Visual and Sensual Cultures

The minor Visual and Sensual Cultures introduces you to key aspects of modern visual and sensual cultures over the period 1850 to today. You will be taught methods, theories and conceptual frameworks enabling you to delve deeper into this extensive domain of study.


Number of EC

30 EC

Number of courses

4 compulsory courses


Block 3


Dr. Patrick van Rossem

Course overview

Visual and Sensual Cultures

Minor code


Entry requirements

At least 45 EC for category 1 (Bachelor Introduction)

Associated MA-programmes
Register between 30 October and 24 November 2023

Make sure to register for the minor as well as all its courses


In the minor Visual and Sensual Cultures we look at art, literature, magazines, cooking, photography, film, fashion, Instagram, shops and shopping, city planning, perfume, exhibitions, war and terror, politics and much more. We address questions such as:

  • Why is our culture so ocularcentric?
  • How did the hierarchy of the senses come into being?
  • What is the perceptual impact of the so called lower senses (touch, smell, taste)… ?
  • How do art and politics behave and act in moments of crisis and situations of political and social conflict?
  • How do artists, writers, designers, architects… use Manifestos to express their desire for another kind of world, another kind of art and literature…?
  • What do artists think about audiences?
  • What is Audience studies and how has the audience been theorized? 

You will learn methods, theories and conceptual frameworks enabling you to delve deeper into this extensive domain of study. You will learn to consider the societal and ideological treatment of images and the political and economic realities in which they circulate. You will learn how to contextualise artistic Manifestos and you will learn different methodologies by which you can research our sensual and visual experience of art, literature, film, and other both artistic as well as non-artistic cultural objects and events.

Matching bachelor's programmes

The minor represents a useful practical and theoretical addition to almost every track imaginable within the Department of History and Art History, as well as Taal- en Cultuur studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Media en Cultuur, Media and Culture and Literary Studies.


The minor in Visual and Sensual Cultures consists of 4 courses to be followed in block 3 and 4 (30 EC in total). 

Application and registration

How to register for this minor and its course modules, depends on whether you are a student of Utrecht University or not.

More information

If you wish to know more, or have questions about this minor, please contact the Student Desk Humanities.