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LIAS PhD Seminar: Text and Image


Admission requirements

In addition to LIAS and LUCSoR PhD students, this course is open to students of the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research), the MA Asian Studies (research), and the MA Classical and Ancient Civilizations (research). Interested students from other relevant Research MA programmes are kindly advised to contact the co-ordinator of studies, Dr. Nicole van Os, before registering for this course.

Course content

This seminar will take us to the places where ‘text’ and ‘image’ meet. ‘Text’ and ‘writing’ can be interpreted in the strictest linguistic sense, but broader definitions exist as well and are emphatically within the seminar’s scope, which includes both the most un-image-like ‘text’ and the most non-textual ‘image’. The focus is on media where text and image meet, overlap, complement, interact, clash, synergize... What sorts of things happen there? Every text rendered visually is, in fact, also image (e.g. page layout, font, calligraphy). Reversely, images may be constructed as narratives or other meaningful compositions, sometimes to the point of representing a linguistically precise text. Arguably, every text and every image can be studied from the vantage point of materiality. And so on.

Course objectives

Students taking this course will

  • Learn about different ways in which text and image are produced and seen, and in which they interact, in different cultures, and in current scholarly approaches;

  • Process and discuss scholarly literature on these topics;

  • Develop an interdisciplinary and intercultural view on visual information.


See timetable of the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the timetable of the MA Asian Studies (research).

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenor needs to be informed without delay of any classes missed because of illness or misadventure. In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hours 140 hours
Preparation (c. 10 hrs/wk), attendance (2 hrs/wk), assignments c. 70 hours
If the course is taken for credit: a research paper c. 70 hours

Assignments may include presentations and moderating the discussion.

Deadlines for paper submission are set by the convener, after consultation of the students. Papers must be submitted at a date that enables marking and administrative processing within maximally six weeks after the Seminar’s final session.

Assessment (ResMA students only)

ResMA students can take the course for credit, in which case they will write a paper worth about 70 hours of work. Information on the requirements for the paper will be provided by the instructor at the start of the course. The course will be graded as Pass or Fail.

Academic Integrity

Students should familiarize themselves with the notion of academic integrity and the ways in which this plays out in their own work. A good place to start is this page. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students may not substantially reuse texts they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.
Students must submit their assignment(s) to the Blackboard through Turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.


Blackboard will be used for the distribution of course materials and for other communications.


ResMA students taking the course for credit are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.

Contact information

Dr. Ben J.J. Haring