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Selected Bibliography [Capita Selecta] and Bachelor Thesis (5+10 EC)


Selected Bibliography [Capita Selecta] and Bachelor Thesis (5+10 EC)

NB: De bachelor thesis kan in het Nederlands worden geschreven en begeleiding in het Nederlands is mogelijk bij elk thema.

Admission Requirements

Only CA-DS students who have already completed the first year of the CA-DS bachelor programme and at least the Key Issue course Diversity and Power + a second Key Issue course from the second year are allowed to enrol in this course.

Admission regulations to the three stages

Only students who have successfully finalized the assignments linked to the Selected Bibliography by mid-March can continue with the second stage. Students who have successfully finalized the assignments of the second stage by the beginning of May can continue with finalizing their thesis. For students who finalize the assignments of the second stage after the beginning of May, but before June 23, the third stage meetings around advanced drafts will be organized in the first Semester of the academic year 2020-2021.


The Bachelor Thesis Project consists of three parts: thematically oriented groups working on assignments based on Selected Bibliographies (5 EC, 6493 BACSY, level 300), followed by an individual Bachelor Thesis with a subject within the same theme (10 EC, 6493 BAY, level 400). The student chooses a theme prior to the course. The four themes offered in 2019-2020 are: Diversity, Sustainability, Digitalization and Media, and Political Anthropology. The student compiles a (partially mandatory) reading list from the Selected Bibliography assembled by the supervisors, reads the literature in the first 7 weeks, writes several assignments culminating in a bibliographic essay. The literature and the process of working on assignments will be discussed bi-weekly in group meetings with two supervisors. After the work on the Selected Bibliography has been successfully completed (and the assignments graded), the student will write a Bachelor Thesis (10,000 words) on an individually chosen topic within the same theme group and with one of the two them supervisors. When writing about a topic, the literature from the Selected Bibliography, the bibliographic essay and from previously followed CA-DS courses serve as a starting point, and should be brought into conversation with two monographs from a list provided by the supervisors (available from October 2019). Assignments in this second stage aim to analyse the monographs and to define the precise topic and the research question the student will address in the thesis. Topic and question must be approved by the theme supervisors. The student subsequently writes the thesis individually, supported by several group meetings.

Course objectives

The Bachelor's thesis is a literature study in which students assess and critically review anthropological literature. The following learning objectives apply:

  • Studying, comparing and assessing the literature

  • Reconstructing scholarly debates

  • Formulating and operationalizing a research question that fits within the chosen theme and within the discipline of cultural anthropology / development sociology

  • Writing a concise, well-structured academic argument that provides an answer to the research question with critical use of literature.

  • Orally presenting research ideas and research results

Mode of Instruction / Schedule

February – March:

  • Four (bi-weekly) group meetings based on scaffolded learning how to write summaries, reviews and a bibliographic essay based on mandatory articles (an Annual Review of Anthropology article, article+comments from Current Anthropology) and (top journal) articles of own choice from a reading list assembled by the theme supervisors.

  • Writing of a summary (500 words), a review article (1,000 words) and a bibliographic essay (2,000 words) based on the mandatory articles and the articles of own choice.

  • Final meeting with supervisors to assess the bibliographic essay.

Mid-March to beginning of May:

  • Three group meetings focussing on how to bring the readings of the Selected Bibliography and the bibliographic essay into conversation with two selected monographs. One assignment focuses on the analysis of the monographs, one on the way the different literatures allow the student to address the research question:
    o What debates are the authors contributing to or what problems are they addressing?
    o What are their theoretical perspectives? Or: What are the arguments they are making?
    o A personal academic positioning:
    o What debates are you contributing to or what problems you are addressing?
    o What are your theoretical perspectives? Or: What are the arguments you are making?

Mid-May to end of June:

  • Individual thesis writing.

  • One additional meeting to discuss the advanced drafts of the thesis in the second half of May.

  • Final submission of the full draft of the thesis no later than June 7, 2020.

  • Final submission of the thesis before June 23, 2020.

  • Final event with short oral presentations on the thesis, last week of June 2020.


The Selected Bibliography (5 EC) is assessed with a grade by mid-March based on the assignments (90%) and a meeting with the supervisors in which the student orally pitches ideas for a thesis topic (10%).
The thesis (10 EC) (10,000 words) is assessed by the theme supervisors based on a written thesis (90 %) and a presentation (10%). The thesis consists of:

  • an introduction

  • a theoretical framework based on the literature of the Selected Bibliography

  • a body that critically reviews, one or two monographs (and additional thematic articles)

  • a conclusion that presents a solid argument while analysing the thematic literature and answering the research question

  • a short (maximum 500 words) reflection on what has been learned in this course and how this will be used in the student’s academic choices in the near future.

The student will present the thesis in a final meeting, end of June.


All participants must register in Blackboard (Course Name: Bachelor Thesis / Course ID: 6493BA-ICA-1920FSWP) , before October 15. (Registration for the exam is not required since there is no classical examination.)


Dr. Jan Jansen at