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Mobility and exchange in the circum-Caribbean


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Degree students (including Dutch BA graduates): BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.


This course focuses on the concepts of mobility and exchange, taking its lead from the department’s ERC and NWO-funded projects in the Caribbean region. The central domain of study is the interaction networks of the pre-Columbian and early colonial inhabitants of the circum-Caribbean.
Topics related to the material, social and ideological dimensions of these networks will be broached using theories and methodologies from archaeology, anthropology and archaeometry. Students are expected to present a paper with a methodological/theoretical focus on mobility and/or exchange, based on one of the case studies.

Course set-up:
1) Presentation of an archaeological problem by a researcher of the Caribbean Research Group;
2) Critical discussion of course literature and selection of own literature. Discussion to be posted on Blackboard before each session;
3) Preparation of one’s own topic or response to a case study;
4) 30-minute presentation of theoretical/methodological approach to mobility and/or exchange in response to the case study.


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Course objectives

  • Knowledge of current research and debates of the interaction networks of the circum-Caribbean;

  • Exercise research skills for in-depth interpretation of archaeological data in terms of socio-political, economic and other interactions between pre-Columbian and early colonial communities;

  • Ability to critically assess current research and literature and voice one’s properly argumented opinion;

  • Ability to choose a research topic, find relevant literature and present this via a PowerPoint presentation, and ability to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14×2 hours of lectures;

  • 280 pages of literature;

  • 30 minute-presentation.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction

Seminar: presentations by members of the Caribbean Research Group and students will be enriched by discussion of current issues drawn from recent literature. The multi-focal and multi-vocal course design will result in a more comprehensive overview of the layered concept of mobility and exchange.

Assessment method

  • Active participation: seminars are small, specialist groups in which equal and active participation in both preparation and discussion is important;

  • Quality of presentation: student presentations should adopt a theoretical position on one of the case studies. Presentations should be well-structured, argued, with relevant PowerPoints;

  • Discussion points; discussion points on literature for each case study are to be posted on Blackboard before midnight on the Tuesday before class.

Assessment deadline

Continuous assessment will take place of student participation in discussion and critical stance to literature throughout the course (60%). The student presentations in block 2 will be evaluated in block 2 (40%).

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

To be announced.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw. dr. M.M. Antczak.