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Seminar BA2: Photography and Film: from Snapshot to Photo Film


Admission requirements

For this seminar, the admission requirement is the successful completion of the three foundation year tutorials. External students must be able to demonstrate comparable study performance


A photograph is often characterized as a snapshot, a mechanical representation of what happened to the camera for a fraction of a second. But photography appears to contain many more interesting reflections on time. Focusing on the concept of time in photography, this course asks: How does a photo relate to our memories of the past? What happens to the experience of time of the spectator when looking at photo series, slide shows, and moving photos ('photo film')? And how do these experiences differ from each other?

Moreover, since photographs are also important as original objects that carry histories, in this course we also make use of the famous photo collection of our university.

Course objectives

  • Students learn to understand the position of photography in the art world.

  • Students become familiar with the most important theories about time issues in photography.

  • Students learn to analyse and discuss the discipline of photography within art history together with colleagues (fellow students).

  • Students learn to elaborate a self-selected question in detail and thereby to draw up an appropriate bibliography at an early stage.

  • Students learn to prepare and present two visually supported resp. 2- and 5-minute reports on this question, and learn to respond effectively to questions and comments from the lecturer and fellow students.

  • Students learn to write an associated, clearly formulated piece of work of approximately 3000 words, excluding notes and literature.

  • Students become familiar with the photography collection of Leiden University.


For further details see the timetable of Arts Media and Society

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • 24 hours: Attend lectures (12 x 2 hours)

  • 16 hours: Preparation of classes

  • 40 hours: Reading literature

  • 50 hours: Making assignments

  • 10 hours: Preparing presentations


Assessment method

  • Participating in discussions and preparing classes (compulsory part).

  • Oral presentation (10%): twee presentations of, respectively, 2 and 5 minutes (incl. PowerPoint-presentation) about own research plans.

  • Research proposal as midterm-exam (20%)

  • Paper (70%) of circa 3000 words excl. notes and list of literature (= ca. 12 pages).

Feedback: Each paper will be discussed individually within a few weeks after the due date of the submission of the papers.

Compensation: The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). Grades lower than 5.0 for assignments are not allowed.

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 be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • announcements, schedule, assignments, PowerPoints of lectures, discussion board, required reading

Reading list

  • The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

  • Required readings will be uploaded in Blackboard or can be found on a marked shelf in the Photography library in the Special Collections Department of the university library.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. S.A. Shobeiri