Netherlands, Amsterdam

Disability Studies and Arts-Based Research: an Exciting Partnership?

when 2 July 2016 - 16 July 2016
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 1150

This unique course bridges Disability Studies and the creative sector and thus investigates “disability” as a lived experience. It encourages students to think critically about self-representation and what it means to “be human” – with or without a disability. The primary thrust of the course is experiential. Working with artists and arts-based researchers, students engage with visual arts, dance, music, and poetry projects that serve as sources to learn more about disability as a provocative phenomenon in confrontation with so-called “normality.” Through these active partnerships, students also explore the subtleties and limitations of arts-based research. As the course unfolds, students work in small groups on their own artistic projects, drawing upon theoretical foundations, methodological insights, and real-life experiences.

A vibrant, open, and multicultural city with arts in its DNA, Amsterdam is the perfect place to challenge existing cultural and social phenomena. Organized in partnership with the NGO Disability Studies in the Netherlands, this course features guest lectures, an archive visit, and an online excursion with the Re*Vision project.

Course leader

Prof. Geert Van Hove

Target group

Students of both the arts and sciences, from fields as diverse as Sociology, Social Policy, Education, Psychology, Anthropology, Medical Humanities, History, Arts, Social Geography and Language Studies, as well as those with personal experience of disability (reasonable accommodations will be provided as required).

Course aim

You will meet and learn from leading scholars in Disability Studies.
You will understand basic arts-based research
You will be able to work within a Disability Studies-minded community.
You will be able to blur the “walls” between the arts and sciences.
You will be familiar with the most important frames used in representing people with disabilities throughout history.
You will be able to conduct a small qualitative research project.
You will be able to present a creative product to a panel of judges.

Credits info

Contact hours: 50

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes an airport pick-up service, welcome goodiebag, orientation programme, on-site support, 24/7 emergency assistance, and a transcript of records after completion of the course.

An early bird discount of €100 is available for students who apply before 1 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered, starting at €425 for two weeks.


The Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition fee of one course. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is 31 March. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the Summer School Website.