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Theoretical Foundations and the Interdisciplinary Nature of African Studies


Admission requirements

In accordance with admission to Ph.D.-students from the GPAS-programme and to RESMA African Studies


This course is organized by the Graduate Programme African Studies, ASCL in conjunction with the RESMA Programme

The course addresses the epistemology of African Studies and its interdisciplinary nature, especially its roots in, and relations with, history, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, law, and cultural studies. In addition, the course provides both Ph.D. & RESMA students with insights into the various ways Africa was and is looked at throughout time, including the implications of these perceptions for research theory and practice. It thus makes the students aware and familiar with the nature, debates and controversies in African Studies. The course is designed to provide each student with in-depth and critical understanding of the larger theoretical debates and currents in African studies, so as to provide a basis for the development of his/her research interests.

Teaching materials include specialist & academic publications, internet-sources and power-point presentations.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, the students will have:

  1. A profound awareness of current issues, core concepts and research questions in African Studies;
  2. A thorough understanding of various theories and conceptual approaches that are commonly used in African Studies as well as in different related disciplines;
  3. Sensitivity to the relationships between theory, method, and place;
  4. A thorough knowledge of and insight into the interdisciplinary position of the study subject;
  5. A thorough understanding of the societal relevance of the study subject;
  6. The ability to select, compile, compare and analyze African studies-related literature and sources independently;
  7. The ability to independently study African Studies-related literature and sources, and to assess these as to their quality and reliability;
  8. The ability to communicate, both in oral and written form, on the insights gained in the course;
  9. The ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method

The assessment criteria will only apply to the RESMA students in the course, and not to the Ph.D.-students
Assessment method as relating to B (skills pertaining to the course) and C (skills specifically pertaining to RESMA profiles);

  • Oral presentations; non-measured learning objectives; B2, B 3, B 4

  • Lecture Reports; non-measured learning objectives; B 1, B 2, B 4

  • Assignment 1; measured learning objectives; B 1 – 5, C 2

  • Assignment 2; non-measured learning objectives; B 1, B 2, B 4, C 2


For grading ONLY the measured learning objectives will be taken into account;

  • Assignment 1: 50%

  • Assignment 2: 50%
    For overall fulfilment of course requirements;
    The total of the two written assignments must be a pass


N.B. only essays that did not receive a pass can be re-submitted. Essays that already received a pass cannot be submitted a second time.

Inspection and feedback

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.

Reading list

The literature is made available through a folder located at the ASCL library.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress please contact the Coordinator of Studies