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Media and Culture 1


Admission requirements

This course forms the basis of the MA specialisation Media, Material and Visual Culture.
Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can take part in this course.

Description / Course objectives

The course Media and Material Culture explores questions regarding the circulation of media, objects and technologies, the economic and political infrastructures and conditions thereof, their inflection within everyday lifeworlds, and the ideological understandings of diverse forms and processes that turn them into one thing in one place and something different in another. We are interested in the ways in which images, sounds, objects, and more abstract forms of circulation inform and shape forms of embodiment, sensory perception and experience, more broadly conceived. How do media form part and parcel of social movements and cultural and political practice, including that of today’s heritage politics? What role do new, allegedly democratizing media technologies play in providing access to some while excluding others? What kind of ‘worlds’ are conjured via commodity displays in such settings as museums, malls, internet sites, or city streets? Of interest, too, are the publics called forth by diverse mediations as well as the constraints—ideological, cultural, political, economic, financial, governmental, technological—that contour the possibilities and effects of such forms in particular places and times.


Time: October 9 – November 1, 2012
Tuesdays 10-13 h and Thursdays 15-18 h

Location: Pieter de la Court Building (Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden)

  • Tuesdays October 9, 16 and 23 – room 1A03

  • Tuesday October 30 – room 5A41

  • Thursdays October 11, 18 and 25 – room 1A37

  • Thursday November 1 – room SA37

Mode of instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures (Tuesdays) 4 × 3 h / 12 hours (18 sbu)

  • Group discussions (Thursdays) 3 hours (6 sbu)

  • Study of literature (80 sbu)

  • Museum visits (8 sbu) and museum assignment (28 sbu)

Assesment method

  • active student participation is expected

  • 3 weekly assignments (AQCIs), of which one may be missed or a fail, (no re-do’s permitted)

  • two museum visits

  • one museum assignment (2/3 pages)


Blackboard will be used to post the assignments and other course related information.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.


Registration for the MA electives will be possble in September 2012 at the Secretariate of the Institute CA-DS (room 3A19, Pieter de la Court building) as well as on Blackboard.