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42nd International Conference on Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts – Recap

Published November 28, 2016

On October 14th to the 16th, 2016, faculty, students, and alumni from FSU presented at the 42nd International Conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STP&A), held in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts, one of the oldest and influential academic gatherings in the fields of arts management and cultural policy, features researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines who present papers regarding contemporary issues and trends involving cultural policy worldwide. The conference was centered on the theme of “How hyper-modern and accelerated society are challenging the cultural sector: Democratic, identity and recognition issues.”


This year’s presenters included:

FSU alumni – Ansley Simmons (Arts Administration), Julia Grissett (Music Arts Administration), and Karen Munalley (Music Arts Administration)

Current FSU students – Susan Mann (Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Exhibitions – MEX), Juyeon Song (Arts Administration), and Charlotte Waters (Arts Administration)

Faculty member – Dr. Antonio Cuyler (Arts Administration)


Charlotte Waters

This was Waters’ first time presenting at an international conference, where she presented her dissertation topic, Innovation: How Boards Influence Innovation. Waters attributed her motivation to participate in the conference to colleagues and family, as well as FSU faculty.

For those interested in presenting at STP&A in the future, Charlotte advises “creating a presentation that is complex enough to cover the topic of that year but also simple enough to be received by various backgrounds and disciplines.”


Ansley Simmons

Simmons presented her dissertation, Training Future Generations: Internship Program Content & Design in Academic Art Museums in the US. From the experience, Ansley enjoyed receiving feedback from those who benefitted from the research she presented.

Regarding the benefits of attending the conference, Simmons commented:

The presentations you see and discussions you have can also inspire new work and research. Having a pulse on what’s happening in the field is invaluable. But for me and those who will soon be job hunting, it’s a great way to make friends within the community and expand your professional network.


Julia Grissett

Grissett developed her paper, How Copyright Law Weakens the Cultural Economy: Current State and Future Consequences, in Dr. Cuyler’s Cultural Policy class. Her paper’s purpose was to “encourage policymakers to make amendments to copyright law that are more appropriate for today’s society and to raise knowledge about this subject area.” What made Grissett’s experience at STP&A memorable was the ability to meet and talk to prominent arts and cultural researchers whose work she read in graduate school, and the opportunity to learn more about arts issues affecting other countries.

As advice for new conference attendees/presenters, Grissett stated:

Attend as many presentations as possible; pick panels with topics that interest you the most; take time to meet as many researchers as you can while you are there. From doing so, I was able to send my paper out to multiple professors to gain feedback on my work, discussed opportunities for collaborating, and made new friends!



The Department is proud of being so well represented at the 42nd International Conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts!