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Studiegids

nl en

First year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Fall Semester

Introduction to Asian Studies 10

Advanced Chinese Language

Advanced Mandarin: Listening & Speaking 1 5
Advanced Mandarin: Reading and Writing 1 5

Electives (select 10 EC):

Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese 5
Art and Power in Asia (10 EC) 10
Art and Power in Asia (5 EC) 5
Asia through Consumption 10
China's International Political Economy 10
China’s New Workers and the Politics of Culture 10
Confucianism in Context 10
The Politics of Digital East Asia 10
Cultural Heritage in East Asia: dealing with the past in present and future 10
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
Comparative Asian Linguistics 10
Ethnographies of Contemporary Taiwan 5
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (10 EC) 10
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (5 EC) 5
Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration along the Silk Roads in Central Asia 10
Sexualities and Genders in Modern East Asia, 1600-1945 10
The Visual and Material Culture of Exchange in Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10
Topics in Modern Chinese History (10 EC) 10

Spring Semester

Year in China A 30
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10

Second year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Fall Semester:

Year in China B 30

Spring Semester:

MA Thesis Asian Studies (120 EC) 15

Language Elective (select one of the following two courses):

Advanced Mandarin: Listening & Speaking 3 5
Advanced Mandarin: Reading & Writing 3 5

Elective (select 10 EC):

Approaches to East Asian Cinema (10 EC) 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
Creativity and Culture in Contemporary China 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Democratizing Histories (10 EC) 10
Sinographics: Chinese writing and writing Chinese 10
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10
Topics in Chinese Art History, Things and Paths: Approaches to Chinese Art and Material Culture 10
Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts 10

Extracurricular Course:

Critical Heritage Studies

MA focus Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe

‘There is, really, no such thing as heritage’, states Laurajane Smith in her acclaimed book The Uses of Heritage (2006). According to her, heritage is an ‘inherently political and discordant’ practice used by different interest-groups with varying degrees of legitimacy. The MA focus on Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe explores the politics of heritage and the questions of their legitimacy. Who controls heritage? What is the role of heritage in the constructed narratives of nationalism? How is heritage being used as a cultural practice to shape the discourses on nation-building and nation-branding?
The process of heritage-making entails various forms of conflict over the definition, ownership, and use of cultural attributes. Originally a concept coined by the nation-state, heritage has become the object of intellectual reclamation by academics, activists and associations. 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. Furthermore, heritage is being used as a marketable commodity for the sake of tourism.
Students enrolled in this focus will examine key issues, concepts, and international frameworks related to the disputed distinction between tangible and intangible heritage. The courses will also explore the genesis and working practices of international heritage administration, charters and conventions. Students will gain insight into the rights and responsibilities of organizations such as ICCROM, ICOMOS and UNESCO. Furthermore, the social impact of heritage themes such as diaspora, ethnicity, and nationalism will be analyzed. Current critiques of the heritage concepts of “authenticity” and “sustainability” will be provided. The courses will also elaborate on the notions of “collective” and “social” memory. In this context, special attention will be paid to the museum as a facilitating actor in the process of understanding and showcasing cultural identity. Students will review case studies of tangible and intangible heritage from Europe and Asia to see how heritage has taken on new and sometimes unintended meanings in the midst of social change, asserting religious identity and political upheaval. Students will be further encouraged to produce their own case studies and approach heritage as a growing interdisciplinary field. The course work will prepare them for careers as researchers, policy-makers, activists and practitioners.

Focus courses

The MA focus Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe consists of compulsory and elective courses. Besides the general compulsory courses for the MA Asian Studies specialization History, Arts and Culture, the focus offers two compulsory heritage courses – “Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies” (e-Prospectus 5174KHER) in the Fall Semester and The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage (5174KASWH) in the Spring Semester.

Background

The focus 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 both theoretical and methodological insights in this highly contested arena.
Since colonial times, European-based concepts and technical approaches to conservation have dominated the understanding of heritage in Asia, in most cases through top-down imposition of ideas and processes. It is this hegemonic discourse, usually promoted by developmentalist states in Asia and elsewhere, as well as various processes of indigenous response, that this focus area is intended to highlight.

Double Degree Programme

The focus on Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe forms part of a wider ambition to decentralize the production of knowledge and social agency by establishing a network of partner universities located in Asia and Europe. The contributing institutions have already established a fruitful collaboration in research and teaching. In this context, the study of heritage is re-configured as a means of reconceptualising relations between Asia and Europe in terms of mutual respect and exchange, and the creative exploration of cultural forms and practices.
Within this wider ambition, apart from the MA degree from Leiden University, students can also engage in a Double Degree Programme, offered by Leiden University, the IIAS and one of the Asian partner universities, including National Taiwan University (Taiwan) and Yonsei University (South Korea). In order to attend courses at the National Taiwan University, which are partially given in English and Chinese, students are required to have HSK Level 4 in Chinese. All courses at the Yonsei University are given in English.
As far as certification in the Double Degree Programme is concerned, upon successful completion students will obtain three certificates in total: the Leiden University MA diploma, the partner university MA diploma (two-year programme, of which the Leiden MA qualifies as one year) and a separate certificate for the Double MA Degree in Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe, issued by IIAS. The focus on Critical Heritage Studies of Asia and Europe prepares students to work in the following areas: academic research, planning, museum management, tourism industries, and heritage conservation.

contact

For more information, please contact Dr. Elena Paskaleva at: e.g.paskaleva@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Information on the year in China

due to the current COVID-19 outbreak this part of the programme may be cancelled or modified

Students spend a total of one year at Shandong University (Jinan, People’s Republic of China) as part of their Master’s program. The focus of the year at Shandong University is on language acquisition, in order to obtain at least HSK level 5 upon returning to Leiden. During their year in China, the students are also expected to do preparatory research for their Master’s Thesis.

Career Preparation

Important events and sites to develop future career skills

Master’s Open Day (Leiden University)

Skills that improve your employability are also known as:

Transferable skills

Future employers are interested not only in the subject-related knowledge that you acquired during your study programme, but also in ‘transferable skills’. These include cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation and innovation; intrapersonal skills, such as flexibility, initiative, appreciating diversity and metacognition; and interpersonal skills, such as communication, accountability and conflict resolution. In short, they are skills that all professionals need in order to perform well.
It is therefore important that during your study programme you not only acquire as much knowledge as possible about your subject, but also are aware of the skills you have gained and the further skills you still want to learn. The course descriptions in the Prospectus of MA Asian Studies include, in addition to the courses’ learning objectives, a list of the skills that they aim to develop.

The skills we want you to acquire and that you may encounter in the various courses, perhaps in different terms, are:

  • Collaboration

  • Persuasion

  • Research

  • Self-directed learning

  • Creative thinking

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical - Special Issue #2 "Nature" 10