University of Amsterdam provides a variety of courses and research seminars which enable the student to engage with cinema in all its diversity and theoretical complexity.

Spectralities (Fall 2015)


Instructor: Esther Peeren

Located in the ambivalent realm between life and death, ghosts and other spectral apparitions have always inspired cultural fascination as well as theoretical, philosophical and theological consideration. It was, however, with the appearance of Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx (1994) that spectrality acquired a deconstructive dimension and emerged as a methodology and analytical instrument. We will consider reactions to and developments of Derrida’s notion of spectrality and trace the functions of spectrality in relation to various media (film, television, new media, literature, visual art) as well as media theory and other disciplines (philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary studies, sociology, anthropology).

Revisiting Star Studies (Fall 2015)


Instructor: Jaap Kooijman

Ever since the publication of Stars (1979) and Heavenly Bodies (1986) by Richard Dyer, star studies has become an important part of Film Studies and Media Studies. Recently, star studies has been challenged by celebrity studies, which places a stronger emphasis on the spectacle of celebrities themselves and the cultural industry in which they operate. In this tutorial, we return to the original premise of star studies through the contemporary perspective of celebrity studies.

Media and Governmentality (Fall 2015)


Instructor: Markus Stauff

Governmentality is an approach that analyzes politics – and more generally issues of power and agency – through an analysis of environments that are created to order and to steer the behavior of things and people. This tutorial will start with discussing key texts of the governmentality approach (esp. Michel Foucault) and aims to gain an overview on the different media studies approaches working with the concept (e.g. Laurie Ouellette, Wendy Chun, Tony Bennett).


Website of the Film Faculty of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands