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Writing Art


Admission requirements

Admission will take place based on a motivation letter and, when relevant, written work.


Writing Art will familiarize students with diverse ways of writing about art. This is achieved through a series of combined lectures and workshops by experts, writers and artists in which students will experiment with different approaches to ‘Writing Art’.
The course considers a range of writing on art, from examples of art criticism to contemporary and experimental modes of writing on art.
The aim of the course is to stimulate students to write and to develop a personal ‘voice’. The emphasis therefore lies on ‘learning through doing’, which means that the experiment with and the practice of the writing itself is the base for learning rather than theoretical input.

There are as many different ways of writing about art as there are authors. However, it is possible to distinguish specific genres and traditions in writing art, such as art criticism, performative writing, art fiction, experimental writing, writing by artists, etc.
Can one bridge the gap between language on the one hand and the visual experience of an art work on the other? How can a personal experience of art be conveyed to the reader in a convincing and engaging way? What is the status, or the function, of text in relation to the art work, what are the possibilities and the potential limits in writing on art? Is it possible to engage in an art critical, academic or artistic discourse on visual imagery on the basis of text; and if so how does one do that?

The set-up of the course is thematic. A guest lecturer, who is an expert in the particular field of writing, will address each theme in a lecture, presentation or workshop. The lecturer will expand on the theme, using examples from writing practices. Preceding or after the lecture, each lecturer will give students an assignment to write a particular type of text. The texts will be commented on at the end or after the lecture. Students will then rewrite the text for their portfolio. The texts will be discussed in the group (peer feedback) and the lecturer will also give in-depth feedback. Short writing exercises as well as a performance are part of the lectures or workshops.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will

  • Have developed writing skills;

  • Be able to use different ways of writing to express ideas and opinions about art and design and, in the case of art students, on one’s own work;

  • Be able to critically reflect on art and design and on one’s position in the field as an artist, designer, critic or researcher.


Time: Wednesday afternoons from 16.00-18.00 hrs.

19 September - Prof. dr. J.C. Wesseling + Drs. Liesbeth Fit
26 September - Prof. dr. J.C. Wesseling + Drs. Liesbeth Fit
10 October - Guest lecturer Drs. Sander Uitdehaag + Drs. Liesbeth Fit
17 October - Guest lecturer Dr. Nicoline Timmer +Drs. Liesbeth Fit
7 November - Guest lecturer Dr. Anna Arov + Drs. Liesbeth Fit
14 November - Guest lecturer Miek Zwamborn + Drs. Liesbeth Fit
21 November - Drs. Liesbeth Fit
12 December – Evaluation: Prof. dr. J.C. Wesseling + Drs. Liesbeth Fit

Location: The Royal Academy of Art (KABK), Prinsessegracht 4, 2514 AN The Hague
Room no.: PB.111, on all dates except 14 November. 14 November's meeting will take place in BB.203.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Workshop

  • Practice

  • Peer review

  • Feedback

Course Load

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Seminars: 8 seminars of 2 hours (= 16 hours)

  • Literature, reading & practical work: 0.5 hours p/week (= 4 hours)

  • Assignments & portfolio: 120 hours

Assessment method

Course Evaluation

  • Seminar Assignments 90% (Every theme (six in total) is connected to a writing exercise, this text will be rewritten. All texts together will form a portfolio that will be assessed).

  • Performance in Class 10% (Dialogue and performance in Class).

  • Shows initiative and originality in the handling of assignments

  • Gives expression to a distinctive (artistic/discursive) ambition or vision

  • Develops and explores (offered) techniques and theories

  • Demonstrates a critical and inquiring attitude toward the techniques and theories that are offered

  • Effectively organizes the process (e.g. meets deadlines and assignment requirements, presence in Class)

  • Engages in dialogue about one’s writing and that of others

  • Draws insights from discussions and implements feedback

  • Productively collaborates with fellow students
    Seminar Assignments and Evaluation

  • The final mark for this Class is based on performance in class, weekly assignments and a portfolio.

  • After or during each Class students receive an assignment which they must hand in at least 3 days before the next Class.

  • The evaluation of the performance of each student in class considers: commitment, motivation and curiosity.
    Students are allowed to be absent at 1 meeting at the most without further consequences. Being absent at more than 1 meeting implies that a student cannot pass.


Blackboard will not be used in this course.

Reading list

Janneke Wesseling - 'Why Write? On Writing as Art Practice.' Will be sent to the students.
Other possible literature will be announced in class and is different per lecturer.


To enroll, students must send a motivation letter.

In addition, for students of Leiden University, enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

Apply before Monday 10 September 2018 23:59 h (CET) by registering for this course in uSis.
To complete your application, you will be required to send a brief letter of motivation (max. 400 words, in PDF) to The result of the selection will be announced on Thursday 14 September 2018 at the latest. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.

For questions, please contact Emily Huurdeman, co-ordinator of the lectorate, at

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs

To complete your application, you will be required to send a brief letter of motivation (max. 400 words, in PDF) to The result of the selection will be announced on Thursday 14 September 2018 at the latest. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.


Dhr. ir. R.T.W.L. Schneemann
Mw. drs. Liesbeth Fit


This course will admit a maximum of 10 participants from Leiden University, and a maximum of 10 participants from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.

For other courses in the domains of music and fine arts, please visit: