This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.
General description of the Culture and Language by Area course
When studying a particular region of the world, knowledge of its cultural and linguistic universe is crucial; the study of cultural and linguistic dynamics allows the understanding of the deeper structures behind history, politics and economy. Culture and language are tightly intertwined and represent the symbolic repertoires that give form and content to national and collective identities, the subjectivity of individuals, and the environment. Culture is expressed in both material and immaterial resources, through which relations of legitimacy and domination are built in specific temporal and geographical contexts. Language and patterns of language use can reflect aspects of culture and as such can only be understood in the context of the society in which they occur.
Culture and language constitute a domain in which strategies for winning consent and cohesion are reflected, but which also includes mechanisms of in- and exclusion or conflicts on the basis of e.g. nationality, religion, ethnicity or gender.
This course looks at these processes specifically in relation to the context of Africa, and revises the regional scholarly traditions in the study and circulation of culture and the role played by linguistic practices. It is designed to introduce students to the diverse field of inter-cultural communication in Africa as a means of approaching linguistic and artistic practices central to the processes of identity formation and renegotiation.
Specific description of the course: South and South-East Asia
Culture and Language: South and South-East Asia introduces critical questions around cultural practices and cultural politics in contemporary South and Southeast Asia. The course offers critical analysis of key conceptual categories that help understand questions of culture in the regions, such as the “modernity” versus “tradition” paradigm, the idea of a “South Asian” and a “Southeast Asian” region, notions of cultural politics, nationalism, globalization, diasporic cultures and so on. We question both “high culture” as well as the cultural mechanisms of nation-states, heritage management, identity formation, language development, as well as questions of class, gender and the market which undercut the field of culture. An important dimension of the course is to open up questions of culture to the pushes and pulls of the nation, communities and individual negotiations in South and Southeast Asia. The lectures explore connected themes from both South and Southeast Asian perspectives as well as comparatively. Covering five inter-related themes with individual lectures on South and Southeast Asia by turns, the course expects students to gain critical tools in both understanding and questioning cultural forms, structures and politics.
The course readings consist of articles that address important issues and provide and analyse case studies.
has a thorough understanding of the cultural context of a particular geographical area in the world from a global perspective;
is familiar with cross-cultural communication aspects of international relations within the context of a specific area;
is able to critically reflect on the cultural developments in the chosen geographical area from a global perspective;
has in-depth knowledge of cultural production and identity formation in a geographical area in its global context;
has the ability to analyse an artefact of the chosen area using the concepts and theories introduced in Cultural Studies, Sociolinguistics and Introduction to International Studies;
has the ability to reflect on the meaning of the main concepts in cultural-, sociolinguistic-, and intercultural communication studies as applied in different cultural contexts;
has the ability to use the theories discussed in the course to identify and compare communicative, narrative, and visual productions from regions of their choice;
is able to situate a cultural artefact within the context of the cultural production and cultural policies of the region of their choice;
has the ability to collect and analyse specialised literature using traditional and electronic methods and techniques;
has the ability to formulate a well-defined research problem based on specialised literature; set up, under supervision, a study of a limited size and formulate a reasoned conclusion;
has the ability to explain research findings in a clear and well-argued way in the form of a short essay;
is able to present his findings and arguments in a coherent and clear way in the form of a short presentation and during in-class debates;
is able to give and receive feedback to and from peers in a constructive fashion and use reasoned criticism to revise one’s own point of view or own argumentation;
is able to take on board the instructions and criticism of supervisors, and take previous instructions and criticism into account in new situations.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (30% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:
|Attending lectures||24 hours|
|Attending tutorials||12 hours|
|Assessment hours (exams)||4 hours|
|Study of compulsory literature||64 hours|
|Completing assignments, preparing for classes and exams||36 hours|
Written take-home examination.
Written examination with open questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.
The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final Exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final Exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2019 – 2020.
Exam review and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.
Blackboard serves as the channel of communication about the course between instructors and students outside class meetings. Registration for the course on Blackboard is essential, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.
Blackboard is also used for:
The extended course description (syllabus), including reading list
Matters relating to the tutorials (including written work produced for and discussed in tutorials)
Students are expected to study and analyse the weekly readings prior to the lecture. Most readings are journal articles that can be downloaded through Leiden University Library and your ULCN account. The reading list for this course will be made available be on Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.
Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.