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Elective: Religious, Linguistic and Sexual Minorities in the Contemporary World

Vak
2016-2017

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Minority issues and rights are a highly visible and emotional part of many of the current social and political debates in almost all countries of the world: from the culture wars that have flared up again in the United States over gender-neutral restrooms through the expulsion of the Rohingya from Myanmar to the supression of the Saami languages in Scandinavia until the late twentieth century. Quite often, moreover, minority rights are mutually conflicting: religious and sexual minorities have often tended to define their issues in opposition to each other. Studying minorities is important in a double way: first, because often human dignitiy is at stake and the limits of multiculturalism (and diversity) are seriously tested in many parts of the world; and second, because minority rights are increasingly used as weapons in diplomatic and mediatized confrontations between countries and cultures. But what are the grounds on which most people in Europe currently want to protect people from bein discriminated against because of the colour of the skin or their sexual orientation, but much less clearly because of their religion, or of the language they speak? This course will take a closer look at linguistic/ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities and will confront the seemingly inevitable clash between these minorities in many parts of the world through a series of detailed case studies and by organizing policy debates.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar and supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by:
• Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24 hours
• Time for studying the compulsory literature: 72 hours
• Completion of short assignments: 24 hours
• Preparation of policy debate + paper: 24 hours
• Analysis of selected internet resources: 24 hours
• Researching and writing final paper: 112 hours

Assessment

Assessment and weighing

  • Participation in class (not weighted, but mandatory) – Six short asssignments/essays (20% of the top five) – Policy paper (1500 words) + staged debate (20 %) – Analysis and collection of selected Internet resources on a case study (10 %) – Final paper (50 %)

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be 5.5 at least.

Resit

In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Blackboard

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

t.b.a.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Prof. Dr. A.F. de Jong

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 9 June 2017.

Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar, elective year 3, and Practising Internatonal Studies.