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. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague takes about 45 minutes.
General description of the Culture by Area course
When studying a particular region of the world, knowledge of its cultural universe is crucial; the study of culture allows the understanding of the deeper structures behind history, politics and economy. Culture is the symbolic repertoire that gives form and content to national and collective identities, the subjectivity of individuals, and the environment. Culture is expressed in both material and immaterial resources, through which relations of legitimacy and domination are built in specific temporal and geographical contexts. Culture is a domain in which strategies for winning consent and cohesion are reflected, but it also includes mechanisms of in- and exclusion or conflicts on the basis of e.g. nationality, language, religion, ethnicity or gender. This course looks at these processes in specific cultural contexts of the world, and revises the regional scholarly traditions in the study and circulation of culture.
Specific description of the course: Russia and Eurasia
How can Alexander Pushkin’s narrative poem The Bronze Horseman help us understand the controversies over megalomaniac development projects in St. Petersburg? What tactics do individual interest groups employ to contest the Kremlin’s vision of the Soviet past as a time of great heroics? What is the mutual perception of centre and periphery in such an enormous country, for example, of European Russians and the indigenous peoples of Siberia? These and similar questions will be explored on the basis of a wide variety of materials ranging from poetry and film to the glossy brochures of Russian gas giant Gazprom and the pseudo-authentic souvenirs of ethnic and linguistic minorities. Equipped with the tools of cultural semiotics, post-colonialism and sociolinguistics, the student will learn more about the surprising cultural and ethnic diversity of post-Soviet Russia, as well as about the tensions to which this diversity sometimes gives rise.
has a thorough understanding of the cultural context of a particular geographical area in the world from a global perspective;
is familiar with cross-cultural communication aspects of international relations within the context of a specific area;
is able to critically reflect on the cultural developments in the chosen geographical area from a global perspective
has in-depth knowledge of cultural production and identity formation in a geographical area in its global context;
has the ability to analyse an artefact of the chosen area using the concepts and theories introduced in Cultural Studies, Communicating Power and Introduction to Area Studies;
has the ability to reflect on the meaning of the main concepts in cultural, sociolinguistics and intercultural communication studies as applied in different cultural contexts;
has the ability to use the theories discussed in the course to identify and compare communicative, narrative and visual productions from regions of their choice;
is able to situate a cultural artefact within the context of the cultural production and cultural policies of the region of their choice;
has the ability to collect and analyse specialised literature using traditional and electronic methods and techniques;
has the ability to formulate a well-defined research problem based on specialised literature, set up, under supervision, a study of a limited size and formulate a reasoned conclusion;
has the ability to explain research findings in a clear and well-argued way in the form of a short essay;
is able to present his findings and arguments in a coherent and clear way in the form of a short presentation and during in-class debates;
is able to give and receive feedback to and from peers in a constructive fashion and use reasoned criticism to revise one’s own point of view or own argumentation;
is able to take on board the instructions and criticism of supervisors, and take previous instructions and criticism into account in new situations.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every three weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 24 hours
Attending tutorials: 8 hours
Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours
Study of compulsory literature: (approximately 7 pages per hour): 64 hours
Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 40 hours
Midterm exam: Written examination with open questions.
Final exam: Written examination with open questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of tutorial, midterm exam and final exam.
The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the resit exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
See detailed course schedule in the syllabus (available at least one week before the start of the course).
Literature will be made available on Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis can be found here.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.