Dr. Anna Volkmar is a lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society where she teaches academic writing skills and modern & contemporary art in interdisciplinary BA programs. Her research focuses on the role of art in navigating the complex societal and ethical implications of modern technology and techno-scientific innovations.
Leiden Arts in Society Blog
Fields of interest
- Art and Technology
- Nuclear aesthetics
- Wicked complexity
My research focuses on the role of visual art in today’s crisis-ridden society. With an interdisciplinary approach, I study artistic responses to complex societal questions concerning technology, techno-scientific innovation, the human body and ecology to create a better understanding of the impact art can have on society in times of radical change.
In my doctoral dissertation, Muddling Through Wicked Complexity: Why We Should Look at Art When We Talk About Nuclear Power (Jan 2021), I revisited the question of art’s social significance in the techno-human condition, focusing on the controversial technology of nuclear power and its so-called ‘by-products’ such as radioactive waste and nuclear fallout. I draw on a wide range of studies from anthropology, sociology, art history and cultural theory, to discuss selected artistic responses to nuclear power. I conclude that we need to involve art in the debate on nuclear power, because it points towards novel ways of engaging the unpredictable complexity that this technology and its by-products confront us with—an attitude that I suggest is relevant for engaging the Anthropocene at large.
2019-2021| Lecturer, Department of Art History, Leiden University
2015-2021| PhD in Art and Technology, Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (supervisors: prof.dr.ing. R. Zwijnenberg and dr. I. Hoving)
2012-2014| ResMA in Arts and Culture, Leiden University (cum laude)
2008-2012| BA in Art, Music and Media: Organization and Communication, Marburg University (Germany)
No relevant ancillary activities