This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
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 may take about 45 minutes.
General description of the Culture by Area course
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 in specific cultural contexts of the world, and revises the regional scholarly traditions in the study and circulation of culture.
Specific description of the course: Russia and Eurasia
How can Alexander Pushkin’s narrative poem The Bronze Horseman help us understand the controversies over megalomaniac development projects in St. Petersburg? What tactics do individual interest groups employ to contest the Kremlin’s vision of the Soviet past as a time of great heroics? What is the mutual perception of centre and periphery in such an enormous country, for example, of European Russians and the indigenous peoples of Siberia? These and similar questions will be explored on the basis of a wide variety of materials ranging from poetry and film to the glossy brochures of Russian gas giant Gazprom and the pseudo-authentic souvenirs of ethnic and linguistic minorities. Equipped with the tools of cultural semiotics, post-colonialism and sociolinguistics, the student will learn more about the surprising cultural and ethnic diversity of post-Soviet Russia, as well as about the tensions to which this diversity sometimes gives rise.
- 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-, sociolinguistic-, 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. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (30% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:
- Attending lectures: 24 hours
- Attending tutorials: 12 hours
- Assessment hours (exams): 4 hours
- Study of compulsory literature (approximately 7 pages / hour): 64 hours
- Completing assignments, preparing for classes and exams: 36 hours
- Midterm Exam:
Written examination with open questions.
- Final Exam:
Written examination with open 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 grade, Midterm Exam grade, and Final Exam grade.
- The weighted average of the Midterm Exam grade and the Final Exam grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
- This means that failing Exam grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), 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 2018 – 2019.
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.
See detailed course schedule in the syllabus (available at least one week before the start of the course).
Literature will be made available on Blackboard.
- Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.
Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, provided they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.