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Seminar BA2: The Global Turn: Contemporary Art and Globalisation


Admission requirements

Admission requirements for the BA AMS: 2nd year students AMS


Art is of all people and all times, but unarguably the present time shows an unprecedented globalization through internet, travel, migration, global market and global finances. And through art, art exhibitions and artists’ initiatives worldwide.
In this course, contemporary art and globalization will be investigated departing from Jonathan Harris’s (ed.) book Globalization and contemporary art (2011). The volume is a collection of articles charting the intersection of art and globalization since the 1980s. There are case-studies from artists (Fred Wilson, Aboriginal art, Walid Sadek), critics (Raheed Araeen), art dealers and academics. Globalization is not just one thing, but is best described as an analytic construct, as a globalized order in which we will deal specifically with one facet: art practices, styles, artists, institutions, exhibitions.
As will become clear, the artworks under scrutiny cannot adequately be understood in isolation from the societies in which they were produced. We will examine how these artworks (and agents, institutions, practices) function within a global system that transcends national boundaries and link up with intercontinental systems of interaction between peoples. We will read and discuss the book and have presentations and discussions revolving around artworks and art practices that students are invited to introduce.

Course objectives

  • Students develop a basic understanding of contemporary art in its global connections to artistic and societal issues.

  • Students learn to know the basic questions to be addressed when analyzing contemporary art practices in a global perspective.

  • Students acquire the skills to apply relevant approaches when answering such questions.

  • Students learn to understand how art is part of and functions within a contemporary, global art world which encompasses institutions (groupings of people), the art market, and the broad discourse on art.

  • Students develop a sense of the dynamics of art on a global scale.


For further details, see the timetable on the Arts, Media and Society website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours:

  • 24 hrs: Attending lectures (2 hrs weekly x 12 weeks, of which one excursion)

  • 70 hrs: studying the text and oral presentation (reading the texts, discussing them in class)

  • 16 hrs: Mid-term assignment

  • 30 hrs: Final paper

140 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral presentation of class assignment (20 %)

  • Written Midterm assignment (30 %)

  • Final paper (50 %)

Compensation: The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for the final examination (or the main assignment) must be at least 6.0 at (= a pass). The mark for all other constituent examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). However, it is possible to compensate for one constituent examination a 5.0 (but not a mark lower than 5.0) with the grade of another constituent examination which has the same weight in the average as the constituent examination it compensates.

Resit: A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Exam review: How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

The papers will be discussed with the students


Blackboard will be used for information, announcements, assignments and posting of materials (texts, PowerPoints).

Reading list

  • Jonathan Harris (ed.), Globalization and Contemporary Art. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell 2011 ISBN978-1-4051-7950-8 Ca. € 35 to order via Amazon, Bol, Book depository etc.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof. dr. C.J.M. (Kitty) Zijlmans