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Introduction to Asian Studies


Admission requirements

Only for students Majoring in MA Asian Studies


Neither “Asia” nor “Asian Studies” are self-explanatory or unambiguous concepts. There is even more diversity in what Asian Studies scholars do. So what ties us together, and what is the place of Asian Studies in the larger field of Area Studies and among the many disciplines represented in Asian Studies? This lecture course is taught weekly as a background and preparation for the specialist elective courses that are on offer in the MA in Asian Studies. Themes to be discussed include Orientalism; race; nations and nation-building; development; script, literature, philology, nations and empires; the making of Area Studies; and “the rise of China.” The course also incorporates the preparation of a thesis proposal, introduced in a special lecture session and further pursued under the guidance of individual thesis supervisors, into its assignment/assessment.

Course objectives

--to develop familiarity with a range of disciplines and approaches central to Asian Studies
--to acquire knowledge of the historical evolution of the field(s) of Asian studies
--to develop an informed critical awareness of major issues integral to the study of Asia, including Orientalism, colonialism, anticolonialism and postcolonialism, nations and nation-building, development, textual interpretation, and identity construction
--the successful preparation of a formal MA thesis research project proposal


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written examination (equally weighted midterm + final exam)
The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average plus the successful completion of an MA thesis proposal
For those who do not pass the ordinary exams, there will be a combined resit exam
No grade for the course will be issued until the MA thesis proposal is deemed sufficient by the individual thesis supervisor
If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be made available through reader-online


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Ethan Mark