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Culture East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course introduces students to East Asian culture using the medium of food and film. First, in block I, students will become acquainted with seminal literature on East Asian food and the ways in which it facilitated trans-cultural interactions between East Asia and Europe and the United States in both historical and contemporary contexts. In block II, students will learn to apply this knowledge in discourse analysis of films. We will draw from a range of East Asian films (both feature films and documentaries) to cover topics such as food production, the cultural significance of food, and the importance of certain foods like rice and soy.

Course objectives

The course will provide students with analytical skills to deal with food and film as factors in intercultural interaction.
At the end of the course, students will have acquired basic knowledge of East Asian culture (specifically food & film) and gained insight in various approaches and methods of studying these aspects of East Asian societies.
Students will further develop their academic writing skills.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Lecture course with tutorials.

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment method

  1. Tutor sessions including 4 assignments: 30%
    1. Mid-term essay (500 words): 30%
    2. Film analysis (2000 words): 40%.

The final grade for this course is the grade point average of these three components. Please note that students need to pass each of these components.


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Assigned reading material is available for download from Blackboard or via University Library.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.