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Introduction to Asian Studies


Admission requirements

None. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact their co-ordinator of studies.


Neither “Asia” or “Asian Studies” are self-explanatory or unambiguous concepts. There is even more diversity in what Asian Studies scholars do. So what ties us together, and what is the place of Asian Studies in the larger field of Area Studies and among the many disciplines represented in Asian Studies? This lecture course will be taught twice a week in the first six weeks of the first semester as a background and preparation for the specialist elective courses that are on offer in the MA in Asian Studies. The course is also intended to prepare the ground for the thesis classes that will be offered in the second half on the first semester.

Course objectives

  • Conceptual and independent thinking

  • Independent research and writing


Two times per week, only in block 1.
Check timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Lectures 2 ×12 uur = 24
Compulsory readings = 86
1 Written examination = 30
Total = 140

Assessment method

Written examination 100%.

This exam takes place in the mid-term exam week in October, after the end of the course. If the result is 5.49 (=5) or lower, the student can retake the exam during the final exam week of the first semester, in December.


Blackboard will be used for email, course materials and grades.
See for more info Blackboard

Reading list

The reading list will be made available on Blackboard.


Registration through uSis


Professor Frank N. Pieke
Chair of Modern China Studies
Leiden University
Mail: P.O. Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)71 5272216
Email: Frank Pieke