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Case Studies and Challenges of Diversity and Integration




Admission Requirements

Similarly tagged 200-level and 300-level courses. Students that do not meet this prerequisite should contact the instructor regarding the required competencies before course allocation.

This is the third course of the Diversity and Integration track. Completion of the previous courses in this track is recommended.


Case-studies. The question of diversity & integration is nonsensical unless one addresses it within a particular context. But, isn’t it the contexts also a way of framing a problem in terms of “diversity & integration”? In this 300 level course, third component of the D&I track, we will readdress the tension between our natural tendency to diversify and mutate, and our constant search for stability and integration. We will do so by applying the categories learnt in the previous modules to particular case-studies. This is, we will readdress the question of citizenship and the various unities/categories that frame the extent to which diversity takes place in the world, and the terms in which integration is sought. The cases will be studied in the light of the global challenges that structure the LUC program. Thus, you will be investigating how D&I can be applied to the study and understanding of peace, justice, development, sustainability and the democratization of knowledge, all compounding and required elements for the viability and subsistence of our societies.

This course offers students the opportunity to map-out the way in which they apply concepts and given categories to complex situations in increasingly globalised and mobile societies. You will learn to identify the ways in which you think about diversity and integration in terms of the challenges that our societies face today. Yet, you will also learn to identify how this interpretation already contains the possible answers we are willing to accept as “solutions” for tackling these challenges. Hence, the ultimate aim of this course is to explore whether we can actually find clear solutions for the tensions and problems D&I imply, or whether isn’t the case that D&I is an ongoing, and constantly mutating, challenge of our life in concert.

Course Objectives

The main objectives of this course are twofold:

  • to develop in students a capacity to be suspicious towards given criteria of normality and normativity in contemporary societies; and

  • to develop students’ capacity to critically address the challenges posed by diverse forms of social and ecological coexistence; a capacity that goes along with the need to constantly put one owns views under scrutiny.

Mode of Instruction

  • This course is based on you continuous engagement and participation. You are expected to contribute to discussion and debate throughout the block by raising questions about the reading material, cases studied and your colleagues presentations.

  • Biweekly seminars form the main body of this course. The structure of Tuesdays seminars is based on the introduction of the week theme by an external speaker, students questions and debate based on the readings. The structure of Thursdays seminars is based on the group presentation of specific case-studies. This will guarantee the introduction of knowledge as well as the students ability to apply what they have read, learned and thought, to real-life situations.

  • Students will prepare for each seminar by completing the assigned readings before each session. Readings will be available through the Blackboard site. In addition, for group presentations students are expected to find new sources and material to be presented in class.

  • Finally, each student should complete six weekly “reflection papers” based on his/her thoughts about the week units, the readings done and cases exposed.


Assessment: In-class participation (punctuality, active questioning and debating)
Percentage: 15%
Deadline: Ongoing

Assessment: Reflection Papers (1000 words)
Percentage: 30% (5% each)
Deadline: On Sundays Weeks 2 – 7

Assessment: Group case-studies presentations
Percentage: 20%
Deadline: On Thursdays Weeks 2 – 6

Assessment: Individual – Final oral presentation
Percentage: 20%
Deadline: Week 7

Assessment: Poster presentation based on your oral
Percentage: 15%
Deadline: Week 8


A reader for the course will be compiled and will be electronically available on Blackboard before the beginning of the course. Students are expected to use the readings to inform their participation in class.

Contact Information

For further information please contact the course convener Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar at: d.a.vicherat.mattar@luc.leidenuniv.nl

Weekly Overview

WEEK 1 – Framing the problem of diversity and integration
WEEK 2 – D&I and the challenge of Peace
WEEK 3 – D&I and the challenge of Justice
WEEK 4 – D&I and the challenge of Development
WEEK 5 – D&I and the challenge of Sustainability
WEEK 6 – D&I and the challenge of Democratizing Knowledge
WEEK 7 – Does it make sense to think about “solutions” for the questions of D&I?
WEEK 8 – Reading Week

Preparation for first session

During the first session we’ll be introducing the course and tuning expectations. So think about your own expectations and be prepared to make them “public” so we can reach a common frame to develop the course together.

Please read the following – if you have not yet – and prepare for a general discussion:
Mignolo, W. (2006) “Citizenship, Knowledge and the limits of Humanity” in American Literary History 18(2), pages: 312 – 331. Available at: