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Core Course I: Critical Perspectives in Art History and Museum Studies


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Arts and Culture: Museum Studies / Art History, research master Arts and Culture, research master Arts, Literature and Media.

Students of the Humanities faculty who are interested and who are not enrolled in the Master Arts and Culture should contact the Coordinator of Studies in order to enroll, only possible if there are places left.


This course provides an opportunity to engage with the critical terms and perspectives that shape the discourse in museum studies, both in relation to art history, archaeology, and anthropology. How do terms such as provenance, restitution, posthumanism, interculturality and globalization (to name but a few) inform theories of interpretation and exhibition, as well as strategies for engaging artworks and cultural artifacts? Students will reflect critically on the role of collections, institutions in society, and diverse modes of historical inquiry.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Acquire insight into a variety of theories, debates, and practices in Art History and Museum Studies;

  • Analyse and understand various scholarly positions and their consequences for the meanings and agency of art works and their display;

  • Position oneself in relation to these;

  • Develop skills in oral presentation while defending viewpoints and arguments with regard to art works and their display in museums, galleries, exhibitions, etc.;

  • Present an analytical scholarly paper related to the course objectives.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture and seminar course with analysis and discussion of readings.
    Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the MA Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Assessment method



  • Presentation;

  • Paper
    ResMa students taking this course will write a paper that reflects the demands of the Research Master. That is, they will have to formulate a more complex and original research question and include a critical positioning towards the state of the art of its subject.


  • Presentation (20%);

  • Paper (80%)

The final grade is established by determination of the weighted average and should be a 6.0 or higher. Marks under 5.0 for the paper are not allowed.


Re-examination via the paper.
For the time tables exams 2022-2023 see; Timetable

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

See Brightspace.


Enrolment through My Studymap Login | Universiteit Leiden is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


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

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


All other information.