Universiteit Leiden

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East Asian Studies (MA) (60EC)

About the programme

The one-year master's in East Asian Studies, a specialisation of Leiden University’s master's in Asian Studies, offers focused study of either China, Japan or Korea.

The programme has been designed with a modular structure that includes elective courses in each of the two semesters and an individually supervised thesis, giving you considerable freedom to shape the curriculum to work for you.

The first semester consists of the core course Approaches to Asia, which is compulsory for all specialisations of the MA. In addition, students take advanced language courses and one or two elective courses. The electives introduce the issues, debates and methodologies of a discipline with a regional focus on one of the countries or regions of Asia. You will also participate in a thesis research seminar class linked to one of your electives.

More info to be announced.

An important part of the programme (about one-third) consists of advanced language training in modern and/or classical Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You are expected to use primary materials in Chinese, Japanese or Korean when writing your MA thesis.

Detailed programme

Courses (September start)
Course EC
Introduction to Asian Studies 10
Advanced Mandarin: Listening & Speaking 1 5
Advanced Mandarin: Reading & Writing 1 5
Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 1 (60 EC) 10
Advanced Korean Reading 10
Advanced Readings in Classical Chinese 5
Anthropology of Japan 10
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
Constructing Digital Language Toolkits 10
Ethnographies of Contemporary Taiwan 5
Comparative Asian Linguistics 10
Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration along the Silk Roads in Central Asia 10
Sexualities and Genders in Modern East Asia, 1600-1945 (10 EC) 10
Confucianism in Context 10
The Visual and Material Culture of Exchange in Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 10
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (10 EC) 10
Lives on the Margins: Korean Peninsula Migration and Identity (5 EC) 5
Cultural Heritage in East Asia: dealing with the past in present and future 10
Critical Approaches to Heritage Studies 5
The Politics of Digital East Asia 10
Topics in Modern Chinese History (10 EC) 10
Topical Readings in Classical Japanese 10
MA Thesis Asian Studies (60 EC) 15
Advanced Mandarin: Listening & Speaking 2 5
Advanced Mandarin: Reading & Writing 2 5
Advanced Reading & Writing in Japanese 2 (60 EC) 5
Topical Readings in Korean (5 EC) 5
Topical Readings in Korean (10 EC) 10
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (10 EC) 10
The Past in the Present: Nation-building in Modern China (5 EC) 5
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
Democratizing Histories (5 EC) 5
Forgery as Historiography in Korean and East Asian History 10
Sinographics: Chinese writing and writing Chinese 10
Topics in Chinese Art History, Things and Paths: Approaches to Chinese Art and Material Culture 10
The Politics of Destruction: Targeting World Heritage 10
Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts 10
Topical Readings in Korean (10 EC) 10
Word and Image in Premodern Japanese Culture: Reworking the Classics 10

For a more detailed programme, see the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Ethan Mark

Senior University Lecturer

Ethan Mark

“I try to encourage my students to think critically by pushing them to interrogate the categories through which we think and by which we describe the world: where they came from, what forces constructed them, and for what purposes.”

“In a world in which we are so often confronted with the appearance of essential differences, I seek to stimulate an awareness of the interconnectedness of our identities and our histories, informed by an awareness of history itself not as a single narrative of objective facts, but as a field of ongoing contest between competing narratives and competing political agendas.”

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