Theories of Culture and Research

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2019/20
Vakcode LWR012M05
Vaknaam Theories of Culture and Research
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I a
Rooster >>>

Uitgebreide vaknaam Theories of Culture and Research in the Humanities
Leerdoelen Insight in the nature of culture, and in the implications thereof for the scientific and/or scholarly study of culture (theory, observation, (critical) interpretation).
Insight in the main scientific and critical/discursive approaches to culture, in the main critical debates, and in the interdisciplinary character of contemporary Humanities.
After completing this module the student should have an understanding of the nature of culture and should be able to systematically relate different research perspectives in the study of culture.
Omschrijving Culture is studied in the Humanities and it is studied in the Social Sciences and in Biology. Yet culture is conceived very differently within these major academic domains. During this course we will investigate what culture is, and how its nature accounts for the (many) different perspectives that can be chosen in approaching it scientifically. For many Humanities scholars the prevailing approach is still hermeneutics, which can roughly be defined as the method of systematic (and more or less critical) interpretation. For many others, especially those working on culture in terms of fields and institutions, or mental processes, Social Science approaches are sometimes more evident, with their combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Yet especially qualitative methods in the social sciences are more akin to the interpretative methods of the humanities than one might expect. The boundaries are not always, therefore, so easy to draw. We will analyze a number of approaches and inquire after the epistemological assumptions. How do they think about the nature of culture (media, the arts), about science (theory, concepts, observation), and what is their aim: what do they want to achieve? What are their main assumptions and procedures? What is, besides their epistemological orientation, their position regarding academic research in the field of culture?
Uren per week 3
Toetsvorm actieve participatie, essay, opdrachten
(active participation in class (10%), 2 assignments (2 x 25%); critical, comparative essay on one or more theoretical/methodological approaches in the study of culture (40%).)
Vaksoort master
Docent(en) prof. dr. B.P. van Heusden
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
reader tba
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
ReMa Kunst- en Cultuurwetenschappen / Arts and Culture  (ReMa Arts, Media and Literary Studies) 1 semester I a verplicht
ReMa Letterkunde / Literary Studies  ( ReMa Literary and Cultural Studies) 1 semester I a verplicht