This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.
One often hears the complaint that ‘cultural differences’ stand in the way of a frictionless communication between nations, and that they complicate processes of political, diplomatic and commercial negotiations. But what do we mean when we talk about cultural differences? More broadly, what exactly is culture, and what would it mean to truly understand a culture? This course introduces participants to several theoretical and historical approaches to culture and cultural representations. The assumption behind the course is that cultures are never monolithic; there are always differentiation in culture itself, for example tensions between mass and elite or between high art and lowbrow entertainment. The course focuses on the present situation. Special emphasis will be on the relation of culture to language, economics, politics and society.
By the end of the course participants have a broad knowledge of important theoretical and historical approaches to culture. They are able to use these approaches to culture to understand our own time (with a specific focus on the relation between culture economics, politics and society).
learn to understand culture as a dynamic field;
gain insight in current discussions in the field of cultural studies;
learn to apply concepts and methods developed in these fields in their analyses of cultural phenomena;
develop the cultural-analytical skills.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website
Mode of instruction
One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the coordinator of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.
Total course load is 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours, broken down as follows:
Attendance in Weekly Lectures and Bi-Weekly Tutorials: 36 hours
Time for Reading/Studying Compulsory Literature: 54 hours
Time for Preparing Tutorial Assignments: 30 hours
Time for Reviewing/Preparing for Exams: 20 hours
Final Exam (50%);
Writing Assignments and Presentations (30%).
If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.
To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average
Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrollment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.
Chris Barker, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice, Sage, London, 2011.
Enrollment through uSis is mandatory.
The student administration will register all first year students for the first semester courses in uSis, the registration system of Leiden University.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs