Professorship for Contemporary Arts

Research and teaching at the Professorship of Contemporary Art focuses on art from the 1960s to the present. We understand art as a material and an intellectual practice, which requires an intensive engagement with artistic processes as well as a reflection on theories of art and culture and socio-political discussions. The emphasis of the professorship is placed on the transcultural interconnections of art, decoloniality, gender issues, art theory, and art criticism.

Contemporary art is characterized in particular by dissolving traditional genres, questioning the formation of canons, inventing new genres and formats, critically examining its own conditions of production, and intervening in social processes. Thus, in addition to analyzing artworks and exploring artistic objects, thinking about the socio-political horizon of art is also an essential part of the study of contemporary art. In this way, the study of contemporary art not only gives students a good knowledge of contemporary art, artistic thinking, agency, research, and an insight into most recent developments of art historical research and methods, but also enables students to participate in current socio-political debates through the lens of art.

The teaching offered by the Professorship of Contemporary Art has most recently included undergraduate seminars such as Methods of Art Studies, Introduction to Art History as Cultural Studies, Transcultural Art History, as well as seminars on topics such as Ownership and Property in Art and Cultural Theory, Critique of Subjectivity in Contemporary Art, Documenta 15 - Artist Collectives, Production/Reproduction - Female Labor in Art and Cinema, Curating Video Art, Forms of Documentary Film, Canon/Canon Criticism, Photography and Feminism, Science Fiction, Visual Culture and the Afterlife of Colonialism, and many more.

Leuphana University is one of the few universities that has its own artistic project space: The Kunstraum, with its archive of more than thirty years of exhibition practice. Working with artists is an essential part of studying contemporary art at Leuphana. In exchanges with artists and curators, in project seminars and excursions, students deal intensively with artistic processes and participate in the production of exhibitions. In this way, students get to know professional fields of practice. 

The Archipelago Lab also regularly invites contemporary artists and cultural producers.

The Halle für Kunst in Lüneburg offers students further opportunities to engage intensively with contemporary art. The directors of the Halle für Kunst Ann-Kathrin Eickhoff and Elisa Linn regularly teach at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

With the Leuphana Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture and Society, the university established its own Artists-in-Residence program, where international contemporary artists are invited to develop new work. Their activities will become visible in public presentations, participation in seminars, and exhibitions at the Kunstraum.

Completed projects

PriMus – PhD in Museums (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH)
Leuphana Arts Program (MWK Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture)



  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Leeb

Research associates

  • PD Dr. Andreas Broeckmann
  • Dr. Joshua Simon
  • Christopher Weickenmeier


  • Sabrina Bollhof