The “lectorate” (i.e. knowledge network/associate professorship) in “New Theatre” was continued in 2006 under the title “Autonomy and the Public Domain in the Arts” (“AOK”). Unlike the New Theatre lectorate, the lectorate in Autonomy and Public Domain in the Arts focuses on a single core theme, namely the autonomy of the arts in relation to the public domain. It concerns itself not only with theatre (performing arts) but also music, the visual arts and design, more specifically interdisciplinary cooperation between these three disciplines. It operates as a partnership between the three arts faculties at Zuyd University: the Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht (ABKM), the Maastricht Academy of Music (CM), and the Maastricht Theatre Academy (TAM).
The main objective of the Lectorate in Autonomy and the Public Domain in the Arts is to increase our knowledge of the arts in their cultural and social context by means of research and reflection. The lectorate aims to contribute to the theoretical and practical discourse regarding recent developments in the arts. In addition, it attempts to embody the results of this research in educational modules and curriculums with which to give artists, designers, musicians, actors, theatrical performers, and directors the knowledge and skills that they need for a profession in the arts, in particular where interdisciplinary collaboration is involved.
The lectorate’s research plan sets out a number of issues on which the research focuses:
• the issue of autonomy and the public domain in terms of engagement and contribution to public debate;
• the issue of autonomy and authenticity of the arts in the context of current cultural and social trends (including the rise of such phenomena as the “creative industry” and the “creative city”);
• the issue of the significance and validity of the arts in terms of the evaluation criteria to which significance and validity are assigned;
• the issue of knowledge and competencies (in an artistic, technical, and professionalsocial respect), specified according to various different professional profiles and professional sectors;
• the issue of interdisciplinary collaboration within “creative art teams”.