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Kerncurriculum: Area Studies


Admission requirements

Description [onder voorbehoud]

In het eerste jaar van elk bachelorprogramma Geesteswetenschappen wordt 5 ects ingeruimd voor een facultair kerncurriculum. Een kerncurriculum biedt een introductie in een wetenschapsgebied dat centraal staat binnen de geesteswetenschappen. Voor studenten van opleidingen verbonden aan het Leiden Institute of Area Studies is het kerncurriculum Area Studies verplicht.

An Introduction to Area Studies

All scholarly work in the social sciences and humanities necessarily focuses on one or more socio-historic area, be that Europe, the USA, China, Iran or elsewhere. However, it is also important for scholars to be self-reflexive about the importance of their own situatedness in a particular place and tradition: no research is done in an ideal, value-free vacuum. Even the most conventional, mainstream disciplines are rooted in particular (often European) experiences.

Based around the question, ‘where is here?’, this course explores the various dynamics of interaction between the location of a scholar and the location of her subject matter. It seeks to encourage students to consider the status of knowledge produced in different fields and places, and to think creatively about how these might be related to one another in constructive ways. It draws particularly on the comparative and interdisciplinary nature of Area Studies to prepare students to develop their own intellectual and political strategies for dealing with identity and difference in their academic work, in whatever field that might be. The course draws on case studies from around the world and from different historical periods; it uses multiple media types (including film and literature); and it draws on a range of different multi-disciplinary themes (eg. empire, identity, migration etc.)

Course objectives


Concept day/time: Tuesday 15-17h

Mode of instruction

Assessment method

Students in the course are graded according to their performance in the following segments, in the following proportions:

Mid-term Exam (40% of the total grade for those who attend regularly; 44,44% for those who do not attend regularly)
Date: Thurs 28 October 9-11 Location: To be announced

Final Exam (50% of the total grade for those who attend regularly; 55,55% for those who do not attend regularly)
Date: Thurs 23 December 9-11 Location: Universitair SportCentrum

Attendance/Participation (10% of your total grade if you attend regularly)

In order to pass the course, the average of the score on the mid-term and final exams must be a passing grade.

Students whose average score on the two exams is less than a passing grade must pass the combined resit (hertentamen) in order to pass the course. The score on the combined resit replaces the previous score on the mid-term and final combined.

Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover both issues discussed in the readings, and issues outside of the readings. Attendance at lectures is expected and will be checked. Please be sure to sign the weekly attendance form or you will be counted as absent!

Students who attend lectures regularly will be rewarded by having their attendance grade count as 10% of their overall mark.


The course site on Blackboard offers important course information as well as a place for discussion of course contents and practical issues. Please be sure to consult the blackboard site regularly.

Reading list

All course readings and other learning materials can be found on the course Blackboard Site.


via uSis

Contact information

Dr. E. Mark

Please refer questions about course practicalities or contents to the teaching assistant, Marije Klein