nl en

Dutch Literature, Theatre and Film


Admission requirements

Propedeuse Humanities


Dutch Studies has a prominent and well-established tradition of examining Dutch literature, but classes on Dutch theatre and film have been quite marginal. In addition to a discussion of major tendencies in Dutch literature, theatre and film – from Bordewijks Character to the cinema of Adriaan Ditvoorst and from Tirza by Arnon Grunberg to the comedies Flodder and New Kids Turbo – this course also aims to explore possible cross-references between these art forms. To what extent does the Dutch cinema of the 1960s adopt influences from literary and artistic avant-garde in the Netherlands of the 1950s? And the other way around? Why have adaptations from (classic) novels been so popular in Dutch film history, and how can we study them without resorting to the cliche that ‘ the book was better’? How to consider the relation between the revolutionary theatrical performances of Het Werkteater and their cinematic output? What is it that is distinctly Dutch about the films by Alex van Warmerdam? Or about a childrens novel like Tow Truck Pluck, in which the squatter-era is represented?

Course objectives

  • You will acquire a knowledge of the developments and highlights of Dutch Cinematographic and Literary Culture of the 20th century, of (film) narratology, literary analysis and of adaptation studies.

  • gain understanding of the interrelations of the different artistic genres.

  • develop skills to conduct independent research.

  • develop oral and written communication skills (discussion, presentation, essay).



Mode of instruction

Weekly Lectures

Course Load

140 hours:

  • Attending lectures: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparing the assignments: 80 hours

  • Time for preparing the final exam: 32 hours

Assessment method

Final Exam (70%)
Weekly assigmnents (30%)

For each part of the assessment at least a 5.5 should be obtained. The final grade is the weighted average of all grades. Only the paper has a resit possibility.


There will be a Blackboard module for the course, which contains relevant course information such as the weekly reading and assignments. Since Blackboard makes use of umail for communication, students are advised to forward their umail to their regular email address:

Reading list

  • Louis Couperus, The Hidden Force, A Story of Modern Java (UB Open access)

  • F. Bordewijk, Character, a novel of father and son, Chigaco, Translated by Ivan R. Dee, 1999 [1938].

  • A selection of poetry by poets of the ‘50’s: Lucebert, Gerrit Kouwenaar a.o.

  • Annie MG Schmidt: Pluk van de Petteflet. 1971. (Tow truck Pluck, Translated by David Colmer, 2011).

  • Gerard Reve, De vierde man, 1981 (and film by Paul Verhoeven of the same title).

Further reading/viewing will be announced on Blackboard.


Students should register through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies