nl en

Seminar BA2: (Re-)Imaginations of the Rural


Admission requirements

The following courses need to be passed:

  • Freshman's Class

  • Academic Skills II


In this course, we will examine the interconnectedness of arts and rural envisionings through art historical trajectories, conceptual framings and emerging contemporary art practices. Whereas cities are famous for providing inspiring vibes for modern and contemporary arts in particular, the peaceful scenes of country life have allured artists to settle in villages to explore significance of landscapes, nature and environmental interconnectedness worldwide.
Since the late 19th century, rural art colonies have reformulated the parameters and perceptions for arts. Initially artists’ communities flourished mainly in European and American countryside, but due to accelerating urbanization, the phenomenon gained more international prominence after the mid-20th century. The recent decades have brought about new global challenges and contingencies for arts to be a transformative method not only to revitalize rural communities but also to explore more sustainable lifestyles through arts.
Through selected readings and case studies of art villages, projects, biennales, and festivals situated in the rural communities we investigate the changing interfaces of ‘rurality’, ‘wilderness’ and ‘nature’ across socio-cultural contexts and eras. Some of the main questions include: What kind of artistic themes, styles and practices the rural visions have inspired throughout the centuries? How have rural art colonies been perceived and what kind of positionalities they have had? In what ways artists are problematizing the rural-urban dichotomy?

Course objectives

  • Students gain understanding on main art historical phases and genres in relation to ‘rural’

  • Students acquire insights into the challenges and possibilities of arts in rural conditions

  • Students learn to take into account varying conceptual framings and perceptions regarding arts and their possible positive and negative impacts for communities

  • Students develop skills to critically analyze and contextualize artworks and related curatorial practices in a global context


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Important: attendance in seminar sessions and excursions is mandatory! In case of no-show, the tutor should be informed by e-mail about your absence and the reason prior to the actual seminar session. Moreover, this course cannot be successfully completed by students that were absent more than twice. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment. See also the Course and Examination Regulations.

Assessment method


  • Podcast (group work)

  • Individual research paper


  • Podcast (30 %)

  • Individual research paper (70%)

The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for the final examination (or the main assignment) must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for all other constituent examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). However, it is possible to compensate for one constituent examination a 5.0 (but not a mark lower than 5.0) with the grade of another constituent examination which has the same weight in the average as the constituent examination it compensates.


A resit/ rewrite can be done for the constituent examination (individual research paper 70%) if it is not passed.

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.

Reading List

The articles and book chapters assigned will be provided on Brightspace. Weekly reading questions are provided in the course syllabus/weekly program overview.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal.