Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can take part in this course. (See mastersinleiden.nl)
This course aims to prepare MSc students for the practical and epistemological complexities of conducting ethnographic fieldwork. The course centers on three-hour tutorials. In these tutorials issues related to epistemology, ethics and fieldwork practice will be discussed by means of ethnographic exercises in which students link literature and in-class discussions to their individual fieldwork topics. Emphasis will be given to formulating the main research questions, operationalization, methodology, ethics and the organization of each student’s fieldwork. Consideration will also be given to fieldwork identities, health care, and academic ‘savoir faire’ needed to write a good research proposal. The course is intended to make students aware of the epistemological dimension of fieldwork practice, in framing the student’s personal research interests, skills, and possibilities, and to help her or him to discuss these with their individual thesis supervisor. The course intends to guide students in the writing of their research proposal (in which they are primarily coached by their individual supervisor).
A list of possible research topics is available on our website and is being pemanently updated.
The course Research Design encompasses a compulsory ‘Methodology in Practice’ (MiP) week, which is intended to provide you with hands on training with respect to ethnologic method. See details below, under Timetable.
- Helping the student to systematically formulate the questions that are central to their MSc research, positioned in relation to relevant academic debates.
- Providing practical preparations for the complexities of fieldwork, given the operationalization of research questions.
Please see the schedule
Location: Pieter de la Court Building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden
Methology in Practice
The course Research Design encompasses a compulsory ‘Methodology in Practice’ (MiP) week, which is intended to provide you with hands on training with respect to ethnologic method. For students starting in September 2019, the MiP week is scheduled for October 14 to 18, 2019. Those who start in February will have the MiP training from 2-6 March 2020. In order to make full use of the time available for the MiP week, the training will be conducted from a location in Amsterdam (for September intake) and elsewhere in Leiden (for February intake). We will all stay at, and work from, this location from Monday morning until Thursday evening. Stay at this location is included in (and covered by) the programme. Typically, mornings will be used for short lectures en methodology and ethics, while afternoons will be dedicated to individual methodological exercises, which are then evaluated in the evenings. On Friday - the last day of the MiP - we will have full day of programme at the Pieter de la Court Building.
Mode of instruction
Total: 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):
Tutorials: 9×3 = 27 ‘real time hours’ = 54 sbu
Two workshops of two hours = 4 sbu
Nine weekly assignments: 6,000 words in total (= 80 sbu), using literature and ethnographic exercises.
Examination of the course will be through weekly written assignments that connect the literature to the individual’s research plans, thus giving ample space for reflection on possibilities and impossibilities, on expectations and worries, on do’s and don’ts. The assignments will each week be discussed in the tutorials.
All assignments have to be completed and submitted on time; before Tuesday morning 9 a.m. (and not after). Since the assignments are discussed in the tutorial, your tutor needs Tuesday for reading the assignments, there is really no way around this deadline.
All assignments will be graded. These grades count proportionally towards the final grade for the course (80% of the final grade). Participation is class counts for 20% of the final grade. Not submitting an assignment automatically implies ‘failure’ for that assignment. Not submitting an assignment (on time) twice, results in exclusion from the course. Only submitted and completed assignments can be redone, up to a maximum of two assignments for the entire course (blank papers are not accepted). Assignments are preferably submitted as Word document.
Presence is obligatory for all classes, from the start of the course. Students who are not present at the first lecture will not be allowed to participate.
Students are required to register for this course on Blackboard but do not need to register in uSis. (Registration for the exam in uSis is not required since there is no classical examination.)
Blackboard will be used to make information and assignments available. Blackboard module for this course will be available for registration by the end of August.
Robben, Antonius C.G.M., and Jeffrey A. Sluka, eds. (2012) Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader. Malden (MA): Blackwell.
A selection will be read, chapters will be specified for each meeting. The book will be available at bookshop “Atleest”, Kort Rapenburg 12a, Leiden. This book is also used for the course Large Issues, Small Places and copies of this book will be available for purchase at the university through student association Itiwana.
Additionally, a selection of relevant journal articles, which can downloaded through the university library or via Blackboard.