The course is compulsory for students in MA African Studies and open to others after consultations with the instructors.
This course enables students to explore and gain practical experience with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques in the field of African Studies. The course builds on the theoretical discussions about methods and methodology introduced in the Africa in Practice course and the Researching Africa in the 21st century in the first block.
The world is increasingly digitizing and virtualizing, which influences the social-economic and political dynamics we study in Africa and influences our research practice. In this course, students gain practical experience with methods and techniques that have been used ‘offline’ since long, while getting acquainted with digital and visual extensions of these methods and techniques.
Students will be introduced to several methods and techniques through readings and discussion, while gaining practical experience through a ‘field assignment’ and in a media laboratory, where they can benefit from additional expertise particularly on digital and visual techniques. Students are thus asked to experiment with and deepen their understanding of various methods and techniques in African Studies, prioritizing those methods and techniques they wish or expect to be using in their own field research in block III.
Students will work in small groups on a collaborative research assignment ‘Africa in the Netherlands’ (in groups of 3 to 4 person), in which they employ a variety of methods and techniques of their choice. Data collection for the project will be executed in Leiden/The Hague and/or online. The collaborative work will be documented in a collaborative end product (e.g. web publication) and presented to the group at the end of the course, while students will also write a reflective paper on their individual contributions, reflecting on the choices, process, and ethics in research and presentation.
The course is divided into 4 seminars of roughly two hours and one seminar of 4 hours. These seminars follow a teaching method known as student-led-learning, i.e. use the questions and experiences of students regarding their projects as starting points in class. The last seminar is dedicated to the presentation of the group projects.
In addition, each week students have the chance to follow workshops and/or work on their group assignments in the digital humanities media lab, where lecturers and trainers will be present to support the students in their work. The lab offers workshops on the necessary skills and individual guidance in the research and the publication of its outcomes. This way they will learn about and work with a variety of digital and visual techniques for their data collection, analysis and presentation of findings.
The following course objectives are central to this course:
1. The students will have gained experiential knowledge of a range of qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques – including their digital and visual extensions – current in African Studies, particularly as used within the disciplines of Linguistics, Culture Studies, Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, History or Economics in relation to African Studies.
2. The students will have the technical and cognitive skills to select and employ relevant research methods and techniques to collect, analyse and critically evaluate research data.
3. The students have gained experience with taking into account social and cultural, academic and ethical aspects relevant to the collection and presentation of findings and the formulation of conclusions and judgements.
4. The students will have obtained the skills to clearly communicate and report the outcomes based on their analysed research findings in an oral presentation as well as in a documented form, using written, oral and/or visual format suitable for publication on an academic website.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Research (data collection)
The final mark for the coure is established by determining the weighted average.
Assessment and weighing
Collaborative end product (50%)
Oral presentation (group) (25%)
Reflective Paper/ digital end product (individual) (25%)
Resits are possible only for the (individual) paper. A resit is not possible if a numerical grade for this exam component is 6.0 or above. The deadline for resits is 20 December 2020.
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.
The readings for this course will be indicated in the syllabus, which will be published on Brightspace at least two weeks before the course starts.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats