University of Liverpool Academic Takes up UK’s First Philosopher in Residence Post

unnamed-1A University of Liverpool academic is to become the UK’s first philosopher in residence, after taking up a two year post at The Bluecoat.

Dr Yiota Vassilopoulou will run a series of lectures on aesthetics for beginners, from January 2014. The residency launched with a keynote lecture, Leaving Traces: Reflecting on the Value of Art, at the Bluecoat on November 27.

Dr Vassilopoulou said: “What fascinates me about art galleries that are located in city centres, is that they make us think about what distinguishes a work of art from other objects, and this is another way of asking, what is the value of art?  What is the difference between seeing something, often the very same object, as art when part of an exhibition, but as an ordinary object – a commodity – when in a shop window display?

“It is a bold and important move on the part of the Bluecoat to introduce this residency programme. Residencies take us out of our familiar environments and habits and force us to reassess our own values. Contemporary life is riddled with crises, whether financial, environmental, or existential, but crises are a chance to reflect and change. This residency is not about popularising philosophy or theorising art, it is about exploring the mutual ways in which philosophical reflection and art can transform us.”

In partnership with the University’s lifelong learning programme, those attending Dr Yiota Vassilopoulou’s lectures will have the opportunity to gain formal accreditation.

Mary Cloake, Chief Executive at the Bluecoat said: “This exciting residency has come about as a result of a dialogue between the Bluecoat and the University of Liverpool’s Department of Philosophy.


Together, we identified a shared interest in giving a wide range of people opportunities to engage with art and to reflect on its importance to everyday life.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr Vassilopoulou to the Bluecoat’s team, and look forward to seeing the exciting results that will no doubt come about as a result of her residency.”

The residency has been funded through a creative partnership between the University of Liverpool and the Bluecoat.

Look out for more similar listings here at Art in Liverpool, coming soon