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Language and Identity of Minorities in Siberia


Admission requirements

Open to all students from the MA programme Russian and Eurasian Studies. Students from other MA programmes require a Russian language reading level of B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, see CEFR.


Within the Eurasian discourse, the indigenous peoples of Siberia are typically assigned a marginal role. Yet Siberia constitutes a large part of the Eurasian area, and displays a highly diverse ethnolinguistic profile, comprising about 36 ethnic groups, speaking 40 different languages that belong to 10 language families.
This course bridges this gap by addressing the linguistic and social position of the minority peoples of Siberia. In particular it focuses on the role of language, language policies and the changing ideas about ethnicity in the establishment of ethnolinguistic identity during the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union as well as in recent years.
The course combines historical, linguistic-typological and sociological components to gain an understanding of the current position of the indigenous peoples in Siberia, both in relation to the Russians, as well as to each other.

Course objectives

Knowledge and insight:

  • This course provides students with in depth knowledge of the indigenous peoples of Siberia, their languages and their typological characteristics. In addition, students will become aware of the impact of language policy, the relativity of ethnic identity, as well as of the interplay of language, politics, and changing ideas about human nature in the process of identity formation.


  • Independent research

  • Critical reading

  • Writing

  • Presentation


See Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total 280 hrs (10EC)
Class 26 hrs
Literature research 100 hrs
Research paper 154 hrs.

Assessment method

  • Essay (50%)

  • Presentations (25%)

  • Assignments (25%)


  • Essay (50%)

  • Presentations (25%)

  • Assignments (25%)


The essay can be re-submitted

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:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

To be announced.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs.


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. E.L. Stapert
Coordinator of Studies: mw. drs. T. Bouma
Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Not apllicable.