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Our interdisciplinary priority

Art in society

Societal challenges cross borders, and a changing world demands innovation. UiA is committed to interdisciplinary efforts to find sustainable solutions.

Art has a transformative power that can build bridges between different societal groups and create a sense of coherence and meaning in society. It is also a mirror that both reflects and shapes our collective experience and self-understanding. UiA’s interdisciplinary priority area Art in Society aims to highlight art as a distinct field of study and serve as an entry point for discussions about the role of art in society. Through research, teaching, and dissemination, the university will participate in and influence the arenas where art is produced, discussed, and unfolds.

Art in society


KOLLOKVIUM is a series of events programmed in collaboration with Kristiansand Kunsthall. The events take place in the exhibition space at Kristiansand Kunsthall where people from various backgrounds are invited to discuss current issues in the field of art. As the word KOLLOKVIUM suggests, the series aims at a conversation on equal terms where self-taught collectives discuss and explore new knowledge.

SYMPOSIUM is a series of talks where researchers, artists, critics, and others are invited to share one of their favorite artworks with the audience – whether it be visual art, architecture, literature, music, etc. The title SYMPOSIUM suggests a more informal approach to art and societal questions.

MUSEUM is a series of dialogues between various art and cultural institutions in the region, ranging from the smallest artist-run exhibition spaces to museums, theaters, libraries, and art galleries. The title MUSEUM is used in a broad sense as the place where the guardians of art and science reside.

All events in KOLLOKVIUM, SYMPOSIUM, and MUSEUM are free of charge and open to everyone. The series aims to be a meeting place between the university's academic staff, students, other institutions in the region, and the general public.

Arts in Action is an international conference held every other year. The conference is hosted by the cross-aesthetic research platform Art in Context (KiK) at the Faculty of Fine Arts. The research groups under this platform organize the conference in collaboration with various actors. In 2022, Arts in Action – Urgencies in Art and Art Education attracted 80 researchers, artists, art educators, and a wide range of cultural actors across music, visual arts, and theater from abroad. In 2024, Arts in Action: Doing Diversity is planned.

Being Human Today is an international research network consisting of participants from fields within art, education, and mental health. The network has organized several dialogue seminars across the Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Humanities and Education, and Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences. In 2022, the network organized the cross-faculty PhD course Being Human Today, and in 2024, the book Being Human Today: Art, Education and Mental Health in Conversation edited by Gert Biesta, Lisbet Skregelid, and Tore Dag Bøe will be launched.

Centres that contribute relevant research

Latest doctoral dissertations in the priority area

How we work with the priority area