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Literatures in English

Study the relations between literature and visual culture

Programme ofLetterkunde / Literary Studies
TitleMA Letterkunde / Literary Studies

The Master’s in Literary Studies, programme Literatures in English at VU University Amsterdam focuses on the interaction between English literature and visual culture. Building on the rich VU tradition of studying the relations between word and image, you will research questions such as: What are the different characteristics of words and images as semiotic signs? What different meaning-effects occur when you tell the same story in a novel versus a film? What hopes and fears underlie ekphrastic poetry’s attempt to describe a visual work of art? How do illustrations and written text interact with each other? Or paintings and their titles? Or newspaper photographs and their captions?


From their respective fields of expertise (including ecocriticism, gender studies, the Gothic genre, war poetry, post-colonial studies, narratology, queer studies), each of our staff members will address the interrelation between written and visual texts in their courses, in the process acquainting you with various theoretical approaches, sharpening your analytical and interpretative skills, and guiding you in your own research project when you write your MA thesis.

  • Dr. Babs Boter – post-colonialism, gender studies
  • Dr. Roel van den Oever – narratology, queer studies
  • Prof.dr. Diederik Oostdijk – war poetry
  • Dr. Anita Raghunath – Gothic literature
  • Dr. Kristine Steenbergh – ecocriticism, emotion studies

Career prospects

Each year, our graduates choose from a range of different career paths. Some become high school teachers; others work in translation, editing, and/or subtitling; we have organizers of literary festivals; people who work in the publishing industry; and researchers both within academia (writing a Ph.D. dissertation) and for cultural institutions, government agencies, or NGOs.
  • Start date: 1 September
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Field of Interest: Art, Culture and History, Language and Communication
  • Admission requirements: English Language and Culture
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