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Cultural landscapes and intercultural dynamics


Admission requirements

Admission to the RMA-programme Archaeology.


This is the central seminar for the RMA-specialisation Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World, which is to be followed during 2 years.
Participants examine and discuss theoretical and social dimensions of heritage research, management and interpretations, on the basis of in-depth case studies with a comparative, interdisciplinary approach.

One part (blocks 2 and 3), “Landscape biographies: Intercultural perspectives on the histories and heritage of landscapes” (Kolen), focuses on the diverse historical, political and cultural dimensions of landscapes, which form the context for many (though not all) aspects of archaeological heritage. Teaching is connected to the projects of the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, and involves study visits to heritage sites, landscapes, collections and/ or institutions.

The other part (blocks 1 and 4), “Indigenous paradigms: Ancient art and living tradition” (Jansen), focuses on the meanings and values of tangible heritage (visual art) and intangible cultural heritage (oral tradition), paying special attention to the knowledge, perspectives and experiences of descendant communities.
An overarching concern is the implementation of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Staff projects include field research in Mesoamerica and Africa, while PhD-research is also carried out in other regions.

Students with a specific regional interest are expected to follow (e.g. in their Free Choice part of the RMA-programme) courses concerning the culture area and/or relevant language in question within the faculty or elsewhere.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of and insight in the setting up, structuring and executing of academic research projects, on the basis of detailed knowledge of the relevant empirical data, research problems, recent literature and current issues under consideration;

  • Insight in how high-ranking international research is conducted;

  • Critical assessment of current research and publications with respect to applicability and background;

  • Ability to express one’s well-argumented opinion on these topics in discussion;

  • Ability to design and conduct research and generate new knowledge;

  • Insight in the applicability of theoretical concepts and models on archaeological, historical and anthropological data;

  • Ability to give an oral presentation of research;

  • Development of well-argumented texts on research;

  • Critical review of one‘s own research and that of fellow students in a constructive manner.


Course schedule details can be found in the RMA time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Seminar on current issues and theoretical aspects with students’ reports, commenting on the structure of research and thesis, with analytic discussion of recent publications and progress reports on research practice.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • Lectures (4 ects);

  • Literature study with presentations and written assignments (4 ects);

  • Writing of research proposal (year 1) / review article (year 2) (2 ects).

Assessment method

  • Presentations + written assignments (60 %);

  • Research proposal / review article (40 %).

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

Partly indicated during the seminar, partly to be identified by the students themselves.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.


For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr. M.E.R.G.N. Jansen or prof. dr. J.C.A. Kolen.