Course detail

Sociological aspects of contemporary art

FaVU-3SASUAcad. year: 2020/2021

The course connect sociological research of art with the discourse of its socially sensitive aspects. Art is understood as a configuration of social processes which participate on the production of signification. Increasing reflexivity – the attribute of late modernity – orients a part of the astethetic culture towards the exposal of the very conditions of production. Art thus substitues social research; sometimes its intention is critical (Haacke), sometimes it is playful (Tiravanija), it tests the possibilities of dialogic and participative intervention in social reality. Despite being intentional and reflexive, art production can never fully free itself from institutional and material conditions. Reflexivity defying control is nevertheless inherent to the "context"itself.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge of sociological research of art and ability to discuss its socially sensitive aspects.




Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Nicolas BOURRIAD, Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Les Preses du reél, 2002. (EN)
Pierre BOURDIEU – Hans HAACKE, Free Exchange. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995. (EN)
Pierre BOURDIEU, Rules of Art. Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996. (EN)
Grant KESTER, Conversation Pieces. Comunity and Communication in Modern Art. University of California Press, 2004. (EN)
Claire BISHOP (ed.), Participation. Documents of Contemporary Art. The MIT Press, 2006. (EN)
Zoya KOCUR – Simon LEUNG, Theory in Contemporary Art. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. (EN)
M. W. REKTANUS, Culture incorporated. Museum, Artists and Corporate Sponsorship. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. (EN)
Lisa CARTWRIGHT – Marita STURKEN, Studia vizuální kultury. Praha: Portál, 2009. (CS)
Thomas CROW, Modern Art in the Common Culture. Yale University Press, 1996. (EN)
Pierre BOURDIEU, Teorie jednání. Praha: Karolinum, 1998. (CS)
Brian FAY, Současná filozofie sociálních věd. Multikulturní přístup. Praha: Slon, 2002. (CS)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures and individual consultations.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Doctoral exam.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Sociological research of art.
2. Sociologically-sensitive aspects of art.
3. Art as the configuration of social processes which determine the production of signification.
4. Increasing reflexivity - the attribute od late modernity (Giddens)
5. Art substituting social research.
6. Discussion, tutorials.


The course will provide students with teh awareness of complexity od social production of culture and show its "liquidity".

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Mandatory lectures and tutorials.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme VUD Doctoral

    branch VUUP_DP4 , 1. year of study, winter semester, 0 credits, compulsory

  • Programme VUD Doctoral

    branch VUUP_DK4 , 1. year of study, winter semester, 0 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



12 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer