Once Upon an Arts Policy – Constance DeVereaux speaking at City University London

Constance DeVereaux, author of Narrative, Identity, and the Map of Cultural Policy, will be speaking at City University London, at 6.30 tonight 4th June. She will also be speaking at University College Dublin on the 6th of June at a public lecture entitled Excellence and Cultural Policy. The lecture in Dublin is an advance presentation for the UCD – IADT ‘Mapping an Altered landscape’ conference on Cultural Policy and Management in Ireland.

About the City University event:

Once Upon an Arts Policy

The use of narrative analysis in policy science gained popularity in the 1990s but has been largely rejected by mainstream policy researchers working in a positivist vein. Narrative methods have been criticized for lack of rigor, clear hypothesis testing, and for difficulties of replication and falsification. Despite traditional social science’s success in providing this rigor, its methods may come up short for use in cultural policy where analysts must account for the inherent messiness of culture. Drawing on her work with co-researcher Martin Griffin in their recent book Narrative, Identity, and the Map of Cultural Policy, Dr. Constance DeVereaux delineates a framework for use by cultural policy researchers with practical application to selected cultural policy issues. These include cultural citizenship and identity, cultural diplomacy, and the proliferation of formal cultural policy documents, which have been used-simultaneously-as articulations of value, as procedural documents, and (more recently) as branding and marketing tools. In so doing, this paper demonstrates the possibilities for application of narrative modes, tale types, and frameworks as a new set of tools for cultural policy analysts.

Narrative identity and the map of cultural policyAbout Narrative, Identity, and the Map of Cultural Policy:

‘DeVereaux and Griffin present a persuasive argument that cultural policy is located within a framework of different narratives that may be neither recognized nor understood. The book is a good “read;” full of fascinating stories and makes an important contribution to cultural policy studies particularly with the combining and interplay of the writers’ two disciplines.’   Jo Caust, University of Melbourne, Australia

‘Inspired by the pleasures of storytelling, the authors bring a fresh new approach to cultural policy inquiry, identifying narrative as an essential component of human thought and interaction. In an exciting manner they show the connections between narrative and identity, discovering new stories which reveal the impact of globalization and transnationalism within cultural policy discourse and practices. Advocating interpretive method in cultural policy analysis, the authors reveal the value of narrative in investigating and understanding contemporary cultural policy systems.’   Milena Dragicevic Šešic, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia

The story of arts and cultural policy in the twenty-first century is inherently of global concern no matter how local it seems. At the same time, questions of identity have in many ways become more challenging than before. Narrative, Identity, and the Map of Cultural Policy: Once Upon a Time in a Globalized World explores how and why stories and identities sometimes merge and often clash in an arena in which culture and policy may not be able to resolve every difficulty. DeVereaux and Griffin argue that the role of narrative is key to understanding these issues. They offer a wide-ranging history and justification for narrative frameworks as an approach to cultural policy and open up a wider field of discussion about the ways in which cultural politics and cultural identity are being deployed and interpreted in the present, with deep roots in the past. This timely book will be of great interest not just to students of narrative and students of arts and cultural policy, but also to administrators, policy theorists, and cultural management practitioners.

About the Authors:

Constance DeVereaux is Associate Professor in the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University. She served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Arts/Cultural Policy and Arts/Cultural Management at universities in Finland, South Africa, and Romania and has worked with municipalities in developing policies for cultural development. She has published internationally on topics relating to cultural policy and the discourse of practice. She co-organized the international symposium series Cultural Management and the State of the Field and is editor of the publication series of the same title.

Martin Griffin is associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Among the topics that interest him are the role played by narrative in cross-cultural exchange, and the relationship between literary culture and diplomacy in American history. He is the author of Ashes of the Mind: War and Memory in Northern Literature, 1865-1900 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009) and is currently working on an edited collection of essays entitled American Political Fictions.

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