762 Gladfelter Hall
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- PhD, University of Virginia
- MA, University of Virginia
- BA, James Madison University
areas of expertise
- Popular Culture
- Social Theory
courses i teach
- Popular Culture
- Introduction to Sociology
- Development of Sociological Thought
- Contemporary Social Theory
links i like
- The Merchants of Cool, A Frontline Special by Douglas Rushkof
- The National Endowment for the Arts
- Vanderbilt's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy
Many of us would be surprised to discover that government policies, legal issues, and business practices can shape the kind of art that gets made in this country and the kind of art that gets featured in museums and in arts education. I focus on how these structures impact our experiences with art and popular culture. I was told once that art is dead, because we no longer have any way of deciding what counts as art or why some works of art are better than others. I wasn't convinced, but wondered how we could really know how is art faring amidst changing demographics and new technologies. That led me into the sociology of art. Eventually I came to realize that some of the real creative action in modern America is happening in the realm of popular culture, and not just in the fine arts.
Two surprising facts about me: first, despite teaching theory, I see theory less as fine literature and more like a good hammer (a mundane but useful tool); second, despite writing about museum practices I don't enjoy them very much, preferring more experiential forms of art. I serve on the board of directors for Spiral Q, a program that combines large-scale puppet making, social justice, and arts education.
Kidd, D. and C. Jackson. 2010. “Art as Propaganda: Bringing Du Bois into the Sociology of Art.” Sociology Compass 4/8: 555-563.
Kidd, D. 2010. Legislating Creativity. New York: Routledge.
Kidd, D. 2009. "Democratic Practices in Arts Organizations." The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society 38: 296-309.
Kidd, D. 2007. "Harry Potter and the Functions of Popular Culture." The Journal of Popular Culture 40: 70-90.
Kidd, D. 2004. "Sexual Politics in the Defense of Art: Culture Wars, Mapplethorpe, and the Road from Formalism to Identity Politics." Research in Political Sociology 13: 79-112.
Kidd, D. 2004. "Art and Contemporary Culture." The Hedgehog Review, Summer 04. 98-105.
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