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On Listening

Vak 2012-2013

Admission requirements


It will come as no surprise that in Auditory Culture the ear is privileged. Auditory Culture first of all focuses on the way humans relate to their environment through hearing and listening. On Listening examines possible differences between eye and ear, between visual cultures and auditory cultures; it pays attention to the biological aspects of hearing; it focuses on the difference between hearing and listening; and it discusses different ways of listening (structural listening and attentive listening, but also ‘listening through the body’).

Course objectives

  1. The studenti s introduced to a variety of theories on listening.

    1. The student develops a new attitude to her or his auditory environment.
    2. S/he learns to think about listening from philosophical, historical, biological, and aesthetical perspectives.
    3. The student learns how to read scientific and philosophical texts. S/he practices so-called ‘close reading’.


Lipsius building, room 130, Wednesdays from 15.00 to 17.00
first lecture date t.b.a

Mode of instruction

Lecture + tutorial

Assessment method

Written examination with open questions.



Reading list

  1. Ihde, D. (2007) Listening and Voice. Phenomenologies of Sound. Albany: SUNY Press.

    1. Nancy, J-L. (2007) Listening. New York: Fordham University Press.
    2. Truax, B. (2001) Acoustic Communication. Westport: Ablex Publishing.


Marten van der Meulen

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Marcel Cobussen

Marten van der Meulen