries and the Politics of Myth (Palgrave, 2017) as well as the co-edited volumes The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries and Global Garbage (Routledge, 2018 & 2016). Susan Schreibman is Professor of Digital Arts and Culture at Maastricht University. She works at the intersections of computationally based teaching and research in the interplay of the digital archive, cultural innovation, and participatory engagement design, processes, and projects. A focus of her research is the design and critical analysis of systems that remediate publication modalities from the analogue world, while developing new born-digital paradigms. Elisabeth Wesseling is Professor of Cultural Memory, Gender, and Diversity at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, where she directs the Center for Gender and Diversity. She publishes on the continui_x0002_ties between postcolonial intercountry adoption and colonial practices of re-allocating and re-educating Indigenous and mixed children. Ike Kamphof works as a philosopher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. Her research focuses on (technologically mediated) networks of care in healthcare and nature conservation. From 2016–2018, she was project leader of the ZonMW funded project “Make believe Matters: The Moral Role Things Play in Dementia Care.” Ruud Hendriks works as a philosopher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. His research is focused on the role of arts, embodiment, and materiality in mental health care. He has widely published on clowning in dementia care and autistic spectrum disorders. Ruud was project-leader in the ZonMW project “Beyond autonomy and language” that aimed to develop a disability studies’ perspective on dementia. Annette Hendrikx is active as researcher in the scientific and artistic world. In both fields, her investigations, projects, expositions, and performances reflect the interest in communication. She is fascinated by the interaction between different languages (verbal, visual, embodied). Leonie Cornips holds the Chair Languageculture in Limburg at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, and she is a senior-researcher at NL-Lab, Humanities Cluster (KNAW). She publishes on language variation, multilingualism, bidialectal child language, regional construction through language practices, and, very recently, she is making a plea for an animal turn in linguistics. Jolien Makkinga was a PhD candidate at Maastricht University and the Meertens Institute (Humanities Cluster, KNAW). Her research focuses on the linguistic construction of belonging in a nursing home. She presented her work at several national and international conferences and she published in the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. Nantke Pecht obtained her PhD at Maastricht University (2021) on the morphosyntactic and sociolinguistic aspects of a moribund coal miners’ language. Nantke holds a MA in European Linguistics and a BA in Spanish literature, language and media studies (major), and English and American Studies (minor) from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. She is enrolled in the Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics (LOT) and is a member of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Algemene Vereniging voor Taalwetenschap (AVT), and the Limburgish-section of Levende Talen. Pomme van de Weerd is a linguistic anthropologist. She obtained her PhD at Maastricht University, with a fellowship from Université Libre de Bruxelles, with a dissertation based on linguistic ethnographic fieldwork among secondary school pupils in Venlo, the Netherlands. Using concepts from linguistics, anthropology, conversation analysis, and membership categorization analysis, she analyzes pupils’ self- and other-categorization in ethnic terms. Annika Richterich is an Assistant Professor in Digital Culture at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Maastricht University. From 2019–2021, she was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Sussex, School of Media, Arts, & Humanities. In her research and teaching, Richterich explores how social practices emerge in interaction with digital technology, and critically interrogates their normative, societal implications. She tends to focus on communities with somewhat “geeky” interests: among them (feminist) hackers, makers, and other DIY enthusiasts. Georgi Verbeeck is Professor of History at the KU Leuven and Associate Professor of Modern History and Political Culture at Maastricht University. He has published in the field of modern and contemporary political history of Germany, the politics of history, and the history of historiography. Tim van der Heijden is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Humanities of the Open University of the Netherlands. He was a member of the AMC research group between 2012 and 2016, while conducting his doctoral research in the department of Literature & Art at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) of Maastricht University. His PhD dissertation Hybrid Histories: Technologies of Memory and the Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies, 1895–2005 investigates the relationship between changing amateur media technologies (film, video, digital media) and home movie practices from a long-term historical perspective. Joseph Wachelder, an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Maastricht University, has shown an ongoing interest in community-engaged research throughout his career. He was engaged in the establishment of UM’s Science Shop in the mid-1980s and served as a knowledge broker. His paper “Democratizing Science” (2003) evaluated strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of Dutch Science Shops at the beginning of the new millennium. The emerging engagement of science with the public in the 19th century is a recurring topic in his historical research. Costas Papadopoulos is an Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities & Cul_x0002_ture Studies at Maastricht University. His work has its roots in archaeology, digital humanities, and museum and culture studies, exploring modeling and representation at the intersections of the physical and the digital. His research advances understandings of the experience and perception of heritage; engages with debates on the role of interaction and multimodality in digital humanities; explores ways to develop digitally enhanced problem_x0002_based learning; and integrates Arts into STE(A)M learning via socially engaged research by facilitating digital literacy and creative thinking. Pip Laurenson specializes in designing and leading research within mu_x0002_seums and in the practice and theory of the conservation and stewardship of contemporary art. She is Head of Collection Care Research at Tate and Professor of Art, Collection and Care at Maastricht University. Between 2018–2021, she led the Andrew W. Mellon Funded research initiative “Reshap_x0002_ing the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum.” Vivian van Saaze specializes in the study of museum practices with a focus on conservation of contemporary art and digitalization. She is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University where she heads the Maastricht Center for Arts and Culture, Conservation, and Heritage (MACCH), and the Master’s program Arts and Heritage. Ulrike Brunotte recently retired as an Associate Professor in the Maastricht University’s Department of Literature and Art (Faculty of Art and Social Sciences) and is an Adjunct Professor at Humboldt University Berlin. Her expertise lies in gender and postcolonial studies, research in antisemitism, and religious studies. She is the founder of the international research network RenGoo that studies the role of gender in Antisemitism and Orientalism. Sjaak Koenis recently retired as an Associate Professor in Political and Social Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. His teaching and research focus on democracy, resentment, and the role of culture in political debate. His last book is De januskop van de democratie: Over de bronnen van boosheid in de politiek [The Janusface of Democracy: On the Sources of Anger in Politics] (Van Gennep, 2016). Jan de Roder works as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Literature & Art at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. He writes and teaches in the field of literature & society and poetry theory & practices. Recently, he published an article on the rise of antisemitism in the Netherlands immediately after the war and its traces in contemporary novels (Jaarboek Jan Campert-stichting 2020).