'The Academy is Back: On Education, the Bologna Process, and the Doctorate in the Arts'

Dieter Lesage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In many countries participating in the Bologna Process, the format of the newly introduced doctorate in the arts has been the subject of heated discussions. Although academics involved in the establishment of the rules for the doctorate in the arts did pay attention to the demand that the new doctorate in the arts should respect the specificity of an artistic education, in that they accepted the idea that artists present a portfolio of their work as a doctorate, most of them fiercely defended the idea that a doctorate in the arts would be inconceivable without a written supplement. As a result, the format of the new doctorate in the arts often requires both an artistic portfolio and a 'written supplement'. The insistence on the obligation of a written supplement seems to demonstrate a lack of confidence either in the capacity of the arts to speak in a meaningful, complex and critical way in a medium of their choosing, or in one's own capacity to make sound judgments on the meaning, complexity and criticality of artistic output as such. What might happen now is that juries will mainly base their judgment on a reading of the written supplement, because it complies with a long-standing format of the doctorate, as if it were the doctorate itself, while at the same time being tempted to consider the portfolio merely as a supplementary illustration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalE-Flux journal
Issue number#4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2009


  • artistic research


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