© Inge Prader, 2017

In 2018, we at the mdw founded an annually recurring event to commemorate the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that addresses a broad public and supports communication with various parts of society in keeping with our university’s socio-political responsibility as an educational, cultural, and research institution.

The present issue’s Special section looks back upon this event’s most recent installation, which took place in December on Human Rights Day and saw discourse researcher Ruth Wodak address the relationship between the COVID crisis and the resulting human rights restrictions in light of European governments’ crisis communication. We also introduce you to the new series Populismus kritisieren [Criticising Populism], in which the mdw is joining forces with the Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies of Freie Universität Berlin to analyse and discuss populist practices starting from questions of gender. Furthermore, Budapest’s University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) is featured as an exemplary case that highlights the significance of academic autonomy and shows what can endanger it.

This issue of mdw Magazine also informs you about mdwPress, which now serves as the mdw’s own publisher, as well as about our new arrangement with Naxos as a congenial partner for a joint recording label. We additionally look forward to the 12th International Conference on Artistic Research of the Society for Artistic Research (SAR), to be held by the mdw in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the University of Applied Arts Vienna as a live online event from 7 to 9 April 2021, which will provide fascinating insights into international developments in the field of artistic research. And last but not least, we tell you about how the 2021 Beethoven Competition is to be held in a hybrid variant as well as about the exciting research approaches arising from the mdw’s new structured doctoral programme “Music Matters”.

I wish you an interesting read!

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