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LUCAS seminar: Cultural Theory for the 21st Century


Admission requirements

See ResMA Arts and Culture or Literary Studies programme and Exam regulations.


To open the Research Master curriculum, a joint seminar is offered for Res Ma students in Arts and Culture and in Literary Studies. This seminar addresses themes that reflect the research interests of LUCAS: the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, home of the two Research Master programmes.

We will look at the continuous interconnectedness of the Arts and Society, both in the textual culture of literature, learning and public debate and in the visual culture of art, architecture, film and photography. The seminar introduces students to research on art and agency, multimediality and the (global) approach to art and literature through the ages and from changing perspectives in cultural theory, especially concerning four domains in which the Arts are – and have been – particularly relevant for society: religion, law, politics and technology.

Course objectives

  • Students will acquire a firm grasp of the ideas, approaches and theories studied in this seminar, their relevance for the study of the arts, media and literature today and within time and context;

  • Students will be able to apply the ideas in their own work, as evidenced in oral presentations and written essays;

  • Students will acquire some understanding of the connections between the disciplines involved in LUCAS.


The timetable is available on the Research Master Arts and Culture website

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Close reading seminars

Course Load

140 hours, consisting of:

  • 13 × 3 hours lectures;

  • 51 hours literature study;

  • 50 hours preparation presentations and final paper.

Assessment method

  • Oral presentations in class (30%)

  • Final paper (70%)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Re-examination through the final paper.


Blackboard will be used for:

Reading list

To be announced via Blackboard.


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

Dhr. Dr. G. Warnar