Cultural Industries & Social Change 1
Full course description
The course explores the relationship between culture and economy with regard to three main topics: cultural industries, art markets and creative cities. In period 3, the Culture and Economy elective focuses on giving students theories and background knowledge that will allow them to critically understand and analyze these three topics. We will explore cultural production as economic phenomenon, but also consider economic thinking and practice as a cultural phenomenon. Particular attention will be given to the different theories of ‘value’ that exist within critical cultural theory, art markets and cultural policy; to the historical transformation of cultural industries, art markets and creative cities throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and to current debates in these fields. Students learn how the creation and marketing of cultural products transformed from mass-industrial production (the culture industry) to economies of scope (cultural industries), and examine the economic challenges that these industries – and the people working in them – face. Moreover, we explore the historical development of the art market, the value-chain, the current players and institutions in the art market, and their strategies and positioning. Finally, we critically debate creative cities, creative classes and economic growth. How inclusive are creative cities, what is it like to work as a creative professional, and what is the role of creativity in changing unjust and unsustainable economic structures and paradigms? Discussing these and other questions, students gain familiarity with key debates in the field of culture and economy, and learn how to argue their position in these fields.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand and theorize the relationship between culture and economy in the context of the cultural industries, art markets, and creative urbanism;
- Grasp and distinguish between different concepts and theories of cultural ‘value’;
- Identify and historically contextualize key challenges and trends within contemporary cultural industries, art markets and creative urbanism;
- Apply concepts and theories of culture and economy to examples and case studies of your choice;
- Build and substantiate in academic writing a critical argument on contemporary developments within the cultural industries, art markets and creative urbanism.
There are no pre-requisites for this module.
Hesmondhalgh, D. (2007). The cultural industries. London: Sage.
Duncan, D. & Raymond, R. (2016-20). Upstream podcast: Unlearn everything you learned about economics. Available at: https://www.upstreampodcast.org