Raphaela Henze is professor of Arts Management at Heilbronn University in Germany and Co-Investigator of the Arts & Humanities Research Council funded, international and transdisciplinary network Brokering Intercultural Exchange (www.managingculture.net). Prior to joining Heilbronn University, Raphaela worked in several senior management positions in universities, ministries, and non-profit organisations. Her main research focus is on the impacts of globalization and internationalization on arts management and arts management education as well as on the role of arts and culture in times of rising populism. She has published widely on these topics and has been a speaker at numerous international conferences and lecturer in study programs in Denmark, Finland, Poland and Vietnam.
The ethnocentrism of the arts management reference frame
The presentation is about power mechanisms inherent in our (knowledge) system, focusing particularly on the language we use in arts management practice and arts management education. It will explore language in several ways: as regards one’s native tongue in which arts management practice is conducted, as an expression of the human mind that lies at the essence of our work, and as the terminology of the profession (especially as is used in international contexts). The research presented is based on a content analysis of definitions given by arts management researchers and practitioners from 25 countries. It raises concerns about the ethnocentrism of our frames of reference for the discipline. In doing so, it argues for greater sensitivity and reflexivity of not only geopolitical but also personal backgrounds, both of which shape our understandings of specific key terminology and concepts. The diversity of these understandings is a great resource for arts and cultural management work in the international arena. Despite tendencies of homogenisation, more research on different narratives and philosophies through more international exchange is needed.