Lukas Slothuus graduated from the MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy course in 2015.
What were you doing before you joined the course? Why did you decide to study at CSM?
Before coming to CSM, I completed an undergraduate degree in Politics at the London School of Economics. During this, I developed a strong curiosity for studying the relationship between politics, art, aesthetics, and philosophy. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the use of aesthetic politics and the politicisation of culture on the extreme right, and wanted to supplement my acquaintance with analytic philosophy and political theory with more critical approaches to art and politics. CSM was an obvious place to pursue this through the Theory & Philosophy programme, both as a personal challenge by leaving my previous conventional academic setting of LSE, and by engaging in discussions with both artists and students from more academic backgrounds.
Which bit of the course did you enjoy most? Which projects are you most proud of?
I enjoyed the breadth of the course: from studying Kant and Hegel to the gallery visits, as well as the freedom to specialise in the areas each student found pertinent to their thinking and practice. My first coursework submission in the first term sparked my interest in questions around political action, resistance, dissent, and the possibility of radical change. This informed all my subsequent work at CSM and formed the basis of my current PhD research.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am doing a 1+3 MScR/PhD in Political Theory at the University of Edinburgh. Here, I have taken my previous research on resistance in a slightly different direction as I decided to locate it more firmly within the social sciences rather than the arts and humanities. I am currently working on a critique of liberalism and its accounts of dissent and disobedience. I am supervised by a political theorist and an anthropologist, which together with my time at LSE and CSM gives me new and challenging perspectives on some of the fundamental questions I take an interest in.
What tips would you give to students starting the course at CSM?
Think about what you want to get out of the course, and what you would like to have achieved by the end of it - it is flexible enough to accommodate everyone's needs, so it is important to think about why you are doing the course. Make the most of London; go to exhibitions and talks as often as you can, and be sure to draw on the lecturers for their expertise.
How do you think the course at CSM has helped shape your career so far?
Being taught by extremely knowledgeable and dedicated lecturers, who straddled the interface between art, history, theory and philosophy very well, expanded my horizon and questioned some of my basic assumptions about art and politics. Doing the course no doubt helped me in subsequently gaining a funded PhD at Edinburgh, and I had two fantastic years at CSM!