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Admission requirements

At least 15 ECTS of the minor ‘Cultural Memory of War and Conflict’ have to be completed.


Monuments, memorial sites and other lieux de memoire can not be studied on paper only. Their meaning is produced in rituals and in performances of cultural and collective memory. In order to fully understand these functions we will go on an excurion to one of these sites of remembrance (or forgetting) as an optional part of the minor program.
After a preparatory reading list and two introductory classes, we will visit one of the war-sites of Europe, where the students analyse the site in question and give individual presentations on both the past and the present of the site.
In the coming years we will visit (always at the end of June/ beginning of July) Sarajevo, Auschwitz, Dresden and Spain. In June 2016, we will travel to Berlin, as the nexus of both the memory of WW II and of the division of Germany in the 20th century.
More information as of January with the course coordinator and on the course BB-site.

Course objectives

This course aims to

  • give students a critical understanding of the ways memory is been represented, contested and constructed in spaces and buildings: local and national monuments and in in contemporary museum exhibits and other forms of memorialization, with a basic understanding of their historical and cultural contexts.

  • to give students a critical understanding of relevant theoretical concepts from memory and ritual studies.

  • help students develop their skills to conduct independent research.

  • help students develop presentation skills.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the

Mode of instruction

Excursion and reading list.

Course Load

5 ec = 140 hours

  • Preparatory Seminars: 2 hours x 2 weeks = 4 hours – Excursion: 3 × 12 hours= 36 hours – Preparatory reading and writing paper: 70 hours – Preparing oral presentation = 30 hours

Assessment method

Reading list and paper (50%)
Oral presentation (50%)


Blackboard will be used to provide students with specific information about (components of) the course, such as course syllabus, some of the assigned readings, weekly discussion questions, and essay topics.

Reading list

Provisional reading list


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Course coordinator is Prof.dr. Yra van Dijk


The costs for the excursion will be an estimated 300 euro.