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Race and Racism: Asian perspectives


Admission requirements

This course is available for students of the Humanities Lab
If you have received your propaedeutic diploma within one academic year, your academic results are good and you are a very motivated student, you may apply for a place in the Humanities Lab.


The concept of ‘race’ tends to be predominantly associated with scholarship on Europe and North America, yet race and racism are equally central to Asian societies and history. In this seminar, we will examine the concepts of race and racism in the context of East and Southeast Asia, with the goal not only to gain a better understanding of processes of racial differentiation in the Asian context, but also to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the nature of race and racism. Drawing on case studies from East and Southeast Asia, we will, among others, discuss racial boundaries in the context of colonialism and imperialism, race and racism in wartime propaganda, interracial encounters and international marriage, as well as the identities of mixed-race individuals.

Course objectives

  • To understand key conceptualizations of race and racism;

  • To be able to critically examine the dynamics of race and racism in the context of Asian societies and history;

  • To be able to apply relevant theories and concepts to the analysis of race in specific empirical contexts;

  • To research, interpret and draw conclusions about race and racism in Asia and beyond.


Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.00 to 17.00.
For the exact timetable, please visit the following website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • Lectures: 4 hours a week x 7 = 28 hours;

  • Readings: 8.5 hours a week x 7 = 59 hours;

  • Weekly Assignments: 1 hour a week x 7 = 7 hours;

  • Presentation: 1× 6 hours = 6 hours;

  • Final paper: 40 hours.

Total course load: 5 x 28 = 140 hours

Assessment method

  • Attendance, active participation, and presentation (30%);

  • Webpostings and assignments (30%);

  • Research paper (2,500-3,000 words), (40%).

All elements have to be passed successfully to receive a course grade. There are no resits for attendance, the presentation and webpostings. For the research paper, the possibility of a resit applies.


Attendance is compulsory for all meetings (lectures, seminars, excursion). If you are unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control, notify the Humanities Lab office in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence, and hand in your weekly assignment in writing to the lecturer (if applicable). Being absent without notification and valid reason may result in lower grades or exclusion from the course.


Blackboard plays an essential part in this course. All important information about the course, including the syllabus, course requirements, and information about readings and announcements are made available on the course website. As part of class participation, students will also be required to make postings on the Blackboard website. Blackboard access is therefore essential in order to complete this course.

Reading list

See Blackboard.


Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered via uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab. More information about registration for courses will be provided on Blackboard.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Lecturer: Dr. A.E. Ezawa
Humanities Lab office: e-mail


This course is part of the Humanities Lab programme, visit the website for more information.
Visit the Honours Academy website for more information about the Honours College.