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Interculturality 2: The Global Imagination


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


How to come to terms with the mind-boggling diversity of the visual and verbal arts of globalisation?
This course invites students from various disciplinary backgrounds to participate – on a professional level – in the passionate but complex academic discourses that address these intriguing arts. Taking important essays from leading journals in the field of critical/cultural studies (Third Text, Parallax, Callaloo) as your point of departure, you will learn to differentiate the varying discourses on different artistic and literary case studies (ranging from the relation between African traditional art, anthropology and surrealism to literary strategies of remembering the Middle Passage).

In three-hour seminars, each dedicated to a specific case study, we will combine a close-reading of an essay from one of the journals with the discussion of several texts that offer ways to frame the cultural objects under discussion. More in general we will reflect on questions such as: Do the contributions to Third Text, Parallax and Callaloo succeed in addressing the complex cultural realities that emerge when different worldviews meet, and the challenge this poses to Euro- and ethnocentric aesthetic criteria, as is stated in, for example, Third Text’s Editorial? To what extent is the global debate on art shaped by poststructural theories? To what extent may alternative approaches, inspired by local practices, also be productive? Which theoretical discourses respond to the agendas of the artists, writers, thinkers and activists in the less privileged regions of the world?

In addition, we will explore what happens when we read a work of art within a regional, a national, a transnational or a global framework. Why do some critics insist that works of art express a well-defined cultural identity, while others criticize the notion of cultural identity in art theory? How should we understand the tensions between the materialist and -culturalist approaches to the global imagination?
To answer these questions, two teachers (specialized in literature and art, respectively) will offer you the insights and information needed to contextualize the art and cultural objects under discussion. In addition, they will offer historical and theoretical reflections to create an understanding of the issues that are at stake in debates about the arts of globalisation.

We hope to welcome you not as listeners, but as young researchers-to-be. You are expected to participate actively by contributing to the debate, preparing a class presentation, writing short responses to assignments, and by producing a final paper or artistic response to the issues that are explored during the course.

Course objectives

  • Students will have obtained a thorough insight in the contemporary debates on the art produced in the era of globalization;

  • Students will have a sharp insight in the different theoretical approaches that play a role in the contemporary art theory, literary theory, cultural analysis, postcolonial theory, etc. that address the arts of globalization, e.g. psychoanalytical, phenomenological, Deleuzian/new materialist, and Marxist-inspired approaches;

  • On the one hand, students will have learnt to problematize these approaches; on the other hand, they are able to recognize and produce productive research questions;

  • Students have become acquainted with some important contemporary art works that intervene in the debates on interculturality and globalization;

  • Students are able to initiate and carry out a modest research project on a particular art work, in which they frame their own reading explicitly, and situate themselves critically within the contemporary scholarly and artistic debates.


The timetable is available on the Arts and Culture and the Resma Literary Studies website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

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.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Classes 13 × 3: 39 hours;

  • Preparation classes: 41 hours;

  • Two assignments: 100 hours;

  • Final paper: 100 hours.

Assessment method

  • Two assignments;

  • Final Paper.

ResMa students that take this course will write a paper that reflects the demands of the Research Master.
That is, they will have to formulate more complex and original research questions than the MA students, include a critical positioning towards the state of the art of its subject, and produce a longer paper (5000 words including bibliography instead of 4000 words).


  • Two assignments (30%);

  • Final Paper (70%).

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the final paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.


  • Please note that if you do not hand in your essay before the first deadline, your essay will be considered as the resit.

  • For the time tables exams 2017-2018 see; Timetable

Exam review

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.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Information students

  • Post assignments

  • Texts, visual material

Reading list

A range of articles from Third Text, Parallax and Callaloo; additional articles as referenced in these articles.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact information

Dr. E. Minnaard
Prof.dr. C.J.M. Zijlmans
Administrations Office Huizinga


This course is paramount for the understanding of the complex discourse regarding arts and culture in a world of globalization, artistic practices and its discussions.