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Media Worlds



Only the following categories of students can register for this course:

  • Students enrolled for the Bachelor's programme “CA-DS” at Leiden University

  • Students enrolled for the Minor CA-OS

  • Pre-master students who have completed their Admission procedure for the master CA-DS and have been formally admitted to this course as part of the pre-master programme.

  • Contract students who in order to be enrolled need to complete the procedure as described on the Faculty's website.


This course addresses the mediation of anthropological knowledge. What does it mean to use media to gather, process and present anthropological knowledge? How do anthropologists communicate with images and objects? If print capitalism served as a major step to ‘imagine communities’, and if mechanical reproduction marks a watershed in our capacity to relate to artwork, what do digital communication and social networks mean for contemporary anthropological knowledge and ethnographic practice?
The lectures, excursions and assignments serve as an introduction to visual methodology and material culture, which form part of the signature methodology of the institute. Guest lectures introduce students to the work that Leiden anthropologists and collaborating institutions are doing today.

The lessons will focus on:
a) the history of ethnographic film, photography, and sound;
b) the collecting practices and material culture in the museum;
c) the idea of the field as a source of knowledge for anthropology and other sciences;
d) the decolonization and expanding critical practices of more contemporary anthropologies; and
e) the kinds of interventions and engagements shaped by our understandings of the future.

Course Objectives

In this course the students will:
1. become acquainted with different forms of media and representations;
2. gain a broad orientation on the subdisciplines of material culture, media anthropology, visual anthropology, sensory ethnography, and digital ethnography;
3. relate this theoretical and methodological perspectives to concrete case studies within anthropology;
4. learn to critically reflect on the fact that all knowledge is mediated, on the ubiquity of media and how to approach it from an anthropological perspective and analysis.

Time Table

Please see our website

Mode of Instruction

5 EC = 140 study hours (sbu)

  • lectures 14x 2 hours (42 sbu)

  • study of literature

  • group assignment

  • excursions

Assessment Method

  • Test covering first three weeks (Multiple choice & short essay) (30%)

  • Multimodal Group Assignment due 20 March (30%)

  • Final Exam covering entire course (Multiple choice & short essay) (40%)

Only the final grade is being registered in Usis.

Enrollment in Usis for the the test and the exam is obligatory and is possible up to 10 days before they take place. More about exam enrolment:

Course and exam enrolment

Usis enrolment for the lecture series and the exam is obligatory: Please follow the deadlines and procedures as described on the website


Blackboard will be used to make information and assignments available. Registration on Blackboard is obligatory for all participants.

Reading List



Zane Kripe Mark Westmoreland - coordinator