Research Program Value and Valuation of Culture (VVC-2021)

Organisation profile

Layman's description

Why is a book, a poem, a work of art or a building important or not – and who decides that? How do people remember and preserve events or objects from the past? The value that citizens, scientists or politicians attribute to cultural expressions is neither eternally valid nor universal. Culture is constantly being rethought, recalibrated and designed. Moreover, at all levels in society, people use cultural products to mark their identity, distinguish themselves from others and show what they consider important. We see this very clearly, for example, in the recent controversies surrounding intangible and material heritage that touches on the colonial past of the Netherlands, such as the slave panels on the Golden Coach, the statue of J.P. Coen in Hoorn, and the celebration of Sinterklaas.

Within the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the Open Universiteit, we investigate how people give meaning to their lives and to developments in the past and present through cultural expressions. We do this by close reading of cultural objects as carriers of identity, symbolism and memory and by looking at the representations of meaning in prose, poetry, works of art, museum exhibitions and historiography. From a philosophical perspective, we also reflect on the nature of meaning and how scientific research can be conducted on this. We also analyze the social processes of cultural production, cultural mediation and cultural participation, as well as the reception, dissemination and 
consumption of ideas and culture in institutions, networks, clubs and associations.

The research program explores Value and Valuation of Culture (VVC-2021)  by three dimensions:


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