RMeS RMa course: Arts, Life Science and Digital Culture

When? Fall 2021, exact dates TBA
Where? Leiden University
ECTS? TBA
Coordinator? Dr. Ksenia Fedorova
Organisation? RMeS
For? First and second year RMa students in Media Studies, who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). Students who are members of RMeS will have first access.
Registration will open September 2021.

In this course students examine ethical and humanistic dimensions of life sciences through art and explore the possibilities of the usage of digital methods. From the onset of medical research in history, the cultural worlds of art and science have interacted. More recently, artists have been directly inspired by genetic and biomedical sciences. The science-art relationship has become an exciting and dynamic field where controversial ethical issues, societal consequences of science, and the art of science itself are being addressed. How do artworks provoke new ways of thinking about science and the world? What moral and critical dilemmas are involved in the intersections between science and society and how can art play a role in this? The usage of biofeedback tracking and other digital technologies invites yet another series of questions about the impacts of algorithmization on our relation to the body and knowledge about physical and organic processes in general. Finally, looking at the biological entities in terms of their agency will allow a discussion about the shift towards the posthumanist paradigm in today’s humanities and science studies.

Course objectives

The student will:

  • Learn to reflect on the life sciences by discussing contemporary art;
  • gain insights into social and cultural consequences of the life sciences by study of art works;
  • be able to signal ethical issues and controversies in science addressed by art;
  • broaden his/her perspective on science by working in interdisciplinary groups of Science and Art students.

Students:

  • will be given an opportunity to articulate their moral attitudes, and explore during meetings other reasoned arguments that challenge their existing assumptions and ethical positions.
Mode of instruction
  • Seminar
  • Excursion
Assessment method

Art History students (10 EC)

  • participation in discussions, presentations and reports site visits (25%);
  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);
  • written paper of 4500 words (50%).
  • each ResMA student must fulfil an extra assignment per course, in order to demonstrate their ability to work with more advanced theoretical and disciplinary questions beyond the normal MA level, to be decided by lecturer and student.
Weighing

The final grade is the average of the three grades (25%, 25%, 50%). A student passes the course if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.

Resit

There is a re-sit for every assessment.

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 have to be organized.

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.
The reading list will be made available through Brightspace.