This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.
The 2010s saw a rapid spread of a variety of large protest movements such as Occupy, the Arab Spring, Gezi Park, the Umbrella Movement and los Indignados. In this elective, students will explore a wide range of scholarship on the demands, organization and expressions of dissent within these movements. The readings are organized around three main approaches. Firstly, we will be looking at social movement theory which largely focuses on the organization of social dissent. Secondly, we will be looking at critical theory on space, bodies and the politics of occupation and street protests. Lastly, we will explore cultural representations, analysing news media as well as revolutionary aesthetics in order to question the politics of how protests have been given meaning and value in local and global cultures.
The following two questions will guide us through this research project:
What do various protest movements that emerged across the globe in the 2010s have in common across the political and cultural specificities of each case?
What sets (some of) these new protest movements apart from other historical episodes of dissent?
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.
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.
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.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.
Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
Studying compulsory literature: 48 hours
Preparing logbook and midterm research: 84 hours
Writing the final research essay: 124 hours
Logbook (6 x 200 words)
For each session, students are required to reflect on a set of reading questions. The questions are designed in such a way as to engage more critically or in-depth with the assigned readings, or to stimulate students to apply the theoretical material beyond the case study at hand. For every two sessions, you develop one reading question more fully. Bring your answers to class in print or on screen, so as to share your findings with fellow students. At the end of the course, you submit the full logbook with all entries to Blackboard.
Midterm assignment (750 words)
For the midterm assignment, you execute a practical research project which you can use for your final paper. You have two options, qualitative ethnography or a creative project. Two weeks in advance you submit a research plan. The plan has to be approved by the lecturer.
1. Qualitative ethnography
For this option you need to develop a clear and limited research question that follows from existing scholarly literature. Design a questionnaire and execute at least three longer interviews or a survey with a minimum of ten respondents of a chosen case study. If feasible, participant observation may also be part of this research project. For the midterm assignment you submit both the research materials (questionnaire) and a brief but smoothly written report of your findings. Do the data help you to answer your research question(s)? Have you come across striking or surprising results that you had not anticipated? Also reflect on the limitations of your project. What can you do for the final essay to improve the questionnaire, the interview set-up, or the data processing?
2. Creative project
For this option, you need to develop a conceptual framework that follows from existing scholarly literature. Now, make a work of art building upon your concept(s). This can be video, creative writing, painting, installation, performance or any other creative discipline. The art work should engage with, or be expressive of protest, dissent or revolution. You will not be evaluated based on artistic skills, but on the way in which you are able to theoretically reflect upon your work in a 750-words reflection.
Final essay (5,000 words)
Select a case study and develop an argument based on concepts or theories discussed in class. The essay may build upon the midterm assignment, but students are free to select a different theoretical approach or case instead.
Assessment & Weighing
|Midterm: practice based research||25%|
|Final research essay (5,000 words)||50%|
To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
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 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.
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.
W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
All other readings will be provided in class.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis can be found here.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.
The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.
Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar.