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Big Media


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History.


This course aims to provide an introduction to the development, transformations, and cultural functions of major media in western contemporary society. Media like the visual arts, literature, television, games, photography, cinema, the Internet, and social media, can all be viewed as major media in western contemporary society. In this course we will discuss the changing landscape in which such media can be situated. We will examine how changes, continuities and convergences of media use, determines our notions of art, (popular) culture, and aesthetics, and how these changes colour the social, political, and cultural role of these media.

Course objectives

  • Students become familiar with the major forms and technical and physical characteristics of media such as books, cinema, television, and digital media.

  • Students become acquainted with and able to make use of the main introductory texts on the topic of the theory and function of media in society.

  • Students develop an understanding of what the main cross-media themes are in the study of media and acquiring knowledge of how these themes can be contextualized.

  • Students learn to understand on a general level the social and cultural implications of the introduction and advance of (new) media.


Please note: for the final schedule refer to Collegeroosters / Timetable BA Art History and AMS

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture series

Course Load

Course load in summary: 5 ects (140 hrs)

  • 24 hours: Attendance of the lectures: 4 hrs weekly x 6 weeks

  • 24 hours: Lecture preparations

  • 40 hours: Required readings (approx. 280 pages à 7 pages/hrs)

  • 18 hours: Preparing 1st exam

  • 34 hours: Preparation of a final written exam —
    140 hrs

Assessment method

  • Midterm exam (30%): multiple choice.

  • Final exam (70%): written exam with open questions.

Compensation: The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The individual constituent examinations must be passed.

Resit: A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

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 to make course materials accessible.

Reading list

A selection of articles and book chapters (to be announced).


Via uSis.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Prof. dr. S. (Sybille) Lammes

Or send an e-mail to the study coordinator of the BA Art History / Arts, Media and Society

Arts, Media and Society student administration, Huizinga Building (Doelensteeg 16), room 1. Tel. 071 5272687;