Topics in 21st Century Culture
Full course description
This joint module provides insight into the various ways in which cultural scientists are active in society, both theoretically and practically. Against the background of major shifts in the ‘knowledge society’, the ‘creative society’, and the ‘society of citizens’, and focusing on concrete examples, students will learn about patterns and mechanisms of cultural production and reproduction. Using concepts, theories and research tools from various disciplinary backgrounds such as philosophy, literary theory, cultural and social studies and history, students are invited to critically examine and evaluate claims of renewal and innovation, which are always set against a background of received or disputed tradition, and to place these claims in a wider social and historical context. This module combines various methods, such as tutorial group meetings, skills trainings and master meetings. The skills training is focused on the learning of academic competences that students need when they enter the worlds of art, science and politics. Apart from the theoretical insights of a general nature, students are stimulated to develop their own intellectual interests and to find out what possible research topics and/or practical settings are which they want to develop in the course of the master.
Upon completion of the course students are able to
- identify and describe topical claims and debates on innovation and renewal in the knowledge society (the field of the arts and politics), the creative society (the arts), and the society of citizens (politics)
- situate, historicize, and compare these claims and debates and analyse them within the framework of cultural (re)production, as conventions and traditions that are invented, changed, used, maintained, and rearranged
- demonstrate knowledge via analysis about theories and concepts from philosophy, sociology, literary studies, and history, that explain different patterns and mechanisms of cultural production as reproduction
- select and combine theories, concepts, and methods for analysing cases of cultural (re)production.
Boym, S. (2001), The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books.
Eagleton, T. (2016), Culture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Hobsbawm, E. and Ranger, T. (Eds.), The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Koenis, S. (2014), Voices of the People. Pluralism in Dutch Politics (1994-2014). Amsterdam: VU University Press.
Williams, R. (1983), Keywords. A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (Second Edition). New York: Oxford University Press.