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Art & Diversity: Contemporary Art




Admissions requirements

Students need to have taken the course What is culture?


Ever since the beginning of our species, humans have been making art. Although the functions and forms of these works have varied widely over the centuries, they all provide representations of and ideas about the world and human nature. As such, art can help us look at complicated issues of human interaction and diversity in new and critical ways.

The aim of this course is twofold. The first aim will be to provide an introduction into the art of the contemporary period. We will look at and discuss a wide range of artists and artworks, ordered thematically. For those of you who would like to know more about art history (of the contemporary period), a brief introduction into its theories, methods and objects of study, this can serve as a good start.

However, the course is emphatically not just meant to be an art historical overview. The second aim, therefore, is to introduce and discuss a range of theoretical perspectives, focused on the understanding of human diversity. This will extend the realm of art and address our understanding of culture in a wider sense. These theories will be explained and discussed using artworks, but will serve you in your future studies of human diversity, cultural media and cultural interaction.

We will build on the topics discussed in What is culture? and will extend the theoretical framework provided there. Overlap with What is culture? will be avoided and the content of that course is therefore assumed to be prior knowledge. Each week will be focused on a different topic; we will read a selection of texts that have been influential in studying these topics and will discuss these by analyzing artworks which critically question the topic.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course students will:

  • be acquainted with a range of influential contemporary artists and artworks discussed in the course

  • be able to analyze a contemporary artwork (at a basic level)

  • have a critical understanding of the cultural themes concerning diversity, as discussed in the course, and be able to discuss these at an academic level

  • be able to set out an analysis of an artwork in an academic essay


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught through lectures and seminars, combining introductions on all topics and reading material by the lecturer with group discussions and student presentations on case studies and individual research. Furthermore, we will schedule a museum visit, if possible to Museum Voorlinden.


  • participation in class discussions: 15%

  • group presentation: 15%

  • mid-term assignment: 15%

  • weekly webposts: 15%

  • final essay (2000 words): 40%


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

Assigned readings will be made available through Blackboard.


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