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Research seminar: Religion and society 1


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree obtained, admission to the RMA-programme.


Religion and society is an umbrella term for a choice between 2 tracks: students interested in the Caribbean region choose the course NEXUS 1492, students with an interest in Mesoamerica choose Indigenous heritage interpretation.

This seminar is situated at the heart of ongoing research in the specialisation, focusing on the archaeology, history and anthropology of indigenous American cultures. RMA-students as well as PhD-candidates work on their thesis in focused groups, formed according to region (or theme), and receive specialised instruction in tutorials focusing either on the Caribbean/Amazonian region or on Mesoamerica and the Andes. For general topics these groups may be combined in common sessions.

Students identify and evaluate the most important publications, especially relevant articles in recent issues of leading journals, and write a review of a monograph that is crucial for their thesis research.
RMA-students are expected to attend all guest lectures of the specialisation programme (to be announced during the year). In addition, RMA-students attend an international symposium, workshop or congress, to be selected in consultation with their thesis supervisor. Students are required to prepare the meeting with a paper.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of and insight in the setting up, structuring and executing of academic research projects, on the basis of detailed knowledge of the relevant period, region, research problems, recent literature and current issues under consideration;

  • Insight in how high-ranking international research is conducted;

  • Critical assessment of current research and publications with respect to applicability and background;

  • Ability to express one’s well-argumented opinion on these topics in discussion;

  • Ability to design and conduct research and generate new knowledge;

  • Insight in the applicability of theoretical concepts and models on archaeological, historical and anthropological data;

  • Ability to give an oral presentation of research;

  • Development of well-argumented texts on research;

  • Critical review of one‘s own research and that of fellow students in a constructive manner.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • Lectures/contact hours (4 ects);

  • Written and oral assignments (incl. literature study) (2.5 ects);

  • Congress attendance (1 ects);

  • Research proposal (incl. literature study) (2.5 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

Seminar with student’s reports, commenting on the structure of research and thesis, with analytic discussion of recent publications.

Assessment method

  • Active participation in the seminar (40%);

  • Written and oral assignments, including analytical presentation of recent literature related to the topic of the thesis (book-review) (25%);

  • Report on congress attendance (10%);

  • Research proposal (25%).

Assessment deadline

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

Reading list

Partly indicated during the seminar, partly to be identified by the students themselves.


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 prof. dr. M.E.R.G.N. Jansen (Mesoamerica) or mw. prof. dr C.L. Hofman (Caribbean).