Culture & Education


The research group Culture & Education (C&E) is part of the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University. Its research and education are aimed at developing a contemporary cultural pedagogy.

How is the concept of culture defined in the public and academic debate? What pedagogy can be developed to critically approach ‘culture’ and to instigate new practices of knowledge creation? What is the changing role of cultural and educational institutions as traditional mediators of culture and the arts? How are cultural policy and practice interrelated? What does this imply in an increased algorithmic culture?

C&E approaches these questions from an interdisciplinary framework starting from (new) rhetoric, cultural studies, critical pedagogy and anthropology. The focus is on interpretative research, rhetorical analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography and narratology. There is a strong focus on embedding artistic practices in education and approaching these practices as forms of research.

Around these themes C&E frequently organises international conferences, exchanges and workshops. Furthermore, C&E is actively involved in the Ghent University consortium De Krook, a centre for culture, knowledge and innovation.


Phd projects


  • Laura Van Beveren - Critical reflection in the social and behavioural sciences: a rhetorical approach (supervisor: Kris Rutten, co-supervisor: Griet Roets and Ann Buysse).
  • Hari Prasad Adhikari Sacré – Aesthetic Education(S): Research on rhetorics of cultural literacy in Belgian Art, Art Education & Art Policies (supervisor: Kris Rutten, co-supervisor: Sruti Bala, Amsterdam University).
  • Amber De Clerck – Unpacking cultural logics in educational contexts. A rhetorical approach (supervisor: Kris Rutten).
  • Arjang Omrani - Situated knowledge. An educational exploration of “shared anthropology” as a theoretical and methodological framework (supervisor: Kris Rutten).
  • Ishaya Anthony – Public Pedagogy and the Socio-Political Economy of Religious Media: A qualitative study of the Advent Cable Network Nigeria (ACNN) (supervisor: Kris Rutten, co-supervisor: Lee-Shae Scharnick-Udemans, University of the Western Cape).
  • Luz Santa María Muxica - A qualitative study into the literary socialisation practices of adolescents (promotor: Kris Rutten, co-promotor Cristina Aliagas Marín, Autonomous University of Barcelona).
  • Simon Allemeersch – Een interpretatief onderzoek naar de probleemconstructies van armoede en sociale ongelijkheid in een stedelijke context. Artistieke praktijk en social werk in de Rabot torens in Gent (supervisor: Griet Roets, co-supervisor: Kris Rutten).
  • Anneli Bowie (University of Pretoria, SA) - Re/framing design trends: a Burkean meta-rhetorical approach (supervisor: Duncan Reyburn, University of Pretoria, co-supervisor: Kris Rutten) [Finished and accepted]


Research collaborations

The Mentally project

Mental health problems in adults are of great concern as they are highly prevalent and impact significantly on health, social welfare and economy. Psychological treatment – whether or not in combination with medication – is effective but has not been able to nullify the apparent mismatch of mental healthcare. There is under- and suboptimal treatment of some adults and overtreatment of others.

MentALLY’s strategic aim is to gather the necessary empirical evidence to accelerate the evolution towards a European mental healthcare that provides effective mental health treatment to all adults who are in need. A carefully designed dissemination and implementation strategy translates the empirical evidence to strengthen existing networks and improve existing practices.

Conferences & Events

Rhetoric In Society 7, 10 - 13 September 2019, Ghent University

Studiedag Daarom lees ik festival, 23 November 2018, De Krook, Ghent. 

International Rhetoric Workshop, 3 - 6 July 2018, Ghent University