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Literature and Politics in the Persian-speaking World (ResMA)

Vak 2017-2018

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or another relevant Research MA. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.

Description

This course is a weekly seminar, focusing on the influence of historical developments on modern Iranian society. For each seminar, students are required to read in advance selections from secondary literature and to analyze a limited number of passages from the primary sources (student with no knowledge of Persian will read sources in translation). Each session consists of two hours. In the first hour a general lecture is given and in the remaining hour, the students discuss a topic ranging from introduction of western political philosophy, to Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911), Aryanism, social reform movements, position of Iranian women, anti-imperialism, pan-Islamism, Islam and democracy, etc. Each student is expected to give one presentation on a specific topic from the overview.

Course objectives

One of the chief objectives of this course is to acquire insight into the way literature is used as a means to communicate various political views to a broad public in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Indo-Pakistani sub-continent. The students acquire knowledge on the interaction between politics and literature in the Persianate world. In addition, the students learn how to contextualize literary philosophical, and religious works in a wide range of modern political domains. They also learn how to present orally and in writing their findings to a specialist and broader audience.

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

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.

Each session consists of two hours. Students are required to read, in advance, selections from secondary, scholarly literature and to prepare several passages from a manuscript (a xeroxed copy of the relevant pages will be made available to the students).

Course Load

The course consists of twelve seminars. For each seminar, students are required to read in advance selections from secondary literature and to analyze a limited number of passages from the primary sources. Each session consists of two hours with one short break. The first hour is a general lecture while during the remaining hour, the students discuss their translations and analyses of a text. Each student is expected to give one presentation on a specific topic from the programme below. The final assignment for this course is an essay of 3,000 words, part of which should be an annotated translation of a literary text. Both primary and secondary literature are available from the lecturer. Students are responsible for their own photocopies of the texts.

• The course comprises 10 EC and the total course load is thus 280 hrs
Contact hours Research MA: 6 hours
• 26 hrs of the course will be spent on attending the class (2 hrs x 13 weeks)
• 46 hrs are to be spent on homework, i.e. reading the literature and studying the passages from the manuscript
• 30 hrs are set aside for the 2 presentations (prep. & 15 min. talk),
• 172 hours need to be spent on the final paper.

Assessment method

Assessment

Presentations and paper.

Weighing

  • Presentations (40%)
  • Paper of 3,000 words (60%).

Resit

The final paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Exam review

If a student requests in writing a review of his/her paper within 30 days after publication of the exam results, a review will be organized.

Blackboard

Blackboard

Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.

Website Persian Studies

Reading list

A detailed list or readings per week will be provided at the start of the course.
The following topics will be discussed. This programme is provisional and may be subject to change.

  1. Constitutional Revolution (1905-11) and Secularization
  2. Clergy’s Role in Constitutional Movement
  3. Modernity and Tradition
    4-5. Orientalism versus Occidentalism Jalal Al-e Ahmad
  4. Aryanism – Islamism:
    7-10. Islam and “Third-Worldism”:
  5. The Rise of Iranian Feminism & the Constitutional Revolution (1905-11)
  6. Women Poets:
    11-12. Politics and Literatures of the Iran – Iraq War (1980-1988)

For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. Extra sessions will be organized to discuss this extra literature.

Registration

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

Registration à la carte or contractonderwijs

A la carte nor contractonderwijs is possible for this course.

Contact

Dr. A.A. Seyed-Gohrab

Remarks

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).