This course invites students from various disciplinary backgrounds to participate in the complex academic discourses that address the intriguing forms of art and literature today. More importantly, they will be asked to develop their own response to these discussions through specific case studies selected for each seminar. The three-hour seminars will be based on an essay from a leading journal in the field of critical / cultural studies (Third Text), complemented with other journal articles, book chapters and exhibition catalogues to frame the case studies under discussion. The aim is to to learn to differentiate the varying discourses on different artistic and literary case studies. At the heart of this course is the question how theory/theoretical frames and case-studies are connected and how they mutually open up certain perspectives on one another.
We will reflect on questions such as: Do the contributions to a journal such as Third Text succeed in addressing the complex cultural realities that emerge when different worldviews meet, and what challenges this approaches pose to Euro- and ethnocentric aesthetic criteria? To what extent is the global debate on art and literature shaped by poststructuralist theories? Which theoretical discourses respond to the agendas of the artists, writers, thinkers, and activists in the less privileged regions and communities of the world?
In addition, we will explore what happens when we read a work of art within a regional, a national, a transnational, or a global framework. Why do some critics insist that works of art express a well-defined cultural identity, while others criticise the notion of cultural identity in art theory? How should we understand the tensions between the materialist and culturalist approaches to the global imagination? To answer these questions, two instructors (specialised in literature and art, respectively) will offer you the insights and information needed to contextualise the case studies . In addition, they will offer historical and theoretical reflections to create an understanding of the issues that are at stake in debates about the arts of globalization, decolonialization and posthumanism. We hope to welcome you as young researchers-to-be actively participating the seminars, discussions and the practical small assignments in the class.
Students will obtain thorough insights in contemporary debates on art and literature produced in the era of globalization;
Students will have developed an understanding of the different theoretical approaches that play a role in the contemporary art theory, literary theory, cultural analysis, postcolonial theory, etc.;
Students will learn to problematise these approaches and to recognise and produce productive research questions;
Students will become acquainted with some important contemporary art works and literature that intervene in the debates on interculturality and globalisation;
Students are able to initiate and carry out a modest research project on a particular case study, frame it meaningfully and to position themselves critically within the contemporary scholarly debates.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Active participation (passed / failed)
Abstract/outline of the final paper
For ResMA students: a longer final paper (+ 1000 words).
Active participation (passed / failed)
Abstract/outline of the final paper (10%)
Podcast (groupwork, 30%)
Final paper (60 %)
The final grade is the average of the three grades (10%, 30%, 60%). A student passes the class if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.
The re-sit is available for the final paper (60%).
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
The reading list will be provided in the beginning of the course and the materials are shared via Brightspace.
Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal