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Asian Studies (60 EC): History, Arts and Culture of Asia

Students of Asian Studies track History, Arts and Culture, can opt for a focus on “Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe” per September this year.

More information: click on the tab ‘Critical Heritage Studies’ below.

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 accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

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).

September Start

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Compulsory courses:

Introduction to Asian Studies 5
Thesis Class 5

Electives: HAC core courses (select minimaly 10 and maximally 20 EC):

Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
Chinese Linguistics: The Basics 10
Linguistic diversity in and around Japan 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 5
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 10
Buddhism and Psychology (Sacred Texts) 5
Buddishm and Psychology (Sacred Texts) 10
Religious Themes in Asian Art 5
Religious Themes in Asian Art 10
The Politics of Culture in North Korea 10

Electives: optional courses (select maximally 10 EC):

Histories of Southeast Asia 5
Hindi Literature (1415) 10
Advanced Readings in Sanskrit Literature (1415) 10
Oral Traditions 10
Nation, State and Security in Post-war Japanese Political Thought 10
BRIC: emerging powers and changing global relations 10
Cultures of Resistance in the Post-colonial World 5
Cultures of Resistance in the Post-colonial World 10
Asia through Consumption 10
Beginner's level Japanese 10
Chinese I 10
Korean 1 10
Indonesian Language 1 10
Hindi 1 10
Tibetan 1 10
Sanskrit 1 10

Second semester

Compulsory courses:

MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
Research Methods HAC 5

Electives (select 10 EC):

Chinese Modern History 10
History of Chinese Linguistics 10
Chinese Art History 10
The Cultural Revolution(s) of China 10
Colonial Modernity and Gender in Korean Literature and Film 10
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World 5
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World 10
Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives 10
Image/Text in Pre-modern Japan 10
New Diversities in Asia 10
Hands-on Research Experience in Museum Volkenkunde 5
Hands-on Research Experience in Museum Volkenkunde 10
The Material Culture of Food and Drink: Interaction and Exchange between Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10

February Start

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester (Spring semester)

Compulsory courses:

Research Methods HAC 5
Thesis Class (only for new students starting in spring semester 2015) 5

Electives (select 20EC):

Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World 5
Democratizing Histories: Asia and the World 10
Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives 10
Image/Text in Pre-modern Japan 10
Chinese Modern History 10
History of Chinese Linguistics 10
Chinese Art History 10
The Cultural Revolution(s) of China 10
Colonial Modernity and Gender in Korean Literature and Film 10
New Diversities in Asia 10
Hands-on Research Experience in Museum Volkenkunde 5
Hands-on Research Experience in Museum Volkenkunde 10
The Material Culture of Food and Drink: Interaction and Exchange between Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10

Second semester (Fall semester)

Compulsory courses:

MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
Introduction to Asian Studies 5

Electives: HAC core courses (select 10 EC):

Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
The Politics of Culture in North Korea 10
Buddhism and Psychology (Sacred Texts) 5
Buddhism and Psychology (Sacred Texts) 5
Religious Themes in Asian Art 5
Religious Themes in Asian Art 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 5

Critical Heritage Studies

MA courses on Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe as part of MA Asian Studies: History, Arts and Culture

Heritage is both an area of significant research engagement and a space of political contestation. Originally a concept coined by the nation-state, it has become the object of intellectual reclamation by academic, associations, and activists. Institutional and non-institutional social actors in Asia and in Europe are increasingly involved in debating the legitimacy as well as the need to “safeguard” different expressions of heritage, ranging from museums establishment and management, and the development of cultural tourism projects to language protection/suppression policies and the inculcation of collective memory by educational establishments and other actors.

The course “Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies” and the course “Heritage Protection in a Global Context” are compulsory for this specialisation, besides the general compulsory courses for the History, Arts and Culture track.

The process of heritage-making thus entails various forms of conflict over the definition, ownership, and use of cultural attributes. Students enrolled in the M.A. program in “Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe” will learn how to describe and account for the plurality of visions that surround these processes; to produce relevant scholarship on the controversial dimensions of heritage politics; to elaborate context-based understandings of heritage practices; to propose innovative historically and culturally sensitive policies and measures for heritage management; and to devise appropriate research methodologies capable of recognizing the wide range of social and cultural concerns involved. Students in this program are treated as active producers of knowledge and are encouraged to prepare for careers as informed researchers, policy-makers, activists, and practitioners.

The specialization “Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe,” jointly initiated by the “International Institute for Asian Studies” (IIAS) and the “Leiden University Institute for Area Studies” (LIAS), considers Asia as a fertile source of insights both theoretical and methodological in this highly contested arena. Since colonial times, European-based concepts and technical approaches to conservation have dominated the understanding of heritage in Asia, usually through top-down imposition processes.

It is this hegemonic discourse, usually promoted by developmentalist states in Asia and elsewhere, as well as various processes of indigenous response, that the program is intended to highlight. This program thus aims to decentralize the production of knowledge and social agency. It does so by establishing a network of four partner universities located in Europe and Asia; the contributing institutions have already established a fruitful collaboration in teaching and research. In this context, the study of heritage is re-configured as a means of reconceptualizing relations between Asia and Europe in terms of mutual respect and exchange and the creative exploration of cultural forms and practices. Students can obtain the M.A. degree from Leiden University but can also engage in a Double Degree, offered by Leiden University and one of the Asian partners (currently National Taiwan University in Taipei, Yonsei University in Seoul, and Gadjah Madha University in Yogyakarta). This degree program prepares students to work in the following areas: academic research, planning, museum management, tourism industries, and heritage conservation.

For more information, please contact Dr. Adele Esposito

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1 (fall semester ) Obligatory Electives for Critical Heritage Studies

Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
Heritage protection in a global context 5

More info

1-year Master Asian Studies : 2014-2015

Objectives

In the one-year Master’s program in Asian Studies you will be able to deepen and broaden your knowledge of Asia as a whole or one of the regions within Asia. The different specialisations offered within this program cater for students both with and without prior proficiency in one or more Asian languages. In Asian Studies, you may focus on a specific region, choosing between China, Japan, Korea, South Asia or Southeast Asia. Alternatively, you may opt for an interregional, disciplinary emphasis, focusing on History, Arts, and Culture topics in the HAC specialisation, or on issues in Politics, Society and Economy in the PSE specialisation. The MA also has a special track Critical Heritage Studies as part of its History, Arts and Culture specialisation. The rich collections of the University Libraries in Asian Studies incorporate both the long textual tradition of Leiden University and the most up-to-date theories and approaches of history, literature, linguistics and the social sciences. Museums and other long-standing institutions in Leiden related to Asia provide much material for study. The one-year Master Asian Studies specifically encourages in-situ internships as part of the curriculum.

Programme Structure

The master’s program in the one-year Asian Studies Master is divided into two semesters (each subdivided into two periods for some courses). Each semester consists of 30 EC. Students starting in September follow two compulsory courses in the fall (first) semester: Introduction to Asian Studies ( period I), and the Thesis Class (period II). Each counts for 5 EC, 10 EC in total.

In addition to these common courses, students take one or two courses that are specific to their specialisation – Core Electives. Students are permitted to choose one of the electives outside their own specialisation but within the Asian Studies Master to a maximum of 10 EC . In the spring (second) semester students take one or two Core Electives for a minimum of 15 EC, or fulfill this partially by an internship, and write their MA-Thesis (15 EC). Students of HAC and PSE tracks have a new compulsory Methods course in the spring ( their second) semester. Other MAAS students can take this as an Elective.

For students who start in the Spring Semester the programme has slightly been adapted. They take their Thesis Class (5 EC) in their first (spring) semester and the Introduction to Asian Studies (5 EC) together with the other students in their second (the fall) semester, and also write their MA-thesis (15 EC) in the fall semester. In the spring semester they take 25 EC Core Courses and Electives and one 10 EC Core Course in the fall semester. Students of East Asia tracks can only start advanced language courses in their second (fall) semester.

For students outside the East Asia tracks, a maximum of 10 EC beginner’s language course credits can be applied toward degree requirements. Students of HAC and PSE tracks have a new compulsory Methods course in the spring ( their second) semester.
MA East Asia Students can only count the Advanced Language credits that are a compulsory part of their program (15 EC) toward graduation.

Master’s thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students must have successfully completed the 60 EC programme, including the MA thesis. The thesis is 15 EC, written in English and up to 10,000 words in length, including footnotes and bibliography. More details on the procedures regarding the MA-Thesis can be found in the course description.

Specialisations

The 1-year MA programme in Asian Studies offers the following specialisations:
History Arts and Culture , with an option Critical Heritage Studies
Politics, Society and Economy
East Asian Studies , subdivided into Japan, China and Korea tracks
South Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies