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Seminar BA2: Seeing Time: The Temporality of the Image


Admission requirements

The following courses need to be passed:

  • Freshman's Class

  • Academic Skills II


A photograph is often characterized as a snapshot, a mechanical representation of what happened to the camera for a fraction of a second. But photography appears to contain many more interesting reflections on time. While a photograph can capture the stillness of the photographed subject, manifesting the immutability of time in the photo, it can also create the illusion of motion when it deals with a moving subject, or when it creates a dynamic narrative in a photo series. Focusing on the concept of time in photo-based images, this course asks: what are the temporal aspects of photography and how do they deal with the memoirs of the past? For instance, what happens to the experience of time of the spectator when looking at photo series, slide shows, and moving photos ('photo-film')? And how do these experiences differ from each other? Moreover, since photographs are also important as original objects that carry histories, in this course we also make use of the famous photo collection of Leiden University.

Course objectives

  • Students learn about different manifestations of time in photography;

  • Students learn how to contextualise and summarise a current photographic debate in academic discourse;

  • Students will identify the divergences and convergences of photography with other media;

  • Students learn how to critically make use of academic skills material provided for second-year BA students;

  • Students learn to prepare and present a visually supported presentation and learn to respond effectively to questions and comments from the lecturer and fellow students;

  • Students learn to write an associated, clearly formulated piece of work of approximately 3000 words, excluding notes and literature;

  • Students become familiar with the photography collection of Leiden University.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursions

Assessment method


  • Oral presentation: a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation about own research

  • Research proposal as midterm exam

  • Final paper: circa 3000 words, excluding notes and bibliography


  • Oral presentation: 15%

  • Research proposal as midterm exam: 15%

  • Final paper: 70%


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.

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.

Reading list

Literature will be announced on Brightspace prior to the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal