Director of Graduate Studies
241A Center for the Arts
Research Interests: Autonomy, labor legislation and political economy in the arts
Katja Praznik holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana. She teaches cultural policy and courses related to the political economy of the arts. Her research is centered on the politics of unpaid artistic labor during the demise of the welfare state. Before coming to the United States, she worked as a freelancer in the Slovenian independent art scene. She was the editor-in-chief of Maska, performing arts journal (2007-2009) and was engaged in the struggles for the improvement of the working conditions of art workers at Društvo Asocacija (2009-2012). Praznik was also involved in attempts to improve the production conditions for contemporary dance in Slovenia and researched its history. As an art critic, she wrote for the daily newspaper Dnevnik and worked as a dramaturge with various artists, such as Maja Delak, Matija Ferlin, and others. In 2010, her book Ideologies of Dancing Bodies was published as a volume of Chronotopographies of Dance: Two Inquiries with Slovene publisher Emanat. Praznik’s research has been published in edited volumes, such as NSK from Kapital to Capital (MIT Press, 2015), Crisis and New Beginnings: Art in Slovenia 2005-2015, and peer reviewed journals, such as the KPY – Cultural Policy Yearbook (Bilgi University Istanbul), Historical Materialism (Brill), and Journal for the Critique of Science. Her latest book,The Paradox of Unpaid Labor: Autonomy of Art, the Avant-Garde and Cultural Policy in the Transition to Post-Socialism, was published by Založba Sophia in Slovenia in 2016. Currently, she is working on a book manuscript, Invisible Art Workers: Contradictions of Creative Labor After Socialism. Grounded in feminist epistemology and in an analysis of artist’s labor regulation during Yugoslav socialism, Invisible Art Workers argues that art needs to be understood as invisible work in order to demystify exceptionality of artistic labor, which operates as the key mechanism in perpetuating economic devaluation of artist’s work.