Research Themes

The Lectorate of the Academy of Theatre and Dance is in the process of developing a research program structured by 4 themes:

We see these themes as fluid and dynamic, and are particularly interested in where they overlap and intersect with each other. The purpose of the themes is not to try to determine the research that takes place at the ATD, top-down, but to provide areas of focus for the research program and to act as an invitation for researchers to meet each other on the basis of shared interests. For us, the themes mark urgencies and questions that matter to researchers, artists in the contemporary working field and wider communities. We recognise the way that language can become empty as certain “key words” or themes become part of a dominant discourse. As such, we aim to keep the terms of our own thinking in question to contribute to their study with integrity.

In the context of renewed public and political doubt as to the value of the arts, the lectorate contributes to understandings of why the arts matter and to whom. It shows how knowledge production specific to the arts can make an important contribution to addressing society’s grand challenges such as inclusion and (in)equality; climate crisis, grief and loss. However, we also seek to offer platforms for critical debate about instrumental and neoliberal approaches to arts research: to support the questioning of models where the responsibility for social change is passed from governments to artists.

– How do the arts investigate the urgent questions of our times? 
– How can the arts respond to the urgency for social change without becoming a mere tool or means to an end? 
– How can we understand the value and impact and transformative potential of participation in the arts in more subtle and open-ended ways?
– How do the arts invent new worlds and ways of living - individually and collectively?