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Mixed Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities (ResMa)

Vak 2017-2018

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian Studies (research). Students interested in this course, but not a student from the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or the MA Asian Studies (research) are requested to contact the study co-ordinator, before registering for the course.


This course helps Research MA students materialise research topics, questions, and theoretical problems in tangible research activities. How can you make ideas work? What will you actually be doing in your project? How do you explicitly shape relationships between theory on the one hand, and everyday research practices on the other? The course will address important epistemological concerns and related practices, toward familiarity with the broader spectrum of methodological approaches on which your research is located.

The course will offer sessions on key notions and methods taught by scholars focusing on, among other approaches, history, visual studies, literary studies, anthropology, and archaeology. These key notions and methods present different dimensions of a fluid discussion, not pigeonholes. The seminars are offered jointly for Research MA and PhD students, allowing for interaction and the building of a strong research climate.

Course objectives

The objectives of this course are to:
1. Gain insight into the theoretical and historical background of research methods used in Area Studies, and their relation to regional expertise, place, language, discipline, and positionality.
2. Learn to engage with methodological debates in Area Studies, among others by expanding once methodological vocabulary.
3. Learn how to use research methods reflexively by explicitly addressing their situatedness.
4. Learn how to translate theoretically embedded research questions into a feasible research project.
5. Learn why and how to go beyond a ‘cookbook’ or ‘toolkit’ approach to methods.
6. Learn to critically examine publications and data generated by neighboring fields of enquiry, in terms of area and/or discipline and/or thematics.



Mode of instruction

Attendance and participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

• Seminars: 32 hours
• Studying literature: 210 pages= 30 hours
• Assignments, papers and presentation, including research: 78 hours


Blackboard is used for communicating grades and information on the course structure and assignments. The readings and links to online sources will be available on blackboard.

Reading list

Readings and links to online resources will be made available on blackboard.


ResMA Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

PhD Students are required to register through Leiden Global.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte nor Contractonderwijs is possible for this course.




Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).