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)
- Volkmar A. (26 January 2021), Muddling through wicked complexity: Why we should look at art when we talk about nuclear power (PhD thesis. Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University). Supervisor(s) and Co-supervisor(s): Zwijnenberg, R., Hoving, I.
- Anli Z., Volkmar A., Cardozo de Souza A.P., Feuth A.G.B.M., Hui T., Majid B., Seale L.R., Shobeiri S.A., Vergeer T. & Polak S.A. (2020), Landscape in Perspective: Projections and Transformations Member of editorial staff Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference (7).
- Volkmar A. & Herfs L. (5 September 2019), From radioactive felines to three-legged bunnies? Or: What it takes to communicate 10,000 years into the future (Part 2). Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: Leiden University [blog entry].
- Volkmar A. (11 April 2018), Radioactive Felines. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: Leiden University [blog entry].
- Smits L.A., Feenstra N.H., Polak S.A., Anli Z., Hendrikx S.M., Janssen K.P.S., Kessel L. van, Travers E.M.A. & Volkmar A. (2018), Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference, "Landscape in Perspective : Representing, Constructing, and Questioning Identities" Member of editorial staff Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference (6).
- Volkmar A., Mavrokordopoulou K., Vos R. de, Sperling A. & Weber D. (2018), Post Atomic: A conversation between Alison Sperling and Anna Volkmar with a visual response by Donald Weber, Kunstlicht 39(3/4): 56-70.
- Volkmar A. (16 November 2017), On Demons, Clay and Greek Mythology: A Visit to Nuclear Belgium. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: Leiden University [blog entry].
- Volkmar A., Smits L.A. & Zeeuw T.L. de (2 February 2017), Landscape: The LUCAS Graduate Conference. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: Leiden University [blog entry].
- Volkmar A. (2017), Dreams of Post(nuclear)nature in Photography of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone: A Case Study, Kritische Berichte. Zeitschrift für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften 2.
- Volkmar A. (2017), Ironic Encounters in the Anthropocene: Jürgen Nefzger’s Nuclear Landscape Photography, Frame. Tijdschrift voor Literatuurwetenschap 29(2): 49-69.
- Volkmar A. (15 December 2016), Why We Need Nuclear Art. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: LUCAS [blog entry].
- Volkmar A. (10 June 2016), Welcome to the Chernobyl Nature Reserve. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: LUCAS [blog entry].
- Volkmar A. (23 March 2016), Touring the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Leiden Arts in Society Blog. Leiden: LUCAS [blog entry].
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