Admission to the BA South and Southeast Asian Studies. All other students interested in this course should contact the Coordinator of Studies
This seminar offers an introduction to those aspects of the cultural heritage of South and Southeast Asia that have linked both regions through the ages. We focus on Hinduism and Buddhism as cultural phenomena and we discuss the role of the great epics Mahabharata and Ramayana in offering a narrative backbone for arts and media. We will study the visual heritage in the form of sculptures, paintings and architecture (mostly created for religious purposes) as region-specific manifestations of the common cultural tradition. The rich manuscript tradition of South and Southeast Asia, which illustrates the use of scripts with a common origin and formats familiar to both regions, also exemplifies the cultural bond between the two regions, as we shall see. Finally we will learn about the lively trade in particular luxury textiles between India and Southeast Asia, which presents a maritime expression of the long-lived links between India and countries in Southeast Asia.
These subjects are discussed by means of selected academic literature that is made available via Blackboard. The seminar links studying this contents with practical exercises focused on training specific academic skills, such as reading and abstracting, presenting, essay-writing, and using online resources for academic purposes. A study visit to the South and Southeast Asia galleries of the Museum Volkenkunde (of Ethnology) at Leiden is part of the programme.
Important: Part of this course involves compulsory meetings on Academic Skills (Oral Presentation Skills and Academic Writing Techniques) offered by the EAV.
To get familiarized with characteristic cultural traditions that connect South and Southeast Asia historically and up to the present;
To develop a first working knowledge of the nature of the sources for the study of the shared heritage of South and Southeast Asia (both primary and secondary);
To discover ways to access such sources (along traditional roads and digitally) and to judge them for their usefulness, quality and reliability;
To train the specific academic skills (academic reading, abstracting, presenting, writing) discussed in the mentorship meetings, while focusing on content issues related to the classical cultures of South and Southeast Asia.
Mode of instruction
140 hours (5 ECx28 hours):
2 contact hours per week = 11 × 2=22 hours;
2 contact hours per two weeks of mentorship (Academic skills) = 6 × 2 = 12
4 hours reading for ca. 10 classes = 40 hours;
3 home assignments (3 x ca. 5 hours = 15 hours);
preparing the presentation: 6 hours;
writing a short paper: 15 hours;
preparing for the exam: 26 hours;
examination: 2 hours;
museum visit 2 hours.
In the first half of the semester the emphasis is on reading, summarizing and interpretation skills. These are linked to 3 mandatory home assignments throughout the course. These assignments need to be handed in on time via TurnitIn/Blackboard according to the planned schedule of submission (to be found in Blackboard). They are graded (10 %).
Early in the second half of the course the students prepare in small groups a joint presentation (20 %).
Later in the second half of the semester they write a short paper to test academic skills related to use of sources and academic writing (20 %).
- The literature read in weeks 2-11 is examined by means of a 2-hour written exam with open questions in the concluding exam week (50 %).
Participation in classes and mentorship meetings is obligatory and so are the home assignments that are related to developing academic skills. Students are required to submit all parts of the practical exercises as listed above (both in academic skills and in the seminar). Students who do not fulfill these requirements cannot sit in the final exam and will automatically fail the course.
There will be a re-sit of the written exam. The grade for this re-sit will replace the grade of the first final exam and have a weight of 50%. A re-sit is not possible for those students who did not participate in the practical exercises.
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.
Passing Seminar I with a sufficient result (6 or higher) is an entry requirement for students in SSEAS for admission to BA2 of SSEAS.
If a student requests an exam review (first sit or resit) within 30 days after publication of the exam results, such a review will be organized.
Course documents (time and subject details)
Information on the readings
Pdfs of the Powerpoints used in class
Assignments and upload links for assignments
Upload link for the paper
Guidelines for the presentation
Guidelines for the paper
Guidelines for the final exam
Chapters from books or articles or links thereto offered via Blackboard.
A reading list is made available before the start of the course. Literature needs to be read in advance based on the list. This includes reading for the first meeting.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs