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Cinema: Avant-garde/Expanded Cinema (Stromingen 2)


Admission requirements



This course is the second in the stream of courses within the Film track of the BA Film and Literary Studies and is also a module for the pre-MA Film and Photography Studies. During this course we will connect and reflect on the continuities and discontinuities of the historical avant-gardes during the 1920s-1960s period, with later political film, video, televisual, and digital practices in the “expanded” the field of media. The course will therefore combine a historical and theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of avant-garde and expanded cinema. Following a chronological timelines from the interwar period until today, we will cover movements and experiments with media such as Russian Montage, constructivism, Dada, American underground, and the complex interactions between different media practices, such as Hollywood cinema, independent film, cable television, and video art, on a local and global scale. We shall consider several film practices that deviate from the standard format of commercial movies and are presented elsewhere than in a regular cinema: the museum, the street and in our living rooms.
Alongside this chronology we will consider the ways in which technological, political, and social developments influence and cross-pollinate with these aesthetic movements and screen cultures. The frameworks of modernism, modernity, and modernization, and the ‘post’ conditions will guide our study. Other subtopics covered will include technological reproducibility, mass culture, liveness, surveillance, and changing experiences of time and space.
The course will include an excursion to the Amsterdam Film Museum Eye, or other installation or multi-screen film experience.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  • have acquired knowledge of the most important developments within the avant-garde cinemas of the 1920s until today including multi-media practices;

  • have gained insight in the interweaving of diverse media practices and image technologies within recent historical and contemporary visual culture;

  • have acquired knowledge of the most important theories in this field of research;

  • be able to identify, describe and interpret the most important forms of filmic avant-garde and multi-media practice since the 1920s


The timetable is available on the website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load: 140 hours
Lectures: 26 hours
Self-study: 114 hours
Exam(s): 4 hours

Assessment method



Film program curation and promotion assignment (essay) (30%)
Key terms in expanded field (final paper) (70%)
Final Paper (70%)


The curation essay cannot be re-taken.

inspection and feedback

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 have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for announcements, providing literature and other study materials, peer-review, plagiarism control, and weekly assignments.

Reading list


Enrolment through uSis for classes, exams and final mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Choose from the options below:
Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs
Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher Dr. J.A. Ross

Student administration: Van Wijkplaats
Coordinator of studies: ms. drs. E.M.T.Poolman


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies.