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Prospectus

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Methods I: Research Seminar Latin American Modernities

Course
2021-2022

Admission requirements

Be registered as a student of the Research Master’s in Latin America Studies or another research master program at a Dutch university. This course is open to students who have a good command of the Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a good command of Portuguese.

Description

This course prepares the student to formulate an individual research project on the Latin American context. The course offers the methods and techniques necessary for the formulation of this project through a permanent thematic and methodological orientation.
The first block emphasizes the formulation of the research problem, its research objectives, questions and hypotheses, as well as the selection, collection and processing of relevant literature on the subject matter to be investigated. Teachers guide each student's research proposal and provide an overview of current lines of research from an interdisciplinary perspective. In the second block students learn the tools of qualitative methodology, combining both ethnographic research methods for information collection as well as cultural analysis techniques or literature. To read and analyze the cultural object within its context, the student will learn methods belonging to discursive analysis, partner and cultural studies. The third block addresses the guidelines needed to develop fieldwork activities and ethical and technical criteria for the final reporting of research. In each class students will analyze and profile their research proposal through the discussion of specific literature and empirical research.
The transferable skills in this course are: analytical thinking (analytical skills, abstraction, evidence); project management (planning, demarcation, results orientation); responsibility (ownership, self discipline, responsible attitude concerning own project, recognize errors); commitment (dedication, motivation, proactive attitude, own initiative); self-regulation (independence, view on own goals, motives and abilities); written communication (writing skills, reporting, structure, summarizing); critical thinking (ask questions, check assumptions); integrity (honesty, morality, ethical action, personal values); intercultural skills (communication with different cultures).

Course objectives

  1. Know the methods and techniques necessary for the development of a qualitative research project.
  2. Identify the specificity of the Latin American context as an interdisciplinary study region.
  3. Apply appropriate methodologies to develop empirical and interdisciplinary research in the Latin American context.
  4. Identify methodological tools for the design and execution of cultural analysis.
  5. Learn the epistemological, deontological and technical criteria for the writing of a research master’s thesis.

Timetable

The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of lectures (50%) and seminars (50%). During the seminars, students will prepare a research proposal based on individual literature review and specific methodological drafts.

Assessment method

Assessment

The assessment consists of three parts:
A. Executive summary: a first version of a research proposal (1-2 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) quality of the argumentation (c) use of academic language (d) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic (e) summarize skills (f) argumentation about the relevance of the chosen subject (g) suitability of the key concepts (h) structure and lay-out of the text

B. Draft of a research proposal (3-4 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are: (a) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic (b) coherence and clarity in writing (c) quality of the argumentation (d) use of academic language (e) summarize skills (f) logical relationship between the different components of the project (g) quality of the collected bibliographical resources (h) correct use of the bibliographic registration system

C. A research project (8-9 pages). The aspects which are evaluated are: (a) appropriate demarcation and exploration of the research topic (b) coherence and clarity in writing (c) quality of the argumentation (d) use of academic language (e) summarize skills (f) logical relationship between the different components of the project (g) quality of the collected bibliographical resources (h) correct use of the bibliographic registration system (i) accuracy and feasibility of the chosen methodology (j) adequacy of the resource map

The lecturers of Public Polities will be available in three moments to give individual advice about the research proposal.
During the course, students will read a weekly average of 50 pages of the relevant literature. This material will form the basis of the individual research proposal.

Weighing

A. Executive summary: 10% of the final mark.
B. Draft of a research proposal: 30% of the final mark.
C. Research project: 60% of the final mark.

Resit

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the final project is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the final project within a certain time.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Compulsory literature
About preparing a research project:
*Isla Monsalve, P. (2017). Procrastinadores en acción. Guía metodológica para el diseño, realización y reporte de una investigación de tesis universitaria / Procrastinators in Action. A methodological guide to designing, carrying out and writing a university dissertation. Raamsdonksveer: Solfers BV.
*Hernández Sampieri, R.; Fernández-Collado, C. & Baptista Lucio, P. (2006). Metodología de la investigación. México (D.F.): McGraw-Hill Interamericana, 4ª edición.

About Latin American Cultural Studies:
*Szurmuk, Mónica & McKee, Irwin Robert (2012). Dictionary of Latin American Cultural Studies. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Disponible en: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.leidenuniv.nl:2048/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzQzMDY4Nl9fQU41?sid=81eb6d9f-f218-49cb-b20d-7249634c6490@sessionmgr103&vid=0&format=EB&lpid=lp_34&rid=0 (University Library, Study Area 1st floor, entrance 4 F1408.3 .D5513 2012)
*Del Sarto, Ana; Río, Alicia & Trigo, Abril (2004). The Latin American Cultural Studies Reader. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.
*Ching, Erik ; Buckley, Christina & Lozano Alonso, Angélica (2007). Reframing Latin America: A Cultural Theory Reading of Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Houston: University of Texas Press.

About tools for the close reading of text e image:
*Rose, Gillian (2007). Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. London: Thousand Oaks, Calif. /SAGE Publications.
*Bal, Mieke (2009). Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. University of Toronto Press.
*Hall, Stuart (2013). Representation. Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices. London: Sage.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.

Contact

  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Coordinator of Studies: Tim Sanders

Remarks

Attendance to the classes is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of two sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.
This course consists of 12 classes of 2 hours each, distributed in 12 weeks.
In this course Brightspace is permanently used to provide: the programme of the course; study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session); methodological indications and instructions; control of plagiarism; specific information about each college, and forms of the written reports and the research proposal.