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Medieval/Early Modern studies: Imaginary Spaces


Admission requirements

Not applicable


Medieval and early modern art and literature show events taking place in imagined or imaginary rooms, gardens, castles, abbeys, and other architectural spaces.
Contemporary meditative practices and memory training made use of similar architectural devices.
This seminar explores the interconnectedness of the art of memory, and the visual and textual culture of the late medieval and early modern period.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge and training
    Students will be introduced to recent scholarly work on the interconnectedness of literary and art-historical approaches to medieval and early modern culture and will be trained to use this work for interpretation and analysis of texts and images

  • Skills
    Students practice interpreting medieval and early modern imagery (both literary and visual) within contemporary cultural contexts


See the website of Literary Studies (research)

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Papers (70%), presentation (20%), discussion (10%)



Reading list

Mary Carruthers, The craft of thought : meditation, rhetoric, and the making of images, 400-1200. Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press, 1998 [paperback edition, 2000]
Francis Yates, The art of memory. London [etc.], 1966 [paperback editions since 2000]


Via uSis

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Geert Warnar

Marika Keblusek
071 5272360