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MACH Seminar Art


Admission requirements

No admission requirements. A background in visual studies would be helpful.


Popular Prints in Context

Popular prints were a ubiquitous feature of early modern life in the cities and rural areas in Japan. Going beyond the traditional subject matter of the floating world (beauties and actors), this course will look at prints, printed books and broadsheets depicting diverse subjects such as foreigners and Edo fire fighters, dating from the eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. What role did these prints play in ordinary people’s lifes? How did prints impact on people’s thoughts and understanding of their place in society? How did people engage with prints and for what purposes? How did popular prints operate at the intersection of commercial art and popular culture? This course will highlight the social and cultural significances of prints while addressing the wider aesthetic, discursive and epistemological developments in popular culture in early modern Japan.

Course objectives

Students will develop:
1. familiarity with the visual and textual analysis of popular prints
2. an understanding of the diverse functions of popular prints in their historical and cultural contexts
3. an ability to critically read, assess, present and discuss academic texts related to the field, necessary for conducting independent research.


See timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (werkgroep), with lecture elements

Course Load

5 ects=140 hours

Assessment method

  1. Participation element (presence and participation in class) (30%)
  2. Analytical element (written literature review) (20%)
  3. Research element (research paper in consultation with instructor) (30%)
  4. Summative element (postings) (20%)


Yes, see for more info Blackboard

Reading list


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Contact information: Dr. D. Mueller


All other information.