The International Conference on the Arts in Society began in Australia in the early 2000s with three network-based events–a conference on Indigenous Visual Arts in Adelaide and then two conferences associated with the Adelaide and Melbourne Festival of the Arts. The Adelaide conference was an initiative of the US Opera Director Peter Sellars, who curated the Adelaide Festival in 2002, and the Melbourne conference by Australian singer and actor Robyn Archer, who curated the Melbourne Festival in that year. These two directors provided the initial inspiration for the idea of talking about the arts at sites of arts practice.
The International Conference on the Arts in Society is a platform for interrogation of the nature of the arts and arts practices. Its aim is to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts in society. The conference is a place for critical engagement, examination, and experimentation of ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world–on stage, in studios and theaters, in classrooms, in museums and galleries, on the streets, and in communities.
The Arts in Society Research Network enables members to publish through two media. First, network members can make their voices head in the journals of the The Arts in Society Journal Collection. These journals have all the rigor traditionally expected of scholarly publishing, but in other respects are unlike much academic publishing today—ours is a responsive, non-hierarchical, and constructive peer review and publication process. The second publication medium is through the Arts in Society Book Imprint, publishing cutting edge books in print and electronic formats. Publication proposal and manuscript submissions are welcome.
The Arts in Society Research Network offers several opportunities for ongoing communication among its members. Any member may upload video presentations based on scholarly work to the network YouTube channel. Quarterly email newsletters contain updates on conference and publishing activities as well as broader news of interest. Join the conversations on Facebook and Twitter, or explore our innovative social media platform, Scholar.
The International Conference on The Arts in Society has a rich history of featuring leading and emerging voices from the field, including: