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Elective: Borders and Borderlands: From the Politics of Sovereignty and Security to Everyday Life

Vak
2017-2018

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Over the past few decades a plethora of scholarship in the social sciences announced and analyzed a post-national, globalized era. Despite the flows of capital and labour structured by capitalism across national borders, territorial anxieties of nation-states have remained resilient. In the context of contemporary political conflicts and post-communist nation-building, processes of border-making are instituting new border architectures. These are fomenting new forms of cross-border connectivity and closure.

Starting with an exploration of the historical, cartographic delineation of borders and the enactment of the politics of sovereignty and state security, this course will move to a more capacious understanding of borderlands as economic, social and literary spaces. Ethnographies of everyday life in borderlands will critically interrogate concepts of space, region, identity, culture and belonging. The literature will span different parts of the world including the US-Mexico border, the partition in South Asia, border regimes between Europe and North Africa, ‘border work’ in post-Soviet Central Asia, border connectivities in South and Southeast Asia, and the negotiation of border regimes in the Middle East. The course will encourage critical reflection on area studies and the nation-state in light of this exploration of borders and borderlands.

Course objectives

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.

Collaboration skills:

  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.

Timetable

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.

Course Load

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 the compulsory literature and completing weekly assignments: 100 hours

  • Preparation for presentation / moderation: 22 hours

  • Researching and writing the final research essay: 134 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
In-class presentation (2 x 15%) 30%
Film review 20%
Final Research Essay (5000 words) 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

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.

Exam review

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.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

The reading list will be published on Blackboard.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. R. Gupta

When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.