Practice Theory

Coordinator: Mads Krogh

Practice theory addresses a key issue in studies of culture and cultural transformations, combining inspirations from sociology, philosophy, cultural theory, and science and technology studies (STS, ANT). This research unit aims to develop this field as a foundation for exploration of topics within the area of culture and aesthetics. As starting points, we address the following broad themes:

  • How can practice theory contribute to an ontological understanding of cultural phenomena and transformations: How may cultural phenomena be defined and delimited in practice theoretical terms (how can practice theory help explain processes of change/stabilization, objectification, de- and re-territorialization, the human/the non-human)? How to understand practice as a mediator between cultural events and culture as individually experienced and performed (how does the concept of practice affect understandings of structure/agency-dynamics)?
  • What are the methodological consequences of working with practice theory in studies of cultural phenomena: Which methodological challenges are implied in practice theoretical(ly informed) approaches to art and culture? Can and should research practices be separated from the practical contexts under investigation, and if so, how? Or may the researcher be seen as an actor in the context of other cultural actors? In this regard, what is the significance of approaches such as a practice-based research, practice-led research, practice-as-research, artistic-research?
  • If – as claimed by Schatzki (2001) a.o. – it is possible to speak of a 'practical turn' in contemporary theory, then to what extent is there a need to 'go beyond'? In which regard may practice theory be challenged by, for instance, current turns to materiality, affect, assemblage theory, post-humanism?

The research unit works with these issues as a basis for current research interests among the unit participants (creativity, improvisation, memory, genre, etc.) and with a view to developing collective research projects.


Researchers: Steen Kaargaard Nielsen, Thomas Rosendahl NielsenIda KrøgholtAnders EskildsenLouise Ejgod HansenCharlotte Rørdam LarsenMads Krogh