Authoritarian Conditions: Arts and Culture Under Authoritarian Regimes and In Political Resistance

Arts and Culture Under Authoritarian Regimes and In Political Resistance

On November 8-9 2017, the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, will host a conference on art, culture and authoritarianism. This is done under the title "Authoritarian Conditions: Arts and Culture Under Authoritarian Regimes and In Political Resistance".

The conference will focus on Europe and the rest of the world's authoritarian movements and regimes and the political opposition to these. The conference is motivated by the fact that the past year has seen demagogues and radical right-wing movements win on the political scene and in several cases set the agenda for significant themes in the public debate. These political formations express themselves in a wide range of visual, auditive, textual and musical representations, which it is our intention to examine more closely in order to contribute to the criticism of them.

Exemplifying a multidisciplinary approach, the conference will have 15 contributions from the departments of music, literature, art and theatre, and one esteemed international guest speaker.

Sign up

The conference is open to the public: Please sign up for the conference using this form.

Deadline for sign up is November 1 (confirmed speakers should not sign up).


Wednesday, November 8

09:30 – 10:00  Welcome Address (Mette Sandbye, Head of Department) & Opening (Morten Michelsen & Holger Schulze)

Panel I: Resistance Pop
10:00 - 10:40  Kasper Opstrup Frederiksen: The Art of Magic in the Time of Trump

10:40 - 11:20  Morten Michelsen: … but the little girls understand: Ariana Grande's One
                         Love Manchester Concert

11:20 - 12:00  Holger Schulze: Is It OK to Punch a Nazi? Aggression, Agonism and
                         Generativity in the Ubiquitous Resistance

12:00 - 13:00  Lunch

Keynote Lecture
13:00 - 13:50  Gholam Khiabany: Authoritarianism as Transgression of the “Law of

13:50 - 14:20  Coffee/Tea Break

Panel II: Thinking Authoritarianism
14:20 - 15:00  Christian Dahl: What Was Authority?

15:00 - 15:40  Mikkel Bolt: Trump’s Counterrevolution

15:40 - 16:10  Coffee/Tea Break

Panel III: Operation Systems
16:10 - 16:50  Torsten Andreasen: Authoritarian Interfaces: Determination and
                         Destitution in the Age of Algorithmic Control

16:50 - 17:30  James Day: After July: A Summer With A Thousand Augusts in the UK
                         of 2010


Thursday, November 9

Panel IV: Comparing Authoritarianism 1930/2010s
10:00 - 10:40  Laura Luise Schultz: The 1930s Today: Blind spots and Convenient
                         Comparisons in Contemporary Cultural Depictions of the 1930s

10:40 - 11:20  Mette Risgård Tranholm: Uncanny dis/incarnations: The Notion of
                         Character between the Avant-Gardes and Hollywood

11:20 - 12:00  Karen Vedel: Mass Spectacle and Corporeal Normativity: A look at the
                          1920’s Dancing Girls from a Perspective in Social Choreography

12:00 - 13:00  Lunch

Panel V: Ambivalent Art
13:00 - 13:40  Michel Fjeldsøe: Readings of Shostakovich’ Twelfth Symphony, ‘The Year
                         1917’ (1961)

13:40 - 14:20  Kristian Handberg: Cosmonaut Paintings as Contemporary Art. The Soviet
                         Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1924-1977 as a Presentation of Socialist

14:20 - 15:00  Michael Kjær: No Man's Land: Authoritarianism and the Destruction of
                         Perceptual Territories

15:00 - 15:30  Closing (Morten Michelsen & Holger Schulze)

This conference is organised by Associate Professor Morten Michelsen and Professor Holger Schulze.

Advisory board: Laura Luise Schultz, Malene Vest Hansen, and Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen.