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Analyzing Visual & Textual Cultures




Admissions requirements

What is Culture or Art of Reading, or permission of instructor


In this class the interrelationship between images and key notions related to texts, such as their production, transmission, reception, and regulation are highlighted, focusing on visual and textual culture between 1000 and 1700. Classes will highlight fruitful methods and approaches which can also be used for other time periods.

Each week students will be introduced to a particular object that will be gauged from both a visual and textual point of view, including the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, abbot Suger’s visionary design of the ambulatory at St Denis, and Jan Steen’s theatrical concept of genre painting. The emphasis is on class discussion, based on a critical analysis of images and text-related concepts.

Course objectives

  • To develop a critical understanding of the interconnectivity between visual and textual culture.

  • To apply methods and approaches in the assessment of visual and textual culture

  • To introduce students to European visual and textual culture between 1000 and 1700.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Discussion seminars devoted to weekly topics, which are introduced by short lectures. Students help determine the discussion topics as well as the subject of the last week of class. In addition, students will be asked to do a group presentation. Excursions to the Mauritshuis and the Royal Library (KB) are planned.


Participation and attentiveness in classroom discussions and submitting discussion questions will be worth 10% of the overall course grade. This will be assessed throughout the course, and is meant to encourage constructive and active engagement with course materials and fellow students.

Portfolio: critical summaries of seven articles, 1500 words in total due before week 8, will be worth 30% of the overall course grade. These will help to assess the capacity to articulate questions, concepts, and arguments based on individual engagement with course readings.

Group presentation/debate exercise: in week 8, will be worth 20% of the overall course grade. At an early stage of the course, students select a subject related to the central theme of the course. They analyze relevant sources and secondary literature and present their findings in small groups during the final week of the course.

One final paper (2500 words, due at the end of week 8) will be worth 40% of the overall course grade. This will encourage analysis of concepts covered throughout the course, and force students to express their ideas clearly and organize them coherently.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

No books need to be purchased.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Convener: Ann Wilson
Lecturers: Dr. M.E.W. (Marion) Boers & Dr. F. (Erik) Kwakkel