September 15, 2011

Contesting Knowledge in the 21st Century

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

The European League of Institutes of the Arts and Emily Carr University are pleased to present the 5th ELIA Leadership Symposium: ‘W/Here: Contesting Knowledge in the 21st Century. The event will bring together leaders from higher arts education institutions and universities across the globe for an important and timely discussion on the changing role of art education today. After London, Zurich, Los Angeles and Hong Kong we are excited to host this important event in Vancouver.

W/Here will serve as a studio experience for leaders in the fields of higher arts education who are interested in understanding how to meet the challenges of the changing context of learning. W/Here is committed to creating a generative environment of conversation, building towards outcomes that will have tangible effects for today’s higher arts education institutions and universities. Through a combination of presentations and facilitated discussions, W/Here will provide an opportunity for administrators and educators and to share strategies and models for addressing the role of the 21st Century art and design university.

Three key themes will inform the content of the sessions:

Have We Ever Been Modern: The Transformation of the Learning Space
Imagining the new arts school requires a challenge to the idea that Higher Arts Education knows itself and its own future. Demographic change, technology, ecology and an evolving urban space have undermined a model of an arts school once considered radical and modern nearly a century ago. What is required now are a series of informed provocations to stimulate a debate about the creation of a new type of art school building for a future in which the role of leadership in Higher Arts Education is being transformed.

Dispersed Learning: Knowledge and Expertise in Arts and Design
Art schools are no longer the authoritarian keepers and distributors of knowledge. Their expertise is being challenged by social networks and increased mobility, both fostering informal and dispersed learning and exchange. Canons are crumbling. A new set of demands is placed on the art school to re-imagine and re-define its role. What expertise and knowledge should be developed to support the necessary shifts in leadership? These sessions will propose answers to new demands for leaders who see the role of their institution being contested.

Open Source: Leading Through Access
New generations of leaders in education and the arts are emerging from the creative and technological changes that have surfaced in the past decade. How will this cadre of leaders be different from those who came before them? These sessions will focus on building deeper and more diverse leadership through access to the educational and developmental preparation of new leaders—those who come perhaps from different sociology-economic, educational or cultural backgrounds.


Beulingstraat 8
1017 BA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Contact: [email protected]

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