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Theories and Methods in Area studies


Admission requirements

Admission to the Research Master Area Studies. Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M. van Os or Dr. A. Ezawa, if you are interested in taking this course, but NOT a student of the Research Master Area Studies.


This course is concerned with theories and issues central to the field of Area studies. It will expose students to key writings on the challenges of studying and writing about the ‘non-West’ and explore major theories and conceptualizations, which have grown out of this debate. The course is aimed to sharpen students’ critical thinking and encourage self-reflection about the theoretical challenges and opportunities of their field of study. Students are also encouraged to develop and present their own point of view in class discussion, through webpostings, position papers and their research paper. The broad regional and disciplinary scope both of the seminar and the participating students should further stimulate cross-disciplinary dialogue and allow students to get acquainted with approaches and geographic and national contexts beyond their own specialization.


This course is (provisionally) scheduled on Thursdays, 11:00-13:00. Timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Attendance, participation, webpostings, presentation: 30%

  • 3 Position papers (800-1,200 words): 30%

  • Research paper (3,000-5,000 words): 40%


Blackboard plays an important role in this course. All important information about the course, including the syllabus, course requirements, and other information, except for the course readings, will be available on the course website.

Reading list

To be announced


Registration for this course is compulsory.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Dr. A. Ezawa