Call for Chapters: Making Culture Count: The Politics of Cultural Measurement

Editors: Dr Marnie Badham and Dr Lachlan MacDowall (University of Melbourne), Emma Blomkamp (University of Melbourne/University of Auckland), and Kim Dunphy (Cultural Development Network/Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia).

In recent years, culture and cultural development have become internationally recognised as important dimensions of contemporary governance and public policy. As in other policy areas, the production of accurate and relevant data has become central to cultural policy and how the cultural lives of citizens are organised and understood.

This book focuses on the factors driving the intensification of cultural measurement, including new public sector management techniques, the rise of network culture and ‘Big Data’, as well as the onset of the ‘post-cultural’ condition, in which cultural activities are seen as completely enmeshed in social, economic and environmental formations. Rather than presenting disconnected case studies which take the desirability and the mechanisms of cultural measurement for granted, the book aims to show the usefulness of a critical focus on the politics of measurement, in which measures can be adapted and contested.
This book brings together diverse perspectives from scholars, policy-makers, cultural development practitioners and artists to explore the burgeoning field of cultural indicators and its political stakes and implications. The authors will engage in a critical dialogue on various approaches to monitoring, evaluating, planning, advocating, predicting, and simply understanding culture and cultural change. Chapters will cover a range of theoretical and practical approaches to quantifying forms of cultural value often considered intangible: cultural vitality, health and well being, citizenship, and sustainability.

Abstracts on the following or related themes are welcome:

  • Critical histories of cultural measurement
  • Cultural difference, identity and value: whose culture is being measured?
  • Cultural measurement within international, urban and regional development
  • Measuring participation and engagement in the arts
  • Measuring cultural value
  • The politics and limits of attempts to democratise cultural measurement
  • Visualising cultural measurement
  • Art-making, data and cultural measurement

Confirmed contributors to date includeAssociate Professor Eleonora Belfiore, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick (UK) and Dr Maria Rosario Jackson, Arts and Culture Program, Kresage Foundation (USA).

Abstract requirements: Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a biographical note (max. 100 words) are invited. These should include the name(s), affiliation(s) and contact details of the author(s) and corresponding themes your work relates to (as noted above). If you have already prepared a draft of the chapter (maximum 6,000 words including references), please send this too. To submit abstracts or for further information, email Dr Marnie Badham. Closing date: 5pm Wednesday, 12 December 2012 (Melbourne, Australia timezone)

This book project was generated out of the international conference Making Culture Count:Rethinking measures of cultural vitality, well being and citizenship held in Melbourne in May 2012, as a joint project of the Cultural Development Network and the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, University of Melbourne.

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