Towards a transdisciplinary model for social change: feminist art research, practice and activism

van Rossenberg, Suzanne (2018) Towards a transdisciplinary model for social change: feminist art research, practice and activism. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

While some traditionally underrepresented artists may have recently gained access to recognition and visibility, this has not generally led to broad, diverse representation and participation. Numerous ‘feminist art’ researchers, practitioners and activists working in an interdisciplinary tradition have critically addressed social inequality in the arts. However, even research, practice and activism that challenge dominant norms can serve an economic system that thrives on perpetuating inequality. The production of ‘art’ does not escape, and often contributes to, unwanted socio-political and economic consequences.
This thesis argues that combinations of art research, practice and activism can play a critical role in the attainment of social equality inside and outside the arts, building on feminist critiques of dominant aesthetics and feminist efforts to restructure art canons. It recommends that feminist art stakeholders expand their collaborations outside the arts, in order to work with researchers, practitioners and activists from other disciplines. The proposed transdisciplinarity, in which feminist art plays a key part, can help avoid new forms of exclusion and discrimination that can emerge when the multiple, intersectional positions of marginalised individuals remain unrecognised. It is recommended that primary or empirical research is used to help achieve intended outcomes.
The thesis presents a novel approach to addressing social inequality, within and beyond the arts, by exploring the transdisciplinary potential of feminist art, contextualising feminist art as a restructuring currency, and calling for monitoring and evaluating the impact of feminist art. Original cartoons are included to illustrate the proposed feminist research reflexivity and transdisciplinarity. The proposed approach can help feminist art researchers better differentiate the multiple values of ‘art’, recognise broader selections of traditionally marginalised artists, and dismantle out-dated ideas of Great Art.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 24206
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 14:23
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2018 17:14
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24206

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