Contemporary Literature and Arts: Cultural Interventions and Social Justice

The master's programme in Arts and Culture focuses on culture in the making. Culture can refer to the products of intellectual and artistic creativity, such as scholarly and literary texts or  works of art. It also indicates the cultural practices that shape the everyday life of people, and is expressed in their individual tastes and forms of associating with one another. Finally, culture is at the heart of the processes through which people explicate and contest ethical, aesthetic, and political meanings and values.

Contemporary Literature and Arts grapple with the ethical challenges of our times. In their emphasis on inexhaustible meaning and play, they create spaces for the exploration of injustices and the expression of marginalised identities. They also offer us ways to connect with other people and cultures. In the MA specialisation Contemporary Literature and Arts: Cultural Interventions and Social Justice (CLA) you will examine how 21st-century literature and arts engage with issues of social justice, such as racial injustice, class and gender inequalities, climate justice, the rights of migrants and refugees, the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people, ageism and ableism. CLA will teach you to understand contemporary literature and arts not just as reflections on and/or representations of issues of social justice, but as active interventions in the spheres of politics and society at large. How do refugees narrate their own experiences and thus make sense of them? How do graphic memoirs deal with the topic of disability? How does performance art create space for transgender voices? How does ecoart intervene in political activism? You will explore these and other case studies from theoretical and critical perspectives such as postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, environmental and health humanities, and critical age and disability studies. Using an interdisciplinary methodology, you will learn to apply analytical approaches from literary and cultural studies, art history, history, philosophy, and from the humanities’ various intersections with the social sciences. You will also be trained in the use of advanced research and writing skills, and you will write your final thesis under the supervision of an expert in the field.

Other specialisations in this master's programme:

Andrei Burlacu, Student Ambassador Contemporary Literature and Arts

After studying in Bucharest, Romania, Andrei started his master’s in Contemporary Literature at Maastricht University.

Why Andrei chose to study Contemporary Literature and Arts: Cultural Interventions and Social Justice:
“After some research I found this master’s at FASoS and think it fits perfectly with my ambitions: I want to fight for equality, in terms of human rights. I hope to work for one of the leading organisations in this field in the future. I love being in Maastricht. I get to learn about Dutch culture, but in a very international environment. Also, I like that it’s close to many other interesting cities and countries.”

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Andrei Burlacu, Student Ambassador MA Arts and Culture: Contemporary Literature and Arts 2022-203

“The PBL system allows us to work closely with other students. This interaction gives us many new insights and allows us to delve deeper in relevant topics such as LGBT-rights, environmental justice, and feminism.”

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Experience Maastricht University: find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe, immerse yourself in your programme of choice, and explore our beautiful city. The next Master’s Open Day is on Saturday 11 November 2023.

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Pre-master's programme

If you do not satisfy the admission requirements of this Master's programme you may be able to enrol in a Pre-master's course year. Check out the Pre-master information and learn more about the programme, the courses and the requirements.

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