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Framing AMS Case Studies


Admission requirements

The following course needs to be passed:

  • AMS on Site


This course will provide the basis for students to develop an ability to make an informed and motivated choice about their research approach and method. By becoming acquainted with and by trying out different methodologies and methods they discover how this impacts yielded insights and results. The course will be aimed at developing an awareness of how methods and theories “frame” a case study and can bring into focus, delimit, and omit information, considerations and decisions. During year 1 and 2 AMS students have already been introduced to numerous case-studies and methodological approaches bespoke to art, artifacts, media, writings, and other materials. They also have become familiar with the gestures, actions, and logic of exhibition spaces. In “Framing Cases” students will be presented with case-studies selected by different teachers who will then discuss how they are approached from a specific perspective. Furthermore, learning from such so-called best practices, each student will select a case study themselves, and will then make and informed and motivated choice, drawing from the different methodological techniques that they have been introduced to in this course and throughout their study. They will thus develop the methodological awareness necessary for writing their thesis.

Anne D’Alleva’s Methods & Theories of Art History (2012) will introduce the students to the main critical theories and methods used in analyzing artworks/objects. Each week will be structured around a specific section or chapter of D’Alleva’s book, and will be complemented with additional sources which provide more insight into the issues raised by the author.

Course objectives


  • To prepare for writing the final thesis in the second semester

  • To learn how to ‘frame’ cases or objects

  • To learn how to motivate the relation between research question, object of study and methodology

  • To creatively engage with case studies and related materials

  • To practice skills of (inter)disciplinary methods


See the timetable on the Arts, Media and Society website

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Group work

  • Blog posts (groups)

Course Load

Course load in summary: 5 ects (140 hrs)

  • 20 hours: Attendance seminars: 2 hrs weekly x 10 weeks

  • 20 hours: Preparations in groups outside classroom hours

  • 60 hours: Required readings (approx. 280 pages à 7 pages/hr)

  • 5 hours: Blog posts

  • 35 hours: Final essay (individual)

140 hours

Assessment method

  • Three midterm assignments (40%)

  • Final paper (60 %)


After the second class, you are asked to select an artwork/object to which you will return repeatedly during the rest of the course. You’ll be assigned three small papers (500 words) in which you use one specific method or theory to interpret the work of art/object that you have chosen to study for the entire semester. By so doing, you’ll become acquainted with looking at the same work through a variety of lenses.

For your final paper, you are asked to formulate an ingenious research question in relation to the same work. Here you could further develop one of the issues raised in the shorter papers.


The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The mark for the final examination (or the main assignment) must be at least 6.0 at (= a pass). The mark for all other constituent examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). However, it is possible to compensate for one constituent examination a 5.0 (but not a mark lower than 5.0) with the grade of another constituent examination which has the same weight in the average as the constituent examination it compensates.


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.

Inspection and feedback

Inspection and feedback: 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 to make course materials accessible.

Reading list

Assigned Literature:

  • Anne D’Alleva, Methods and Theories of Art History, London: Laurence King Publishing, 2012.

  • Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard or made available at the library

For further orientation:

  • Fernie, Eric, ed., Art History and its Methods, London and New York: Phaidon, 1995.

  • Hatt, Michael and Klonk, Charlotte. Art history: a critical introduction to its methods, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2006.

  • Donald Preziosi, ed., The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


S. Noach MA

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