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Honoursmodule: Open

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Dr. Elio Baldi

Entry requirements 

For 2nd or 3rd year honours students only. 

Recommended prior knowledge


Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • Describe the similarities, differences and patterns in the way openness is used as an ideal in different fields and disciplines
  • Recognize and interpret the way openness is reflected upon and embodied in various art forms
  • Critically reflect on the situatedness, culture- and context-bound nature of the openness-ideal
  • Demonstrate how the quest for openness in different disciplines and fields creates tensions between theory and practice
  • Exemplify the tensions inherent in the ideal of openness in a form of one’s choice that has a demonstrable connection to the topics discussed
  • Explain the intricate connection between the ideal of openness and societal restraints


Ideally, this course would have no description. The course theme is openness, which does not warrant a closed description. A truly open course would perhaps be a discussion between equals, with no predetermined framework, premises or pre-set aim. But this hypothetical course is fraught with problems from the outset: is equality in and of itself a (western) utopian ideal? Who would start the discussion? Who would lead the discussion if it is to become a truly open one? Openness can only arise within some kind of structuring principle, which can be more or less subjective, more or less arbitrary. In this case: very subjective and quite arbitrary, since we will be using a lot of material of Italo Calvino, the versatile writer on which I wrote a monograph. Different disciplines, places and institutions have tried to come up with ways of achieving openness, of wrestling themselves free from the bonds of tradition, subjectivity, elitism or human boundaries. This course is as open as possible an exploration of these different attempts to achieve freedom through a redrawing of rules and boundaries within and between artistic and scientific disciplines.

Class contents

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Selfstudy
  • Work independently on project / thesis
  • Presentation / symposium
  • Guidance / feedback moment


  • Every week, two students choose a short text/clip/photograph/painting etc. as reading material for  everyone, based on the theme of the week. The discussion on this material opens the lesson and is student-led (AVV, Aan voorwaarden voldaan, Requirements met).
  • Write a short reflection (400-600 words) on openness from the perspective of your discipline, week  1 (20%/AVV)
  • Choose a topic from the course and write a longer reflection of approx. 1200-1500 words, using appropriate academic material (N.B.: you can also choose a topic that we have failed to cover (30%/AVV)
  • Student Devised Assessment to be uploaded as part of online Symposium. Students engage with topics covered during the course, presenting at the symposium a reflection that can take various forms (reading, performance, film, poetry, music, interactive display, etc.). Together with the presentation at the symposium, a reflection on why this form is chosen and how this relates to the course is handed in via Canvas. (50%/AVV)
  • The final grade is a weighted average of the grades for the individual assessment methods. In case the average is below 5,5 a resit is possible, which will be a rewriting of either the second assessment or of the final reflection.

Min/max participants



Check Datanose for the exact information.

Study material

Literature uploaded weekly on Canvas.


Registration is possible for students participating in an Honours programme via an online registration form which will be made available on December 1, 10 am till December 5, 11 pm on this website. 

Placement will be at random and within two weeks students will hear whether they are placed for a course. 

There is NO guarantee for placement if you register after December 5, so make sure you register on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: 



The course is taught in English

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission
Starts in February