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SC Seminar Japanese Food


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements for the course. Familiarity with the basics of modern Japanese history is assumed. Students without such knowledge will receive advice from the instructor on how to catch up.


Food and drink are core aspects of private and public life in Japan, and they serve as potent national symbols. This course will explore contemporary Japanese cuisine from a historical perspective, paying particular attention to the political forces that shaped its content and the way it is perceived in Japan and abroad. The course will examine a broad spectrum of topics, from rice agriculture and tea ceremony to the rise of home cooking and the global sushi boom.

Course objectives

The main objective of this course is to nurture students’ understanding of the impact of historical forces on daily life in contemporary Japan. In addition, the course will introduce students to the key concepts in the historical study of food. Finally, the course is intended to help students in developing academic skills, in particular oral presentation and writing academic papers.


See timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours=140 hours

  • Seminars (12 weeks x 2 hours) = 24 hours

  • Preparation for Participation element (12 weeks x 3 hours) = 36 hours

  • Paper proposal: 20 hours

  • Analytical element: 60 hours

Assessment method

Participation element (including group presentation and other assignments): 35%
Paper proposal (midterm): 15%
Analytical element (paper 2000 words) 50%

The final mark will be determined as the weighted average of all the elements.

Two deadlines will be provided for the paper submission. Feedback for the paper will be provided only to those students who will submit by the first deadline. Students who do not submit paper proposals will have an opportunity to submit a book review assignment (to be determined by the instructor). Participation element does not offer a resit opportunity

Students will have an opportunity to make an appointment with the instructor to discuss the graded paper.



Reading list

Reading material will be made available through a digital teacher’s shelf


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Contact information: Prof.dr. K.J. Cwiertka