Call for Papers

The Annual Gathering of the Network Brokering Intercultural Exchange

Democratising the arts and the arts sector

23th – 25th of May 2019 at Heilbronn University, Campus Künzelsau, Germany

Bringing international researchers together with arts and cultural practitioners and policymakers, the AHRC funded network Brokering Intercultural Exchange ( has aimed to build an understanding of the relationship of arts and cultural management practice and education to intercultural exchange – interaction between communities, institutions, and /or nations with different ‘values’ and perspectives and individuals with different social, economic and religious backgrounds. While we have mainly been focusing on “ethnically-marked cultural difference associated with the international movement of peoples and, within national territories”, (Bennett 2001 p. 17), we acknowledge that intercultural/transcultural exchange happens across many groups and communities and involves concerns such as sexuality, gender, religion, class, and disability.

Arts and cultural managers working in the fine and performing arts and heritage engage with creative and aesthetic expressions – arts and cultural objects, exhibitions and performances – that are inherently reflective of broader social as well as personal cultural ideas, knowledge, and values.

In directing, administering, and mediating arts and cultural expressions, arts and cultural managers work at the interface of the production and consumption of these creative and aesthetic expressions. In doing so, they contribute to how the terms and conditions for intercultural exchange are set both at home and abroad. The intercultural experiences or exchanges they help create may foster the acknowledgement, appreciation, and valuing of alternative perspectives and perceptions of the world or, conversely, promote and reinforce stereotypes and inequitable relationships between individuals, communities, institutions, and even nations.

Building an understanding of their work will help us understand the contribution of the arts and its agents as to how historical, institutional and social assumptions about interculturalism, cultural diversity, and cultural inclusion become established and challenged in the social world. We consider this understanding essential when addressing the anxieties that globalization and an increasing populism bring to the arts and cultural sector. In our Annual Gathering Democratising the arts and the arts sector we would like to build on what we have learned through a series of several small, presentational style seminars held so far and have identified four main topics that we would like to explore further:

  • a. Managing Democracy through a Discourse of Diversity? (Dubois 2016; Purwar 2014: 1; Schonfeld/Sweeny 2016).

How can democratization of the sector be achieved by avoiding what some authors even call a “Benetton model of diversity” in which diversity becomes an aesthetic style or an opportunity to give organisations a better image (Ahmed 2012: 53) but does nothing to address the deep causes of exclusion and power imbalances in the arts (Canas 2017).   

We are looking for papers and provocations that consider the following questions:

  • How does the arts sector define diversity, taking into account that discrimination is not limited to ethnicity but exists also because of gender, sexuality, religion, class or (dis)ability?
  • How is this diversity currently experienced in the arts sector by artists, audiences / participants and arts and cultural managers?
  • How do these understandings and experiences relate to larger socio-political concepts and public policies regarding democracy, equality and social justice?
  • What are the emerging challenges and opportunities these understandings and circumstances present to the sector as a key aspect of the social world?
  • b. Facilitating, Packaging or Fostering Democracy through Education and Training: Inclusive Leadership or Contradiction?

We are looking for papers and provocations that consider the following questions:

  • How are our educational processes regarding the management of arts and culture inculcating, or not, mechanisms for greater democracy and diversity of voice, experience and expression?
  • What capacities exist within the management and design regarding the everyday delivery and experience of arts and cultural management programmes to address these issues?
  • What role, if any, has the process of internationalization of arts and cultural management training played in this process?
  • Are educational processes reflecting the diversity in pedagogical/andragogical and methodological approaches informing the practice of cultural policy and management in a globalised world?
  • How are academic and research centres responding to changes at the local and the global levels that facilitate, or control and thereby limit, greater accessibility to participation, research and learning through cultural policy studies?
  • Are tools supported and funded by international networks for the collection, assessment and review of global cultural policy and practice representative of local realities, including cultural conflicts and ‘culture wars’ that challenge nationalistic and / or state-driven representations of culture?
  • What is the degree of diversity, in relation to e.g. gender, ethnicity, and religious belief systems, reflected in the study and practice of cultural policy studies in academia and research centres?
  • c. Democratizing the arts practice in order to involve more and diverse people in the artistic process and while doing so gaining more societal as well as social relevance (Henze 2017).  

We are looking for papers and provocations that consider the following questions:

  • What is the role of arts managers/public intellectuals in times of political unrest/rising populism?
  • How is arts and cultural management practice reinforcing or challenging cultural stereotypes?
  • How do working practices in arts and cultural management come to be institutionalized on international scales?
  • How might or do intercultural/international exchange activities at home and abroad challenge/reinforce traditional and dominant practices, hierarchies, and assumptions in arts and cultural management?
  • How are intercultural exchange activities in arts and cultural management at home and abroad employing or challenging cultural power, position, privilege and patronage?
  • What kind of new artistic formats might/do/should emerge from an arts management that takes intercultural/transcultural challenges and opportunities into account?
  • What agency do arts and cultural managers have in shaping intercultural understanding?
  • d. Matters of inequality and inclusion/exclusion seen through the lens of digitalisation

We will focus on the role of digitalization in terms of social access, rights, literacy, and education. We would like to explore how digitalization can foster intercultural processes, help to reach out to new communities, and play an important part in the preservation of cultural heritage. We would also like to investigate the effects of inequality and exclusion that digitalization brings. Furthermore, we are keen to learn which role digitalization in the sector plays in the education of aspiring arts managers. It seems as if e.g. social media is still too often reduced to only being a tool in fundraising or marketing campaigns.

We are looking for papers and provocations that consider the following questions:

  • How do cultural norms, traditions and assumptions travel as a result of the international mobility of arts and cultural managers/cultural policy or the digitalization of practice?
  • How is digitalization in arts and cultural management employing or challenging cultural power, position, privilege, and patronage?
  • How can digitalization foster intercultural exchange in arts and cultural management practice?
  • What kind of new artistic/cultural formats might/do/should emerge from an arts and cultural management that takes digitalization into account?
  • How are differences in the means of social access to digitalization influencing access to cultural practice and research? What are the main obstacles to improving access, and what are the methods needed to address them?
  • What is the role of the private sector in shaping present and future legislation for the management of arts access through digitalization? What does recent European and other international legislation imply or state about the way future access will be shaped?
  • In what ways may digitalization contribute significantly to the redesigning of educational and pedagogical material in the teaching and training (capacity building) of cultural skills?
  • What contribution is the process of the digitalization of the arts having towards the greater internationalization of cultural practice and studies?
  • How do cultural organisations (museums, municipal departments, festival organisers) exploit the digital process to engage with wider, more diverse and ultimately new and younger audiences at local level?

We welcome different presentation formats, which may include the following:

  • Traditional style presentations, 15 minutes maximum
  • Group panel sessions, in which researchers and practitioners may come together to discuss a particular issue relevant to the seminar, 30 minutes maximum
  • A presentation / provocation which facilitates an open forum discussion with seminar attendees, 30 minutes maximum (including presentation / provocation and facilitation time)
  • An artistic presentation


Brokering Intercultural Exchange is a network of researchers, policymakers, and arts and cultural management practitioners who are interested in developing greater critical discourse on the contribution of arts and cultural management to intercultural understanding. We wish that, together, we can reflect on the historical, institutional and social dimensions of intercultural activities that take place within the realms of arts and cultural management practice and education. This conference will bring together researchers from different fields as well as practitioners who are keen on investigating these ideas through presentations and discussion.

We welcome paper proposals from:

  • researchers / academics
  • arts and cultural managers
  • educators and students
  • artists
  • policymakers

Contributions in English should relate to unpublished projects, which are recently being concluded, or still in progress.

Please submit the following for consideration:

  • An abstract or summary of your proposed topic. No more than 500 words. Please indicate the format / style of your presentation and any relevant notes regarding how you or your team plans to present / facilitate discussion. Please provide a list of a few key readings/references
  • A biographical statement of approximately 100 words for each individual involved

Review criteria are: the originality of the proposal, the methodical approach as well as the application of the presentation to the aims of the conference.

The conference committee will make the final decision regarding selection and categorization. We are looking forward to your contributions!

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2019.

Speakers will be notified latest by February 15, 2019.

Please submit to:

Conference chaired by: Prof. Dr. Raphaela Henze MBA, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences.

Conference Committee: Dr. Victoria Durrer, Queen’s University Belfast, Dr. Karsten Xuereb, University of Malta, Dr. Antonio C. Cuyler, Florida State University, Prof. Dr. Raphaela Henze MBA, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences.  




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