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Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design
(Auditorium), Prague, Czech Republic

Vysoká škola umeleckoprumyslová v Praze
námestí Jana Palacha 80
116 93 Praha 1

reported by Art&Education

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Reality Check: Contextualising Higher Education in Central and South Eastern Europe

Monday, 27 June 2011, 5 p.m.

Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (Auditorium), Prague, Czech Republic
Vysoká škola umeleckoprumyslová v Praze
námestí Jana Palacha 80
116 93 Praha 1

The university landscape in Europe has undergone significant changes since 1989: After the collapse of socialism the universities in these countries were under immense pressure to introduce reforms due to increasing international competition, the massification of higher education and, more recently, the Bologna Process. The process of making higher education more market-oriented involved the discontinuation of entire disciplines, the construction of new institutions and the complete restructuring of the system.
The main motivation behind the Bologna Process is to increase the degree of convergence of national higher education systems in Europe. It started with the signature of the Bologna Declaration in 1999, which set in motion a lengthy process of complete reconstruction of the existing systems. The key features of the Bologna Process are, among others, the three-cycle system (BA, MA, PhD) and the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Rising enrolment rates and cuts to public funding have led to the increased influence of the private sector in higher education.
During this two-day conference, higher education experts from 11 countries will address the following key questions in keynotes, panel discussions and presentations: What is the current situation of universities in CEE? What trends can be identified in the educational policies in CEE? How do these changes affect the arts in particular? What are the main tensions between the private and public sectors in the field of higher education? What is the impact of a project like PATTERNS_Lectures?



Jindrich Smetana (Rector, AAAD Prague)
Christiane Erharter (Curator, ERSTE Foundation Programme Culture, Vienna)


Renata Salecl (Philosopher and theorist, London and Ljubljana)
Education Between Anxiety and Freedom: What Has Changed in the Transition from Socialism to Capitalism?


Christine Böhler (Director, ERSTE Foundation Programme Culture, Vienna)
Ruxandra Silvelia Demetrescu (University Professor, Rector, National University of Arts, Bucharest)
Martina Pachmanová (Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Aesthetics, AAAD, Prague)
Vjeran Pavlakovic (Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, University of Rijeka)
Renata Salecl (Philosopher and theorist, London and Ljubljana)
Veronika Šubrtová (Student, Masters Programme History and Theory of Design and New Media, AAAD, Prague)


Martina Handler, Project Manager, WUS Austria, Graz


Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (Auditorium), Prague, Czech Republic
Vysoká škola umeleckoprumyslová v Praze
námestí Jana Palacha 80
116 93 Praha 1

PATTERNS_Lectures is a project to support the development of new university courses in Central and South Eastern Europe. 14 courses were selected and taught in 11 countries over the 2010/2011 academic year. Both the lecturers and representatives from the universities where the courses were held will participate in the conference.

PATTERNS_Lectures is

Initiated by ERSTE Foundation
Implemented by WUS Austria
The conference is hosted by AAAD
For more information about the project please visit

PATTERNS is a transnational programme of the culture programme of ERSTE Foundation. The aim of PATTERNS is to research and understand recent cultural history in Central and South Eastern Europe. PATTERNS initiates, commissions and supports contemporary culture projects and academic activities in a variety of formats and media. The programme focuses on the visual arts and culture of the 1960s until today.

Selected Courses

The call for submissions of proposals for university courses was open from January 7 to March 7, 2010. We received 61 applications from 19 countries: Armenia (1), Austria (4), Bulgaria (2), Croatia (5), Czech Republic (8), Hungary (11), Kosovo (1), Lithuania/Belarus (1), Macedonia (1), Moldova (5), Montenegro (3), Poland (3), Romania(5), Russia (2), Serbia (3), Slovakia (1), Slovenia (3), Ukraine (1), United Kingdom (1).

The Academic Advisory Panel met in Vienna on April 8, 2010 and selected the following 15 outstanding courses that are being supported within the PATTERNS_Lectures project:

Lena Prents and Aliona Gloukhova
European Humanities University, Theory and Practices of Contemporary Art, Belarus/Lithuania,
What the Party didn't Teach: Unofficial Internal and International Art Practices in Belarus from the Thaw till Perestroika
This course researches and analyses the unofficial art scene in Belarus (the BSSR) and its international affiliations in the period from the 1960s until the late 1980s in the context of the other Eastern European Neo-Avant-Gardes. After giving a general introduction into the unofficial art-practices around the BSSR, the course will take a closer look at the Belarusian local situation with its main actors, facts and occurrences, using the oral history and private archives. Through workshops with Belarusian protagonists and the university eLearning platform “Moodle”, the course will be open to all those interested in this topic.

Guest lecturers:
Piotr Piotrowski, Professor Ordinarius, Art History Department, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland, on the 18th of April 2011
Workshops conducted by the 5-6 main Belarusian actors from the examined period, in the period 16th until the 25th of May 2011.
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Tatiana Nikiforova Stoitchkova
South-West University, Department of Cultural Studies, Bulgaria,
Everyday culture – Socialist Past and Present Consumption
This course addresses the question of the nature of everyday life in East Europe in the crucial years from the 1940s until 1989 by describing both the historical and cultural context. It investigates similarities and differences between the socialist and the post-socialist period and it examines the suitability of the concept “consumer society” in EE, as well as the meaning of this term in the post-socialist context.

Guest lecturers:
Christian Promitzer, Lecturer, Faculty of History, University of Graz, Austria, from the 25th until 29th of October 2010
Anelia Kassabova, project work at the Faculty of History, University of Graz, Austria, on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2010
Course term: Winter semester 2010/11.

Kornelia Slavova and Krassimira Daskalova
Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Department of Cultural Studeis (Matilda MA Program in Women’s and Gender History), Bulgaria,
Gendering Popular Culture East and West
This course aims at triggering students' interest in recent cultural history in Bulgaria and the region of CEE and SEE through the lens of popular culture and gender history - both unresearched areas of social analysis under communism.
In addition, this course intends to develop a systematic explanation of the significance of popular culture as a social and gendered terrain where ideological battles between the East and the West have been waged, as well as between patriarchal traditionalism and globalization processes.

Guest lectureres:
Dina Iordanova, Professor, Director of the Centre for Film Studies, University of St. Andrews, UK, on the 8th and 9th of April 2011
Despoina (Betty) Kaklamanidou, Lecturer, Film Studies Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, on the 13th and 14th May 2011
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Ljiljana Kolešnik
Art, History, Politics and Popular Culture in Relation to Critical Art Practices in South East Europe of the 1960s and 1970s
Along with the survey of different types of collaborative art practices, short term art associations, art groups and curatorial initiatives and by combining problem oriented and chronological method of presentation, this course will offer the explanation of intense political, ideological, economic and social changes and important public debates of 1960s and 1970s that were framing cultural production of that period. Focusing on integrative, emancipatory potential of critical art practices and curatorial initiatives of that period, this course will pay special attention to their relevance for present political and historical situation marked by different pace and position of former Yugoslav republics within the process of European integrations and its possible outcome regarding common cultural heritage of the region.

Guest lecturer: To be determined
Course term: To be determined.

Vjeran Pavlakovic
University of Rijeka, Department of Cultural Studies, Croatia,
Comparative History of the Culture of Memory
This course is an introduction to the various theories and debates about the culture and politics of memory, commemorations, collective memory, identity, national myths, and history. Moreover, it offers an overview of the culture of memory in contemporary Croatia, with an emphasis on the period of World War II and of the wars in Ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The lectures and the coursework will investigate and analyse interconnections between history, culture and public memorializations of key moments from the modern era.

Guest lecturers:
Eric Gordy, Senior Lecturer, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, UK, on the 9th of May 2011
Katia Pizzi, Senior Lecturer, School of Advanced Studies, Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, University College London, UK, on the 23rd of May 2011
Charles Sabatos, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of English Language and Literature, Yeditepe University, Turkey, on the 11th of April 2011
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Zuzana Štefková
Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague, Department of Art History and Aesthetics, Czech Republic,
Testimonies - Female Voices in Czech and Slovak Art
This course seeks to personally acquaint students with the leading personalities among Czech and Slovak women artists in their studios. Moreover, this course aims at redressing the underrepresentation of Czech women artists within the contemporary art practice by creating a framework that would foster sharing experience of women living and working in the male dominated environment of the Czech(oslovak) art world before and after 1989.
The "testimonies" gathered within the scope of this course will be archived in a format of an on-line collaborative environment based on the wiki technology.

Guest lecturers:
Bojana Pejic, Curator based in Berlin, Germany
Ilona Nemeth, Professor, Department of Intermedia and Multimedia, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Course term: Winter and summer semester 2010/11

Beata Hock
Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Department of Art Theory and Curatorial Studies, Hungary,
Critical Feminist Practices: Going Beyond just Gender
This course intends to clear up cognitive space for carefully situated readings of feminist cultural practicies, and thus to contribute to the understanding of present cultural history and the differently lived pasts of the Western world and the CEE societies. The seminar considers cultural production – and artmaking most especially – as always embedded in a given social, historical, cultural and material context, and thus focuses on exploring spaces (actual and virtual), social voices, and creative options available for feminist art production in the societies that the course considers.

Guest lecturers:
Erzsébet Barát, Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, on the 29th of November 2010
Michael Blum, Guest Professor, Ecole des arts visuels et mediatiques, Université du Québec ŕ Montréal, Canada, on the 29th of November 2010
Ana Hoffner, PhD Cadidate , Faculty of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, on the 29th of November 2010
Course term: Winter semester 2010/11.

Levente Polyak
Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design, Institute of Art and Design Theory, Hungary, and Budapest University of Technology, Department of Sociology and Communication, Hungary, Fragmented Space: The Transformation of Central European Cities
This course offers students the opportunity to participate in an investigation of the urban transformation of Central European cities as well as an analysis of regional development paths, similarities and differences between the discussed cities.
This course, while relying upon scientific literature, will treat Central European cities at the interdisciplinary crossroads of a variety of approaches, such as those of urban sociology, cultural studies, architecture history and comparative literature.

Guest lecturers - a symposium taking place on the 7th of November with the following participants:
London and Director of the Art Network Agency Programme, Hungarian Cultural Centre London, UK
Dagmar Petrikova, Associate Professor, Institute of Management, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovac Republic
Grzegorz Piatek, Architecture Critic and Curator, Member of the Bec Zmiana Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
Jakob Hurrle, Multicultural Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Constantin Goagea, Architect, Journalist and Researcher, Founding Member of Zeppelin Association, Bucharest, Romania
Ivan Kucina, Full-time Lecturer, Academy of Architecture, University of Belgrade and Co-founder and Programme Director of the “Belgrade International Architecture Week”, Serbia
Course term: Winter semester 2010/11.

Roma Sendyka
Jagiellonian University, Polish Studies,
(In)visible Loss. The Holocaust and the Everyday Visual Experience in Contemporary Poland and Central Europe
This course aims to examine the relationship between the endeavor to remember the Holocaust and the contemporary everyday visual experience of the present day cities in Poland and neighboring countries. The purpose is to undertake a critical and comparative study of the "memory policies", deepen the skills of analysis of visual discourses (monuments, museums, visual arts, movies, architecture, finally: the discourse of the city as a visual object) as well as of the visual aspect in the literature (modes of description). The issue of representation of the Shoah will build the background for examining the core problem: do/how the today’s Central/Eastern European cities represent the loss of its inhabitants?

Guest lecturers:
Tomasz Majewski, Assistant Professor, The Institute of the Theory of Literature, Theatre and Audiovisual Arts, University of Lodz, Poland, on the 10th and 11th of December 2010
Katarzyna Bojarska, PhD Candidate, Institute Badan Literackich, Polish Academy of Science, on the 26th and 27th of November 2010
Wojciech Wilczyk, Artist – Photographer, on the 27th of November 2010
Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History, Department of History, University of California, Berkley, USA on the 19th and 20th of November 2010
Course term: Winter semester 2010/11.

Cristian Nae
“George Enescu” University of Arts, Iasi, Fine Arts, Decorative Arts and Design, Romania,
Politics of Identity in Eastern-European Art after 1989
This course aims to offer a theoretical insight in the history of art in EE after 1989 focussing on the critical strategies and attitudes undertaken both by art critics and theorists, curators and artists towards the so-called "postcommunist" condition in terms of identity representation and identity critique. By means of a comparative approach, it focuses thus on various marginalized positions upon which the EE art shaped its identity during the last two decades and on its discontinuities.

Guest lecturers:
Edit Andras, Senior Research Fellow, The Research Institute for Art History, The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, on the 4th of November 2010
Katalin Timar, Museologist and Curator, Department of Collections, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Marius Babias, Curator and Art Critic, Director of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany, on the 20th of April 2011
Zdenka Badovinac, Director of the Moderna Galeria – The Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the 23rd and 24th of May
Marina Grzinic, Professor and Researcher, Institute for Philosophy ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Slovenia and Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, 31st of April 2011
Course term: Winter and summer semester 2010/11.

Magda Radu
The National University of Arts, Bucharest, Art History and Theory, Romania,
Eastern European Art under Communism: The Romanian Case
This course proposes new methodologies for discussing and analysing the recent history of Romanian contemporary Art, since no consistent effort has been made thus far to address the complexity of the artistic phenomena during the socialist period in Romania. The focus is set on the introduction of a comparative approach that emphasises examples of artistic practice provided by other former-communist countries rather than the 'western' frame of reference.
Guest lecturer: Ekaterina Degot, Lecturer, The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia, Russian Federation, on the 10th and 12th of November 2010
Course term: Winter semster 2010/11.

Speranta Radulescu
National University of Music, Bucharest, Musicology, Romania,
The Manea in the Romanian Public Debates Concerning the Transition, Democracy, the Roma Minority and the Reconstruction of the National Identity
This course, within the area of ethnomusicology, deals with a new, syncretic cultural phenomenon (music, dance, speeches, images, social behaviour) which appeared in contemporary Romania: the manea. Manea reflects the main aspects and current processes in the Romanian society and it is the object of constant public debates opposing intellectuals and the common people.
The five researchers working on this course intend to publish a book on this topic.

Guest lecturers:
Anca Giurchescu, Retired Ethnocoreologist, Doctor Honnoris Causa of the Roehampton University, London, UK, during the entire course: February – April 2011
Margaret Beissinger, Research Scholar and Lecturer, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University, USA
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Daria Pyrkina
Moscow State Lomonosov University, History Faculty/Art Department, Russian Federation,
From Prague Spring to Post-Perestroika: Art in Eastern and Central Europe from 1960s till present
The basic idea of this course is to introduce to students the problematics of contemporary art in the region and to follow the development of the artistic forms and ideas in a context determined by the conflictive socio-political reality. This course aims at investigating the peculiarities of CEE art context from 1960s until present, comparing CEE and Russian art in different periods of the recent history and emphasising different interaction possibilities between socio-political and artistic processes.

Guest lecturers: Piotr Piotrowski, Professor Ordinarius, Art History Department, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland, on the 28th and 29th of March 2011
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Mária Orišková
Trnava University, Department of Art Education, Slovak Republic,
Critical Terms for East European Art History and Visual Culture
This course avoids the traditional art historical survey teaching and implements the set of terms that allow students to understand their own culture not only in a general broader context, but also in a specific social, critical and theoretical framework of EE arts and culture.
The relevance of this kind of course – based on several critical terms ranging from Socialist past to Postsocialist and global presence – is to pursue in depth specific subjects through a combination of critical theory and visual imagery.

Guest lecturer: Lolita Jablonskiene, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Thory and Critics, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Art, in the period 25th until 29th of April 2011
Course term: Summer semester 2011.

Olga Briukhovetska
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Cultural Studies Department, Ukraine,
Soviet Cinema since 1960s: Ideological contradictions
This course introduces the methodology of post-colonialism for the purpose of studying the Soviet ideology as it is visualized in popular cinema since 1960s. The subject of the course is not a particular national culture or its (mis)representation, but a nation as a colonial construction and the question how in the Soviet Union the national differences were articulated with the imperialist project.
Guest lecturer: To be determined
Course term: Winter semester 2010/11.

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