Arts and Culture (research)

Based on the premise that the study of cultural objects and cultural practices is founded on a shared theoretical and methodological framework, this programme includes the study of media, art and literature.

The Research Master’s in Arts and Culture distinguishes itself from other MA programmes in the Netherlands by its intense collaboration with the MA in Media Studies and the MA in Literary Studies (research) ; this joint teaching programme gives you the opportunity to acquire a valuable range of skills, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, historical and theoretical.

Photography, film and the so-called new media are well-known paradigms of media, but painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, etc., are also viewed as specific media. All these contribute to the formation of cultures. These formations in and by media change through history, and are therefore studied in this programme in a historical perspective. Media are seen as the building blocks of culture because it is in and through media that cultures are shaped. The programme pays close attention the content of what is being shaped by media (human subjectivity and behaviour, rituals, politics, etc.). Paying close attention should be taken literally: the Leiden Research Master’s considers cultural artefacts as objects for close reading, that should be understood with as much sensitivity as possible.

The research master’s offers a flexible programme that encourages you to adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, but also gives you considerable freedom to follow disciplinary courses within your ‘home discipline’. You can focus on Art and Culture, Media Studies or Literary Studies, and can opt for an interdisciplinary focus applied to a single period (Middle Ages/Early Modern resp. Modern and Contemporary), or an approach that concentrates on a single discipline. All students follow compulsory joint theoretical and methodological courses.

Topics in Arts and Culture:

  • Architecture
  • Art and Material Culture of Asia
  • Art of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period
  • Decorative Arts, Industrial Design and the Domestic Interior
  • Modern and Contemporary Art, and World Art Studies
  • Museums and Collections

Topics in Media Studies:

  • Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
  • Film and Photographic Studies
  • Book and Digital Media Studies
  • Journalism and New Media Studies

Topics in Literary Studies:

  • English Literature
  • German Literature
  • French Literature
  • Italian Literature

Master details

  • Degree Master of Arts in Arts and Culture (research)
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60829

Prof. Caroline van Eck

Caroline van Eck

“Architectural history in Leiden also looks at the ways in which buildings act upon the viewer.”

“Architectural history in Leiden is distinguished by close attention not just to architects, their designs and execution, but also to their patrons, the public, and the ways in which buildings act upon the viewer. We focus on Italian Renaissance and Baroque architecture, alternative ways of writing the history of Modernism, and exploring the interaction between architectural design, history and theory.

In recent years, we have looked for instance at the agency of architecture: at the ways in which buildings were used by their architects and patrons to act upon their viewers, influence their belief or change their behaviour.

Other central topics are the interactions between architecture, sculpture, and painting in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque, which we explore in situ, and the various perspectives of art and architectural history, archaeology and literary studies on architecture.”

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