Propedeuse in the Humanities
Memory is not what is used to be. The location, the texture, the accessibility of memory and heritage are altering rapidly in the digital age. What does it mean to enter institutional archives for example museum or video- archives at home, online? And what does it mean for museums to have more and more demand for digital framing of their collection? All these tie into an overarching question: what happens to archival practices, when the nature of our everyday media becomes archival in itself?
The digital turn has enormous implications for the future of our past. How will we select, preserve and store our cultural heritage for future generations? The nearly unlimited capacity for storage of visual, aural and discursive material means that the character of heritage will never be the same. In this course, we will pose and theoretically frame some fundamental questions about these changes.
This is a course in two parts. In the first half, we will focus specifically on digital heritage and new media archives. Focusing on post-war and conflict situations specifically, we will analyze the affordances and constraints of new media archives and collections. The course will focus in this part on international case studies, from Rwanda to Poland, and familiarize you with the relevant theoretical and methodological approaches to research such digital forms of heritage.
In the second part we will focus on the collection, presentation, conservation and management of tangible cultural heritage. The emphasis will be on the development of the museum and on architectural, social and theoretical issues concerning contemporary museums and museum presentations. We will discuss the gains and losses of digitizing, speak with researchers and practicioners from the field, and envision new types of heritage collections.
Having knowledge of the basic characteristics, affordances and restraints of the new media of the 20th and 21st century. Being able to apply this knowledge to analyze usage, accessibility and framing of heritage
Being able to distinguish the most important types of collections in various museums, archives, monuments, and heritage sites and identify similarities and differences.
Knowing why and in what ways individuals and institutions have collected cultural objects and have established heritage collections.
Basic knowledge of the ways in which heritage collections in the course of time have been made accessible to various audiences.
Being able to classify, characterize and analyse heritage collections.
Being able to identify and understand crucial historical and contemporary museum practices and debates.
Being able to understand and conceive of novel ways to curate heritage collections through various digital forms
The timetable website
Mode of instruction
Tutoring: 28 hours
Literature-study: 52 hours
Writing of the final paper: 32 hours
Excursion: 8 hours
Weekly tasks: 20 hours
Weekly Tasks (quality + deadline keeping): 25%.
(Weekly tasks consist of small 300-400 words assignments on a continuous case study (student- chosen) to be submitted 48 (working) hours before class. Those will last for the first 6 weeks of the course.)
Group assignment: 25%
Final paper 50%
The paper will follow an arumentative essay structure, on a topic proposed by the student and agreed by the instructor, in relation to either:
1. A specific media practice OR
2. A specific museum exhibit / art installation OR
3. A corpora of archival materials
The essays will be graded on a standard 1-10 scale, via the following criteria:
Comprehension: How well does the paper reflect the understanding of the material, is the proper literature used, are additional sources present.
Argumentation: The logic and viability of the argument presented, the existence of an overall thread in the paper, lack of red herrings and other logical fallacies.
Structure: How well the paper is structured and the use of signposting.
Presentation: Clarity of writing, correct adherence to the style and reasonable paging.
Blackboard will be used for:
Uploading the reading material
Weekly assignment submission
The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.
There is no need to purchase these titels as they will be made available through the library.
1 New Media
Galloway, Networks, Critical Terms for Media Studies
Berry. Introduction. Critical Theory and the Digital
- Boyd and Crawford. Six Provocations for Big Data
3 Individuals and Memory
Stiegler. Memory .Critical Terms for Media Studies
Deleuze, Postscript on the Societies of Control
4 Media and Memory
Reading. Memory and Digital Media: Six Dynamics of the Globital Memory Field. New Media Memory.
Reading and Katriel. Introduction. Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggles
- Ash, The interface envelope Introduction + chapter 1.
- Pentzold et al. Digging Wikipedia
All assignments submitted
7 Materiality and Community of Heritage
- Guest Lecture: Tomomi Fushiya + literature TBA
8 Spaces and Heritage
- Flynn. The Morphology of Space in Virtual Heritage. Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage
9 Video Games and cultural memory
- Guest lecture + Activity, Stephanie de Smale
10 Preservation and Remediation • Dellmann. Beyond and with the Object +
- Guest Lecture Sarah Dellmann
- Witcomb. The Materiality of Virtual Technologies. Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage
- Excursion to the Leiden library, special collections.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte
For questions about the content of this course please contact dr. A. Gekker
For practical matters please contact the secetarial office Opleiding Nederlandse taal en cultuur/neerlandistiek. This is located at Departmental office P.N. van Eyckhof 4, first floor room 101A. Tel. 071-527 2604.