TV works

Rudi Laermans

Rudi Laermans (b. 1957) is a sociologist, essayist and critic. He is a full professor at the Centre for Sociological Research at the Catholic University of Louvain (K.U.Leuven). For the past several years, he has headed the its Center for Cultural Sociology and chairs the Sociology of Culture Research Network, which he co-founded to promote research into European culture and identity and cultures in Europe. His research focuses on the various players in the Flemish artistic arena and is based on systems-analytical and poststructuralist insights. In addition to countless articles in both Belgian and international professional journals, he has published essays in both book form and in cultural magazines, including Tmesis, De Witte Raaf, Nieuwzuid and Etcetera, as well as contributing to publications on contemporary dance published by the Flanders Theatre Institute. He is in regular contact with thinkers outside the academic world, often scholars like himself who do not shun publicity. He was a founding member of WITT. Together with Lieven De Cauter, he currently forms the core of the Oxumoron collective. Laermans has collaborated on controversial cultural initiatives, including the Container television series (1989) and Vertoog en Literatuur (Exposé & Literature) (1993), the literary programme for Antwerp 93: Cultural Capitol of Europe. From 1995 to 2002, he was chairman of the board of directors of the Needcompany, multimedia theatre group. Since its establishment in 1995, he has been a guest teacher at P.A.R.T.S., Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s international dance school in Brussels. Not a distant observer, Laermans actively evaluates and prescribes. Since the late 1990s, the Flemish government has commissioned him to reflect upon Flanders’ policies for culture and heritage. He is, for example, co-promoter of Re-Creatief Vlaanderen (Re-Creative Flanders), an inter-university centre for research on cultural policy. In this capacity, his publications include Het cultureel regiem. Cultuurbeleid in Vlaanderen (The Cultural Regime: Cultural Policy in Flanders, 2002) and together with Pascal Gielen, Cultureel Goed, over een (nieuw) erfgoedregiem (Cultural Wealth: on a ((New)) Heritage Policy, 2005). In 2004, he was selected for the Flemish cultural award for the visual arts, but Flanders’ minister of culture, Bert Anciaux, decided that as a scientist, Laermans could not be awarded the prize. [Eveline Vanfraussen]