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Radical Imagination (EN)

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With complex and wicked problems like the climate crisis ever present in the public eye, academic teaching can no longer permit itself to be conservative; teaching only existing methods, theories and viewpoints. Radical Imagination aims to offer students new insights into existing issues on the relationship between ourselves and the planet.

In this course, you are invited to explore urgent themes, developing tools and methods from the sciences and the arts, from artistic design and building a portfolio of creative assignments. We will explore various topics: the position of the modern human, how we exist within and in relation to nature, and how we live in cities. Inspired by guest lectures from both artists and academics, you will work on your portfolio and research proposal with artist Arne Hendriks to experiment with these new tools and methods, so as to find new, fruitful ways of thinking and acting.

The goal of this course is to offer students new experiences and insights, inspired by the arts and artistic research, to enrich your thinking and challenge you to find new ways of approaching the most pressing issues of our time.


M.M. (Merel) Talbi MSc and A.N. (Njal) van Woerden MA.

Learning objectives

  • Develop her or his imagination on the topic of 3 urgent themes: being human, our relation to nature, and the way we live in cities.
  • Reflect on his or her own imaginative process through introspection and debate.
  • Demonstrate the connection between her/his imagination and science.
  • Identify and interpret insights from selected artists and scientists on complex problems and their possible solutions.
  • Reflect on given topics and devise relevant questions for further scientific research
  • Verbalize reflections on given topics in academic writing, creative writing, and presenting
  • Integrate imaginative practices (from art-based research) with academic research and perspectives on given topics.
  • Compose new insights into a scientific research proposal, beyond existing insights provided by the lecturers and presented study materials.

Teaching format

  • Lecture
  • Working independently on e.g. a project or thesis
  • Seminar
  • Fieldwork/excursion
  • Self-study
  • Supervision/feedback meeting
  • Presentation/symposium
  • Workshops with artists


  • 40%: Theoretical assignment
  • 10%: Creative writing assignment
  • 50%: Imaginative research proposal

Entry requirements

Open to second and third year bachelor students.

Study material

Literature will be provided by guest lecturers and artists in the course.


You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Number of participants



This course is open for UvA students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions. You can register from 1 December until a week before the start of the course. It is not possible to only follow the lectures, the group work is obligatory. 

Registration UvA students (look for code: 5512RAIM6Y).

Registration other interested parties

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: 


Check the website.

Feiten & cijfers
Vorm Kortlopend
Studielast 6 EC,
Voertaal Engels
Toelatingseisen Open
Start Februari