Dr Christoph Rausch, MA (C.)
Christoph Rausch is associate professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences at University College Maastricht (UCM) and co-founding steering committee member of the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH). During the academic year 2019-2020, Dr. Rausch was visiting researcher at the Centre for Art Market Studies in Berlin. In the fall semester of the academic year 2020-2021, he was visiting research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.
Rausch’s main research interest is in the global relations between art and finance in the 21st century. Rausch studies the emergence and proliferation of novel types of art storage spaces, including so-called freeports. He asks how an increasing financialization of art in and through storage problematizes public and private relations of ownership and display, speculation and risk, as well as regulation and taxation. Having conducted fieldwork at and around these new art storage spaces, Dr. Rausch currently finalizes a monograph (Better than Gold: Art in Storage and the Making of Financial Value) analyzing the contested technologies, politics, and ethics of art storage and art financialization practices. Rausch describes the emergence of a global financial market around art born off an avant-garde among the super-rich and their transnational networks of support, showing how global assemblages of art and finance now accumulate financial profits from past and present artistic futures.
Dr. Rausch situates his work between the Humanities and Social Sciences. Drawing from the critical repertoires of cultural anthropology and sociology, as well as history and philosophy, he has a particular interest in new norms and forms of doing Economic Humanities. Rausch has published on the intersections of the art and heritage worlds with a focus on the study of values, including economic value. His book Global Heritage Assemblages: Development and Modern Architecture in Africa appears in the Routledge Studies in Culture and Development series. Rausch is an editorial board member of the book series Studies in Art, Heritage, Law and the Market to be published by Springer. Together with colleagues at universities and museums in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Poland and Portugal, he currently works on an interdisciplinary research project about the rise of artists’ estates and relevant networks of care (LAsting Legacies: Contemporary Artists’ Estates Between PUblic Heritage and Private INheritAncE - LACUNAE).
Dr. Rausch is interested in methodological innovations that involve collaboration with practitioners in his fields of study, including artists. As an integral part of his current research project on art and finance he works together with the Brussels based IDFA academy filmmaker Leen Michiels on a creative documentary (also titled Better than Gold) about the affective dimensions of the financialization of art. Michiels' film offers a poetic account of a new era in the art world, when fictional values and imagined futures create a rush for "pots of gold at the other end of the rainbow." Rausch co-founded the MERIAN network for artistic research, which includes a joint graduate school for PhD’s in artistic research by Maastricht University, the Zuyd University research centre for arts, autonomy and the public sphere, and the Van Eyck academy.
Dr. Rausch participates in a consortium advising on trends in financial investigation (Trends4FI) that includes members from Dutch government agencies, such as the police, customs and tax authorities, as well as from banks and other financial institutions. He is co-applicant of a COST action to establish a European network of academics, professionals, and government officials with the purpose of enhancing transparency in the global circulation of cultural objects, tackling illicit trade, and discussing matters of provenance, due diligence, restitution and return.
Sociology of Art and Finance
History, Theory, and Criticism of Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture
Cultural Heritage Studies
Professional career history
Dr. Rausch obtained his PhD in 2013. His dissertation was selected by the Boekman foundation and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) as one of the three best theses written in the Netherlands between 2012 and 2014 in the fields of arts, culture, and related policymaking. Rausch was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 and a guest scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany in 2014.
Dr. Rausch is an activist for better working conditions and career prospects for academics. Between 2012 and 2017, Rausch represented the Dutch Scientist Union (VAWO) to Maastricht University’s executive board, which he advised as a member of the local consultative body. Having participated in the national movement “De Nieuwe Universiteit” since its 2015 beginnings, Rausch is an advocate for academic freedom and progressive reform of the modern research university in the Netherlands and in Europe.
From September 2017 until September 2019, Rausch was appointed head of the department of Human Resources Management at Maastricht University. The capstone of Dr. Rausch’s time as head of department is the drafting of a new academic career policy for all academic staff of Maastricht University, improving transparency and implementing the tenure track principle.
As HRM head of department, Dr. Rausch contributed to policy making on a national level. Together with colleagues at the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU), Rausch led a project group to draft a position paper redefining existing frameworks for the recognition and reward of academics. Aiming at a differentiation of academic career pathways, as well as at the renewal of research assessment methodologies and the promotion of open science, this initiative continues to gain momentum also internationally. It includes the call for a better acknowledgment of the collaborative efforts and accomplishments of teams in the advancement of individual academic careers.
During his two-year interim tenure as transition manager at the HRM department, Rausch was tasked with a comprehensive restructuring of the HRM advising section of Maastricht University. Next to the full day-to-day management of the department, he was the principal HRM advisor to the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine, the M4I research environment, and the Department of Cognitive Neurosciences.
Dr. Rausch has served on various boards and committees, including the committee Studium Generale, the editorial board of Maastricht University’s independent magazine Observant, the board of the Observant foundation, as well as Maastricht University’s Arts and Heritage committee.