This course is obligatory for students in the Research Master African Studies. Other students can be admitted after consultation with the course coordinator.
African studies is an interdisciplinary field. In answering research questions African Studies combines disciplines from the social sciences, humanities and to a lesser extent the natural sciences. In this course the students will be introduced to the practices of interdisciplinary research, working on their own epistemological position and writing a consistent research proposal in a group of three to four persons, based on a self developed research question.
The students will get acquainted with different research methodologies and methods, which are often combined in interdisciplinary research (mixed methods) and finally the students will be introduced to the operationalization (i.e. ‘how to go about all this in ‘the field’’), where trying to find answers to the research question will be linked to methodologies and techniques and to questions of how to operationalize a research question into practical research.
Students will learn (a) in what ways epistemology differs from, but relates to “methodology and methods”; (b) how they can think about the differences between and combinations of qualitative and quantitative research; (c) specific relevance of these methodological issues for research in Africa; (d) how to write and present an integrated research proposal on a given research question.
Mode of instruction
Lectures and Seminar:
The course comprises 15 EC and the total course load is thus 420 hrs
78 hrs of these will be spent attending lectures and seminars (~11 hrs per week x 7 weeks)
150 hrs to be spent on studying literature: 120 pages literature per week
180 hrs research and writing assignment papers
10 hrs will be spent in group discussion and feedback sessions
2 hrs. mentor sessions
The classes and literature are examined by a group assignment; and by three individual assignments based on literature which students have to select themselves. The group assignment counts for 50% and individual assignments count for 50% (equal weight) of the final mark.
Resit: Rewrite Group Assignment and / or Individual Assignments
Inspection and feedback: Depending on the number of students on an individual base or collectively
Lecture 1: ‘Introduction to interdisciplinarity’
- Louis Liebenberg: The Art of Tracking
Lecture 2: Discourse, power and language
Lecture 3: Historical methods
Lecture 4: Multimodal methods
MacDougall, D. (1998), Visual Anthropology and the Ways of Knowing, in Transcultural Cinema, 61–92, Princeton: Princeton University Press, Book in Library FSW: Cultan studie 131, copy available in ASC Library
Loizos, P. (1993) Complex constructions with subjective voices, in: Innovation in ethnographic film: From innocence to self-consciousness 1955-1985, 91-114, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Copy in ASC library
- Lorang's Way (Turkana Conversations 1/3) by Judith MacDougall and David MacDougall (Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Media, 1980), 1 hour 6 mins. ASC Library, AVM 290
To be added later.
Lecture 6: Quantitative methods
Hinkle, D.E.,Wiersma, W. and Jurs, S.G. (2003). Applied Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. USA, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Pp. 1-2, 6-13 Available at VU University Amsterdam
Salkind, N.J. (2014), Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics, Sage Publications Inc., p 1-10, 132-133, 139, 178 Copy available in ASC Library
Lecture 7: Research Methodologies and Gender.
Gabriel, Y. and Ulus, E. (2015) “It’s all in the plot”- Narrative explorations of work-related emotions, in, Flam, H. and Kleres, J. (eds) Methods of exploring emotions, 36-45, Abingdon: Routledge FSW: Psycho p.4.2.4-253, copy available in ASC Library
Lecture 8: Multispecies methods
To be added later
Coördinator of studies: D.Y.M.Wackers