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Transforming Art

TUSS - Intro 2

Is Instagram the art of our time? What  does that tell us about society? To understand the changing form of contemporary art between the 19th and 21st century not only allows us to understand how society impacts art, but also how new forms of art transform society. Example? One strong media image had the power to transform public opinion on the Syria refugee crisis in 2015.

Course information

This course in short

  • Content:
    In this 1-week summer course you will explore and analyze the reciprocal relationship between society and art, and interpret how society interacts and transforms itself by using art. This course is presented in collaboration with Culture Studies and Communication and Information Sciences.
  • Entry requirements:
    Students (national and international) of any bachelor/master or PhD program who are interested in a philosophical interpretation of art and culture.
  • Taught by:
    Assistant Professor Dr. Sanem Yazicioglu with guest lectures by: Associate Professor Kristi Sweet, University of Texas A&M; Dr. Antonia Egel, Salzburg University; Associate Professor Ted George, University of Texas A&M, Professor Arthur Cools, University of Antwerp and Dr. Nathan Wildman.
  • Start date:
    Monday 2 July 2018
  • Duration | ECTS:
    1 week | 3 ECTS
  • Language of instruction:
  • School:
    Tilburg School of Humanities
  • Course fee:

    Course fee: € 500

    • 10% discount for current Tilburg University students*
    • 10% discount for students from partner universities*

    *Combining discounts is not possible, discounts are not applicable for Language courses

Course aims

This course enables you:

  • To extend your knowledge of the philosophy of art between 19th and 21th century.
  • To understand and interpret how transforming art changes our relation to the world, to each other, and to ourselves as individuals.
  • To compare and to interpret both concrete and digital forms of art from an interdisciplinary perspective, e.g., philosophy, culture, media and communication studies.

Course content

The course aims to explore the double meaning of “transforming art,” i.e., how art itself is transforming from the modern era to the digital era and how, in this process, it is transforming us.

In Transforming Art we examine:

  • Commonalities and differences in the meaning of ‘work of art’ for both the 19th and 21st century, for example the way a work of arts is both a product and an expression;
  • The way that contemporary artistic production no longer belongs exclusively to a limited group of artists, but rather to wider groups of users on the Internet (e.g., Instagram, fora for writers and painters);
  • This new situation and how it challenges our distinctions of what constitutes art;
  • How the interaction between artistic producers, users and/or observers changes our perceptions of the world and of ourselves.

We will explore the transformative character of art by:

  • Taking the texts of leading philosophers as a point of departure;
  • Interpreting these texts during  lectures and workshops  with experts in philosophy, culture, media and communication studies;
  • Other examples will come from the Internet, and from the Museum De Pont Tilburg.

Guest lectures by prominent academics include:

Course materials and specifics

Course materials

  • A reader (book chapters and articles) will be available before the course period.

Course specifics

  • The course will consist of lectures, Q&A sessions and workshop sessions;
  • English proficiency (spoken and written) is required;
  • 80% attendance is required to pass this course;
  • You will be required to make a 10-minute presentation, and submit a 1200-word paper;
  • Minimum passing grade is 6 out of 10 points.

Application and registration

Your registration for Tilburg University Summer School must be completed by May 31st, 2018.  Tilburg University Summer School reserves the right to cancel the course in case there are not enough applicants. If the maximum number of students is reached, a waiting list will be used.


For more information about Tilburg University Summer School (TUSS), please send an e-mail to For more information about the content of the course, please send an e-mail to

Registration TUSS 2018

Interested in a course? Use the link below to register for Tilburg University Summer School 2018.

Register here

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Financial matters

Admission and application