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Diaspora, Culture and Nation: South Asian diaspora in transition


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA International Relations. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact the co-ordinator of studies.


This elective course discusses the complex relationship between diasporas, cultures and nations with emphasis on the South Asian diaspora. From the anthropology of global flows, displacement and migration to the cultural contexts of these movements, the course will attempt to understand ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’ in times of physical and cultural fluidity in the context of the South Asian diaspora. It will interrogate themes such as cultural articulation of the South Asian diasporic communities, issues of belonging and integration, transnational cultural flows, long-distance nationalism, and the impact of emerging global cultural artefacts like Bollywood on diasporic as well as ‘crossover audiences’. While focusing on current issues and themes in the field, students will be exposed to theoretical and methodological debates, including current and recurring points of reference in cultural studies, anthropology and politics.

Course objectives

The aim of this elective course is to enable students to think critically about the complexity of understanding diasporas and their relationship with home and host cultures. The objective remains the development of critical analytical faculties in engaging with an important contemporary academic question or issue and addressing it from a considered position and being able to defend that position. Addtionally, students should be able to analyse and interpret relevant secondary literature pertinent to the topic in a seminar session from week to week and be able to think broadly about their position on the issue.


Time and date on which the course is offered or a link to the website. The administration will complete this with the link to the website.

The timetable is available on the International Relations website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Lectures: 24 Hours of classes

  • Study of compulsory literature: 120 hours of reading (5 hours per week over 12 weeks)

  • Assignment(s): 60 hours to prepare and complete assignments

  • Final Essay: 46 hours to complete the final essay

  • Presentation: 30 hours to prepare presentation

Assessment method


Students are expected to:

  1. do the pre-assigned readings prior to each class, and participate fully in the discussions;
  2. submit 1,200-word essays on weeks 3, 6, 9, 12 on key topics and issues discussed during the seminars
  3. referring to the assigned literature (and other selected literature)
  4. submit a proposal for an end-of-term research essay and present the following in class:
  • Introduction to topic

  • Research question or hypothesis

  • Literature review

  • Methodology

  • Preliminary bibliography

  1. Submit a research essay of 4,000 words max.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit for the final examined element is only available to students whose mark of the final examined element is insufficient.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Announcements

  • Making the syllabus available

Readings will not be available on Blackborad due to copyright concerns.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

  • Cohen, Robin. 1997. Global diasporas: An introduction. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press.

  • Clifford, James. 1994. Diasporas. Current Anthropology 9.3: 302–338.

  • Brubaker, Rogers. 2005. The “diaspora” diaspora. Ethnic and Racial Studies 28.1: 1–19.

  • Brown, Judith M. 2006. Global South Asians: Introducing the Modern Diaspora. Cambridge University Press.

  • Chatterji, Joya and David Washbrook. 2013. Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora. London: Routledge.

  • Vertovec, Steven. 1997. Three meanings of “diaspora,” exemplified among South Asian religions. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 6.3: 277–299.


This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Mw. Dr. R. Sengupta