Art, Culture, and the Environment

Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture, and the Environment (BASCE)

Date and Time | June 19, 13:00-17:00
Venue | Lipsiusgebouw, zaal 148, Cleveringaplaats 1, LEIDEN.
Registration |

Open invitation

Tuesday, June 19th, will mark the launch of the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture, and the Environment (BASCE). The gathering will take place at Leiden University at one p.m.

Many scholars, artists, and activists in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg are committed to exploring the changing relations between culture and the environment – but many of us do not know each other yet. On June 19th, we are starting BASCE, a platform for all those who are actively engaged in this field to discuss their various endeavours with peers from different disciplines and an array of intellectual, creative, or activist pursuits. We hope that the June 19th meeting will propagate a range of inspiring exchanges, productive collaborations, and perhaps even unsettling intellectual confrontations.

We intend to set the agenda for BASCE (pronounce BAISY) for the coming year at this meeting. It will be an open event, and you are all cordially invited to share your own ideas and wishes.

We will start at 13h with a few short talks by different scholars, who will discuss their own activities in the field and present their views on some inspiring and challenging developments. The confirmed speakers are:

  • Tom Idema, Dept. of Philosophy and Science Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, will talk about his PhD project. He will discuss literature, and science fiction in particular, as a space where alternative ways of living and thinking can be explored as a departure from a sense of ecological embeddedness and evolution.
  • Catherine Lord, Dept. of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, scholar, actor, and creative writer, will share her intellectual journeys (which began in psychoanalysis and gender studies) into ecocriticism, animal studies, and planetary studies.
  • Rob Zwijnenberg, Dept. of Art History, Leiden University, Director of the Arts and Genomics Centre, will discuss one of his fields of specialisation: bio-art, an art practice that works with living tissues and organisms, and the aesthetic, ethical, and scientific questions that are provoked by this type of art.

The talks will culminate in an open discussion of each participant’s investment in the broad interdisciplinary field of ecocriticism, bio-art, environmental philosophy, nature writing, landscape poetry, environmental activism, etc.

The second part of the meeting will be dedicated to planning events for next year.

At 16h, we will visit the Hortus Botanicus of Leiden University for a guided tour.

We will continue our discussions over drinks (from 17h onwards).

For the background and goals of BASCE, please see the attachment.

If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to before June 14th, and please include if you would like to participate in the guided tour to the Hortus Botanicus.