Prospectus

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Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World (ResMA)

Course 2015-2016

Please note: this course description might still undergo some minor alterations.

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant research MA programme. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.

Description

What is history, what is it for, and whose is it? While all three of these questions are as old as the discipline of history itself, most recently, it is the last of the three that has increasingly come to occupy global center stage. This development in the writing of history, or historiography, reflects a more general global-historical pattern: Around the world, the last several decades have witnessed both a declining interest in traditional intellectual and political confrontations of “right” and “left” as such, and a dramatic rise in critical discussion and debate of notions that previously inspired little controversy, including modernity, globalization, Western dominance, gender, race, culture, nation-building and national identity.

Such academic shifts in turn reflect recent historical shifts and struggles in the global balance of power, including the decline of Euro-American dominance and the end of the Cold War on the one hand, and, on the other, the increasing global empowerment and assertiveness of groups, peoples and places whose active role in the making (and writing) of history was formerly ignored, denied, or suppressed. Asia, and the writing of modern Asian history, stands at the center and forefront of such developments, which can be summed up in the term “Democratizing Histories.”

This course explores these developments from a variety of methodological, thematic and geographical perspectives. The instructors, specialists in South Asia and East/Southeast Asia respectively, address shared questions of Asia’s history and historiography drawing upon distinct regional perspectives as well as a common theoretical foundation. Themes include the local, the national and the transnational; the relationship between academic and non-academic histories; histories in the vernacular; centers and peripheries; and the possibility of post-Eurocentric histories.

Course objectives

Participants in this course will acquire the following:

  • A critical understanding of contemporary methods/ tools of history writing, alternative approaches, forms of narrativisation, and the ability to apply them in analysis.
  • An understanding of non-Western perspectives on historiography
  • Improved research skills, presentation skills, composition skills, and ability to critically evaluate readings

Timetable

Check the timetable at the programme’s website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and participation are obligatory.

Course load

  • Lectures: 28 hours (during Block III)
  • ResMA tutorials: 6 hours (during Block IV)
  • Studying literature:112 hours ( 4 hours per week)
  • Writing paper and preparing for class presentation: 134 hours

Assessment method

10 EC course:

  • Presentation/Attendance/Participation: 50%
  • Term Paper (+/- 4,500 words): 50%

The final paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher. A new version of the paper assignment (60%) may be written if the overall mark for the course is “5.49” (=5) or lower. If students take this option, they must choose an alternative topic. They will not be permitted to resubmit the same paper. The deadline for this version will be determined in consultation.

The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Blackboard

Blackboard.
Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.

Reading List

To be announced through Blackboard.

Additional reading for the ResMA students will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ field(s) of interest. This extra literature will be discussed during the (extra) tutorial sessions.

Registration

Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registration procedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Contact

Prof. Dr. N.K. Wickramasinghe-Samarasi
Dhr. Dr. E. Mark

Remarks

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).