Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research). Students of other programmes are kindly referred to the regular MA course.
When and how does culture become a form of resistance? The attempts of new states to embrace modernity and development have been complicit in fostering a homogeneous national culture that erased difference. From the policing of the aesthetic to the recreation of glorious pasts by building cities and dams, modern states have bred discontent among their citizens. Resistance to this homogenizing project has emerged in the cultural field through counter cultural production as well as in protest movements and political engagement of members of subjugated cultures.
This course brings together multiple disciplinary, theoretical and material approaches to explore how notions of culture and that of resistance interact in postcolonial contexts. Taking examples essentially from South Asia it will discuss cultural forms, institutions, interventions and theorisations that have emerged across transnational contexts during and after decolonization,
The weekly seminars will carry both conceptual and concrete case-studies. Students will be encouraged to explore multiple meanings, forms and possibilities of resistance through and in culture. The seminar will introduce students to material from South-East Asia and the Middle East, while engaging with a still broader scope of theoretical literature from the Global South, covering texts from African and Latin American studies. Moving to and fro from theory to practice, the object of the seminar is to critically examine the braiding of culture and the political in the creation of postcolonial imaginations.
Participants in this course will acquire the following:
-an understanding of non-Western perspectives on social and cultural theory
-improved research skills, presentation skills, composition skills, and ability to critically evaluate readings
Mode of instruction
Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenor needs to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.
Total course load for the course: 10 EC = 280 hours
- Lectures: 28 hours
- Extra contact hours for Research MA students: 6 hours
- Studying literature:112 hours ( 4 hours per week)
- Writing paper and preparing for class presentation: 134 hours
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).
Assessment and weighing
|Webpostings/Presentation/Attendance and Participation||50%|
|Term Paper (+/- 5,000 words)||50%|
webpostings and presentation
Guidelines will be given through Blackboard.
The 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.
Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late papers will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.
The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.
Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (50%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.
A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.
Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.
Yes, see for more info Blackboard
Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.
For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. The extra sessions will be used to discuss the additional literature.
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 “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.
Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
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 accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.