Factsheet Master in Arts and Society

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A R T S A N D SO C I E T Y Dear students, It is with great excitement that we welcome you to the Master of Arts programme in Arts and Society at Utrecht University. We believe that the diverse, international cohort of incoming masters students offers a great and much needed platform to discuss the changes and the challenges both the arts and society are going through at the moment. The MA in Arts and Society at Utrecht was designed to meet a growing global demand for professionals who are capable of combining a firm belief in the value of arts and culture with a deep understanding of the social processes underlying these vital areas of human life in the twenty-first century. Arts and Society marries rigorous theoretical training with practical orientation in the current state of the arts and culture sectors locally, regionally, and globally.


With intensive teaching modules, research training, a local, regional or global internship, and a master’s thesis, the programme engages with a wide possible variety of arts practices, practitioners, institutions and agents, spanning fine arts, performing arts, museums, festivals, material and intangible cultural heritage, as well as alternative or ‘underground’ arts practices and movements. And on top of the time we spend in the classroom, we will work on creating a close community through extracurricular activities and meetups. We have no doubt that you will find the program not only intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling, but that you will also grow and flourish as a scholar in the stimulating academic environment of Utrecht University. In this Factsheet, you will find information about the ideology of the programme, the structure, and the lecturers. It also includes tips about accommodation and transport, in order to help you find your way in Utrecht. Please read this information carefully and feel free to approach us at any time for further information or clarification. We look forward to meeting you, to the formation of our Arts and Society community, and to an inspired year!

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Evelyn Wan

D O Y O U W A N T T O P A R T I C I P AT E ?



There are several ways that you as a students can actively participate in the MA Arts & Society: Firstly, we need one student (Dutch-speaking) to represent the programme in the Board of Studies. This board takes the lead in the evaluation of both the individual modules and the programme as a whole, by organizing the yearly educational dialogue between lecturers and students and quarterly board meetings about the course evaluations. Secondly, we would like you to actively participate in the organization of a series of group sessions about topics that students themselves value. For example, we can talk about future job prospects, or invite guest speakers to debate current issues that occupy the art world. Thirdly, we are encouraging the participation in several peer-to-peer initiatives, e.g. during the thesis and internship trajectory. After an introduction on the method (e.g. intervision), students can independently provide feedback to one another that can serve as an addition to the feedback provided by the lecturers.




D R . R I C K D O L P H I J N has an

D R . A K I N H U B B A R D designed

D R . T O I N E M I N N A E R T focuses

interest in transdisciplinary

and taught courses at Harvard

on cultural policy and politics,

research at large. He published

and New York universities on

and more specifically on the

widely on continental philosophy

media and globalisation, avant-

relationship between national

(Gilles Deleuze and Michel

garde aesthetics, cinema, queer

and cultural identity and their

Serres) and the contemporary

studies, urban arts and

influence on national,

arts. He studies posthumanism,

experimental ethnography. His

international and transnational

new materialism, material

courses merge the study of

cultural policy. He lectures on

culture (food studies), and

cultural texts, mediascapes and

institutional programming, the


ethnographic data, bringing

structure of the cultural field,

perspectives on fine arts, music,

and comparative cultural policy


film, media and literature into dialogue with cultural theory and globalisation studies.




D R . E V E L Y N W A N is a

researches the emerging

researcher in the domain of

phenomenon of 'techno-fashion':

computation and digital culture,

garments that fuse technological

specialising in cultural theory

functionalities with the aesthetic,

such as biopolitics, affect,

expressive, critical, and

posthumanism, gender, queer,

communicative roles of fashion.

and postcolonialism. Also, she is

She lectures a variety of topics,

a performance artist specialising

including fashion, technology

in contemporary dance, contact

and culture, gender, visual

improvisation, urban dance, site-

culture and cultural theory.

specific work, and choreography.

STUDY ADVISOR Maaike Wouda is study advisor for students of the Arts and Society programme. You may contact her, among other things, for questions about the programme, illness and special circumstances, arrangements and procedures, personal conversation, complaints/objection/appeal and improving academic skills. https://students.uu.nl/en/hum/arts-and-society/contact/study-advisor



THIS PROGRAMME The programme is split up in two semesters (Sept-Jan & Feb-Jun). The first semester consists of five mandatory courses and one elective, offering a foundation that enables students to become progressively self-reliant. The second semester is dedicated to the MA thesis and the internship. In Researching Arts & Society I, the student is introduced in various methods and their suitability to conduct research within the domain of A&S. In Researching Arts & Society II students write their thesis proposal, supported by group discussions and (peer)-feedback sessions. In the courses Thinking Arts & Society and Curating Arts & Society a selection of concepts is explored in depth. The concepts are introduced through literature and group discussions, and are further developed and explored through a more applied approach. In Exploring Arts & Society, we engage in an active conversation with partners in the field, and explore various ways of mapping that field and its dimensions. The elective offered by A&S (Arts & Society: experimental fieldwork) focuses more exclusively on ethnographic research, exploring experimental forms of researching and reporting. Students can also choose another elective offered by the Department of Media and Culture Studies. The MA thesis is a scholarly text in which students are expected to contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within the field of arts and society. It should be structured around a central research question or issue that is clearly formulated and has a strong relevance to active scholarly discussions. The body of the thesis should include the methodology and theoretical frameworks employed, and your findings. In the conclusion, the findings are analysed in the light of the original question or issue and the broader implications of these findings are explained. The thesis has a length of about 15,000 words (including notes and bibliography), and will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second assessor. The internship allows the student to gain hands-on experience in a practice of his/her choice within the field of arts and society. Prior to the internship, students define their goals and intentions; during the internship, students engage in practical work and reflect on this engagement through journal entries and updates with their University supervisors; after the internship is complete, students reflect on their experience in a written report.

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY At the basis of the educational philosophy of A&S is the principle that we connect a thorough knowledge of the academic discourse with a translation into concrete art and culture practice, in which both theoretical concepts and concrete current themes can serve as a starting point. This is translated in assignments that emphasize the reflection on the work that has been done and the rather than testing of specific knowledge. We frequently work with portfolios that contain a collection of smaller assignments and reflections, and show the progress in thinking and writing. Also, we look for alternative ways of presenting the findings, e.g. in podcasts, curatorial statements and interactive group presentations.

THIS MASTER’S PROGRAMME AND OUR SOCIETY The name of the MA is a clear indication that the programme is very much connected to societal issues, both the role of the arts in society and the presence of society in the arts. This means we’re addressing a variety of current issues like urbanism, sustainability, datafication, and nationalism. In the courses, we connect these issues to specific artistic practices, both in the institutional and in the non-institutional context. The alumni of the MA are active in a variety of positions, national and international. Some have continued to their academic career as a Research Master student or in a PhD position. Others have started working for arts institutions , both small and large, e.g. as fundraiser, curator or policy advisor. Also, some have become active (again) as arts practitioners. We’re gradually building an online network to exchange ideas, activities and job opportunities.

COURSE PLANNER: You will find more information on this programme’s courses in the Course Planner: https://cursusplanner.uu.nl /english/study/AC-AASM-16

LEARNING OBJECTIVES After graduating from the MA Arts & Society, you will  have profound knowledge of and insight into the field of Arts and Society  have the academic skills to identify, formulate, analyse and suggest possible solutions to problems independently in the field of Arts and Society;  have the academic skill to conduct research on Arts and Society and report on it in a manner that meets the customary standards of the discipline;  possess professional and academic skills, and is able to apply knowledge and insight in a way that demonstrates a professional approach to his or her work or profession;  be able to communicate conclusions, as well as the underlying knowledge, grounds and considerations, to an audience composed of specialists or nonspecialists.


FACT! You can find your

New students students.uu.nl/hum-new Practical information for new students at the Humanities faculty.

timetable in the MyUU

Academic calendar students.uu.nl/hum-calendar Information about days off, course registrations and change-of-enrolment days. UU online Information about our online systems and how to log in: students.uu.nl/hum-online In need of a manual? IT manuals: https://manuals.uu.nl/en

REGISTRATION, PROCEDURES, INTERNSHIP INFO Student Information Desk Humanities students.uu.nl/hum-contact Programme related matters, such as • • • • Student Services students.uu.nl/en/contact/student-services Studying at Utrecht University in general: • • • • Internship coordinator students.uu.nl/hum-internshipcoordinator Information about: • •

grades, student card and portal and the MyUU app: students.uu.nl/en/myuu and students.uu.nl/en/ myuu-app FACT! In the second semester, you will have to register in Osiris for courses you wish to attend. If you want to switch courses, you can do so on the change-ofenrolment days before the start of the relevant block.

course registration course schedules study results & study progress (Osiris) graduation

FACT! Deadlines are always listed in the course syllabus, which your lecturer will provide approximately 2

registration as a UU student tuition fees elite athletes disability or chronic illness

weeks prior to the course’s ’start. FACT! If you need more information about specific

guidelines and procedures internship placements

aspects of your programme, e.g. internships or thesis, please see the Curriculum


page on the programme

Career Services students.uu.nl/hum-careerservices Advice on getting a job after graduation through workshops, CV check-up, and coaching. Your programme coordinator will inform you about programme-specific events.


FACT! Check students.

NEED EXTRA HELP? Study advisor: Student psychologist: Workshops: Skills Lab:

website via

uu.nl/hum-studentlife for students.uu.nl/hum-studyadvisor students.uu.nl/psychologist students.uu.nl/en-skillslab

information about living, jobs, sports and leisure in Utrecht!

THINKING O F G O I N G A B R O A D ? International office Humanities:


OTHER FACILITIES University Library: Olympos sports centre: Parnassos cultural centre:

students.uu.nl/hum-library olympos.nl/en-us/home.aspx uu.nl/en/parnassos

© June 2022. Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented in this factsheet is correct and up to date. Utrecht University cannot be held liable for any false, inaccurate, or incomplete information presented herein.