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Social Justice


Admission requirements

Admission to MA EPS


In Wretched of the Earth, the anti-colonial thinker Frantz Fanon famously wrote: ‘Europe is literally the creation of the Third World’. Taking this as our starting point, in this course, we will explore the meanings and manifestations of Fanon’s aphorism, such as who constitutes ‘Europe’ and where is the ‘Third World’. We will discuss the myriad ways in which Europe is made and unmade; how suppression, marginalization and invisibilization create Europe and its others, outside and within. In the first half of this course, we will analyse mechanisms of social justice and oppression, examine the legacies of colonialism and imperialism, investigate the continuing hierarchies and intersections of race, gender, class, caste and debility, and foreground narratives of resistance.

The second half of the course focuses on the complicity of our knowledge practices in fortifying dominant social systems and proposes alternative approaches. Here we ask: what is our responsibility as researchers to the making of our social world? What are the considerations for making our own research socially just? Why must we continuously review the ethical practices in our own writing and research? Under the broad rubric of decolonizing research, we will critically reflect on the positionality of the researcher, think through strategies for conducting socially just research, and survey the challenges and limitations that accompany them. In particular, we will assess the complexities that emerge at the interstices of a three-way relationship between the research, the researcher and the researched in conflict zones.

Course objectives

The course aims to provide students with reflective understanding of the issues of social justice and how they shape the world around us. The readings cover a range of issues relating to race, gender, class, caste, debility, colonialism, imperialism and hence will enable students
to familiarize themselves with salient concepts relating to social justice. Furthermore, major emphasis on the course is on critically reflecting our research practices. Through a critical engagement with research methods, students will understand how beliefs work, question ethics, and develop an active sense of social justice emerging from self-reflection.

In sum, the course will enable students to:

  • Organically think through the intersections of race, gender, race, debility, and colonialism in the making of our the modern world;

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the debates relating to social justice;

  • Practice creative academic writing;

  • Apply critical methodological tools to understand the pervasiveness of these categories discussed in historical and contemporary times;

  • Gather, organize, and present knowledge regarding social justice through new media tools such as a podcast.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of positionality and diverse perspectives when conducting research.

  • Evaluate and select appropriate research methods and critically analyse their position as researchers, culminating in the ability to develop a final paper that incorporates a self-reflective approach to knowledge production.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Participation: attendance and weekly reflections on assigned readings (30%)

  • Podcast script (35%)

  • Positionality paper (35%)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. However, students are required to pass every component of the assessment to be able to receive a final passing grade.


Resits are offered only on the written assignments, if they are found to be insufficient. The resubmission should be made within two weeks of being advised on the insufficiency of the original.

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

To be provided at the start of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


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

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable