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Media Worlds


Admission requirements

Only the following categories of students may register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the CA-DS Bachelor's programme at Leiden University

  • Students enrolled for the Minor CA-OS

  • Pre-Master’s students who have completed their Admission procedure for the Master’s CA-DS and been formally admitted to this course as part of the Pre-Master’s programme.

  • Contract students, who in order to be enrolled should complete the procedure as described on the Faculty's website.


This course addresses the mediation of anthropological knowledge. What does it mean to use media to gather, process and present anthropological knowledge? How do anthropologists communicate using images and objects? If print capitalism served as a major step to ‘imagine communities’, and if mechanical reproduction marks a watershed in our capacity to relate to artwork, what do digital communication and social networks mean for contemporary anthropological knowledge and ethnographic practice?
The lectures, excursions and assignments serve as an introduction to visual methodology and material culture, which form part of Leiden’s signature methodology. Guest lecturers will introduce students to the work that Leiden anthropologists and collaborating institutions are doing today.

The lessons will focus on:
a) the history of ethnographic film, photography, and sound;
b) the collecting practices and material culture in the museum;
c) the idea of the field as a source of knowledge for anthropology and other sciences;
d) decolonization and expansion of critical practices of more contemporary anthropologies; and
e) the kinds of intervention and engagement shaped by our understandings of the future.

Course Objectives

During this course students will:
1. become acquainted with different forms of media and representations;
2. gain a broad orientation on the sub-disciplines of material culture, media anthropology, visual anthropology, sensory ethnography, and digital ethnography;
3. relate their theoretical and methodological perspectives to concrete case studies within anthropology;
4. learn to reflect critically on the fact that all knowledge is mediated, and on the ubiquity of media and how to approach it from an anthropological perspective and analysis.

Time Table

Please see our website

Mode of Instruction

5 EC = 140 study hours (sbu)

  • lectures 14x 2 hours (42 sbu)

  • study of literature

  • group assignments

  • excursions

Assessment Method

  • Test covering first three weeks (Multiple choice & short essay) (30%)

  • Multimodal Group Assignment due 20 March (30%)

  • Final Exam covering entire course (Multiple choice & short essay) (40%)

Only the final grade is being registered in Usis. Only if the final grade is inadequate it may be re-taken during the re-take test.

Enrollment in Usis for the the test and the exam is obligatory and is possible up to 10 days before they take place. More about exam enrolment:

Course and exam enrolment

Enrolment in Usis for the lecture series and the examination is obligatory: please observe the deadlines and procedures as described on the website


Blackboard will be used for information and to advise of assignments. Registration on Blackboard is obligatory for all participants.

Reading List



Zane Kripe Mark Westmoreland - coordinator