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Honoursmodule: Radical Imagination

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Merel Talbi & Arne Hendriks

Entry requirements 

For 2nd or 3rd year honours students only. Non-honours students can subscribe to the 6 EC elective Radical Imagination 5512RAIM6Y.

Recommended prior knowledge

No prior knowledge needed, only curiosity.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • Develop her or his imagination on the topic of 3 urgent themes: being human, our relation to nature, and the way we live in cities.
  • Reflect on his or her own imaginative process through introspection and debate.
  • Demonstrate the connection between her/his imagination and science.
  • Identify and interpret insights from selected artists and scientists on complex problems and their possible solutions.
  • Reflect on given topics and devise relevant questions for further scientific research
  • Verbalize reflections on given topics in academic writing, creative writing, and presenting
  • Integrate imaginative practices (from art-based research) with academic research and perspectives on given topics.
  • Compose new insights into a scientific research proposal, beyond existing insights provided by the lecturers and presented study materials.


With complex and wicked problems like the climate crisis ever present in the public eye, academic teaching can no longer permit itself to be conservative; teaching only existing methods, theories and viewpoints. Radical Imagination aims to offer students new insights into existing issues on the relationship between ourselves and the planet. In this course, you are invited to explore urgent themes, developing tools and methods from the sciences and the arts, from artistic design and building a portfolio of creative assignments. We will explore various topics: the position of the modern human, how we exist within and in relation to nature, and how we live in cities. Inspired by guest lectures from both artists and academics, you will work on your portfolio and research proposal with artist Arne Hendriks to experiment with these new tools and methods, so as to find new, fruitful ways of thinking and acting.

The goal of this course is to offer students new experiences and insights, inspired by the arts and artistic research, to enrich your thinking and challenge you to find new ways of approaching the most pressing issues of our time.

Class contents

  • Seminar
  • Lecture
  • Presentation / Symposium
  • Fieldwork / Excursion (if possible)
  • Selfstudy
  • Work independently on project / thesis
  • Guidance/feedback moments
  • Workshops with artists


40%: Theoretical assignment;

10%: Creative writing assignment;

50%: Imaginative research proposal

Min/max participants



Check Datanose for the exact information.

Study material

Literature will be provided by guest lecturers and artists in the course.


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: Honours-iis@uva.nl 

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