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Culture: East Asia


Admission requirements

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.


This course introduces students to East Asian culture using the medium of food. 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 in both historical and contemporary contexts. In block II, students will study how (trans)national East Asian food culture is reflected and translated into literature (poetry), film and material culture. We will draw from a range of texts, films and objects to cover topics such as food production, the cultural significance of food, gender dimensions 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, literature, material culture and film as factors in intercultural interaction and cultural diplomacy.
At the end of the course, students will have acquired basic knowledge of East Asian culture 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.

Course Load

Lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks =24 hours
Tutorials: 2 hours every 3 weeks (4 weeks) =8 hours
Reading: 35 pages per week (approximately 7 pages per hour) =60 hours

Viewing: film and documentary (4 hours); when a session involves watching a film, the reading assignment for that lecture is reduced to 20 pages
Assignments (including time for reading and research): =48 Hours
Total =140 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

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 enrolment in uSis
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. Viewing material is available at the EAL.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. K.J. Cwiertka, email

Drs. A.S. Keijser, email