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.
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 specifically in relation to the context of Africa, and revises the regional scholarly traditions in the study and circulation of culture. It is designed to introduce students to the diverse field of cultural communication in Africa as a means of approaching linguistic and artistic practices central to the processes of identity formation and renegotiation.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will:
acquire insights into the politics of identity in African countries going through the processes of socio-political transformation;
be able to explain main concepts in African studies regarding communication in a variety of forms (oral, written) and contexts (rural and urban, locally based and diasporic);
develop familiarity with debates around the conceptions of identity building including national, cultural, ethnic and gender identity;
gain insights into the role of media and arts in the formation, projection and transformation of identities in the post-colonial African context;
be able to apply these insights in analyzing examples of contemporary African culture, including language, oral and written literature, visual art, styles, monuments and urban culture.
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, Sociolinguistics and Introduction to International 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 two 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: 12 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: 36 hours
Midterm exam: Written examination with essay questions.
Final exam: Written examination with essay 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.
Specified and provided through 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.