Transcultural Studies: Class on Art, Curation and Migration

Course offered in the master’s degree programme “Transcultural Studies” opens up new perspectives on migration experiences in Asia and Europe

A course scheduled for the summer semester of 2024 at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University covers the topic of migration in the context of artistic and curatorial practice. From an interdisciplinary perspective, course participants explore the question of what contribution art and curation can make to addressing societal tasks and challenges. The course focuses particularly on such topics as migration and social cohesion. The English-language seminar titled “Art, Curation and Migration. Mobilities, Displacement and Homeing” is part of the master’s degree programme “Transcultural Studies” at the Faculty of Philosophy. The seminar is led by Prof. Dr Christiane Brosius, Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS.

What new perspectives can art and curation open up on the social discourse on cultural diversity, discrimination and exclusion? To what extent is a transcultural approach – focusing on cultural exchange processes, transformations and interconnections – particularly suitable for a critical reflection on the concepts of belonging and identity, ethnicity and nationality, gender, citizenship, class or religion? How do the recent debates about decolonisation and post-migration find their way into artistic and curatorial practices, but also into academic debates? Students will address these issues in the “Art, Curation and Migration” seminar using selected works of art, artist biographies, exhibitions and curatorial initiatives from Western Europe and South Asia.

The focus will be on contemporary works from the 1980s to today that address diasporic experiences or emerge from them. Part of the course also features an online lecture by the Nepalese artist and curator Hitman Gurung, whose works deal with migration experiences in his home country and worldwide.