Of course, you'll learn to read critically and to apply a range of theoretical perspectives - from structuralism and post-modernism to feminism and post-colonialism. But you'll also study literature's visual language: film, television series, comics, illustrations and more. 19th Century novels were often illustrated and Game of Thrones fans have undoubtedly read the books and watched the HBO series - and the one inevitably impacts the other.
From a societal perspective, you'll examine why some books have entered the literary canon and others have been marginalised - and the culture that has promoted that difference. In fact, questioning the culture around you will become a key part of your lexicon: you'll become more self-reflexive, questioning where your opinions originate, as well as broader issues like political oppression and your involvement in it.
Literature and Society isn't only about reading - it's about writing, too. Writing well academically, but also writing creatively: finding your own voice, learning how to give and receive feedback on your work, and getting an understanding of the publishing process.
The VU's programme is fully in English, which means it attracts as many international students as it does Dutch students. Uniquely in the Netherlands, it focuses on literature, with only a small linguistic component. It's a programme for avid readers and critical thinkers: for all those who want to understand the story behind the story - in society as in literature.
The start date of this programme is September 1st.