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Highlights of Dutch Literature and Film


Admission requirements

Students are expected to have basic knowledge of the history of film and literature; in addition, students should have mastered the basic methologies for analyzing both literary and filmic narratives.


Like most countries, the Netherlands has a venerable and distinctive cinematic and literary tradition; and, like most countries, the post-world war II popularity of visual media and narratives such as film and television series has had a significant impact on the culture of the Netherlands. In this course you will acquire a sound knowledge of the Dutch cinematic tradition and the way it has interacted with global cinema and Dutch literature since throughout the twentieth century. On the basis of an analysis and discussion of internationally acclaimed Dutch films (from Joris Ivens to Marleen Gorris) and novels (from Multatuli to Hannah Bervoets) this course discusses the pivotal socio-cultural issues of contemporary Dutch society (gender, racism, and mediatization) and discusses how these issues are addressed in Dutch film and literature.
The interaction between novel and film will be a recurring focus in this course. By comparing a novel and a film, students will learn to analyze and historically situate the representation, deconstruction and affirmation of issues such as gender and racism through literary techniques and trough filmic techniques. Analogous to this acquirement of analytical and socio-historical skills, students learn to think about the impact of film and the visual on contemporary culture and what this implies for status of the novel today.
Although this course provides a very global overview of the history of Dutch literature and film since the late 19th-century, the focus is on selected case studies (or, indeed, highlights). Students study a select set of Dutch film and novels. On the basis of these studies you will learn to address and reflect upon issues of gender, race and globalization in Dutch society of twentieth century.

Course objectives

By the end of this course

  • You can reproduce basic historical knowledge on the development of the Dutch cinematic tradition from Joris Ivens to Marleen Gorris

  • You can discuss in writing in what way the Dutch cinematic production and techniques interact and intervene in a specific Dutch political and social developments of their time

  • You can analyze and discuss in writing how the Dutch cinematic production and techniques interact with the gloval development and experiments in cinematic techniques.

  • In your analysis and discussion of Dutch film and literature you are able to employ concepts such as cultural memory, gender, racism and decolonialism.


Time and date on which the course is offered or a link to the website. The administration will complete this with the link to the website.

The timetable is available on the website of Dutch Language and Culture.

Mode of instruction

Lecture (with room for interactive discussions)

Assessment method

  • One written assignments, 500 words (20 %)

  • One oral presentation (20%)

  • Midterm exam (20 %)

  • Final paper 4000 words (40 %)

The final mark for the course is established by the determination of the weighted average with the additional requirements that (1) students must have completed all examinations and (2) students must reach a passing grade for the final paper.
If the final mark is not a passing grade, then students are entitled to a resit. The resit consists of a rewrite of the final paper.
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.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.


This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs.


Dr. Bram Ieven

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats