nl en

Cultural Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


One often hears the complaint that ‘cultural differences’ stand in the way of a frictionless communication between nations, and that they complicate processes of political, diplomatic and commercial negotiations. But what do we mean when we talk about cultural differences? More broadly, what exactly is culture, and what would it mean to truly understand a culture? This course introduces participants to several theoretical and historical approaches to culture and cultural representations. The assumption behind the course is that cultures are never monolithic; there are always differentiation in culture itself, for example tensions between mass and elite or between high art and lowbrow entertainment. The course focuses on the present situation. Special emphasis will be on the relation of culture to language, economics, politics and society.

By the end of the course participants have a broad knowledge of important theoretical and historical approaches to culture. They are able to use these approaches to culture to understand our own time (with a specific focus on the relation between culture economics, politics and society).

Course objectives

Students will

  • learn to understand culture as a dynamic field;

  • gain insight in current discussions in the field of cultural studies;

  • learn to apply concepts and methods developed in these fields in their analyses of cultural phenomena;

  • develop the cultural-analytical skills.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load is 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours, broken down as follows:

  • Attendance in Weekly Lectures and Bi-Weekly Tutorials: 36 hours

  • Time for Reading/Studying Compulsory Literature: 54 hours

  • Time for Preparing Tutorial Assignments: 30 hours

  • Time for Reviewing/Preparing for Exams: 20 hours

Assessment method

  • Final Exam (50%);

  • Midterm (20%);

  • Writing Assignments and Presentations (30%).

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Chris Barker, Cultural Studies; Theory and Practice (Fourth Edition) (London: Sage, 2012);

  • Additional selected readings are available from Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Hum – OSZ Cultural Studies