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240512 SE The Indian Ocean: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (P3) (2019W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!



max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 08.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 15.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 22.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 29.10. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 05.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 12.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 19.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 26.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 03.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 10.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 17.12. 15:00 - 16:30 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 14.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 21.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 28.01. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Long before European colonial expansion, important trading routes already ran through the Indian Ocean, connecting Africa's east coast with the Arab world, India and beyond. This, however, is little known in Europe, where instead most attention is devoted to European colonialism. With their explorations and rivalry, European colonists not only left their mark on European societies, but also on societies in and around the Indian Ocean - with harmful effects of man on nature as well, a prime example of which is the extinction of the dodo. This course will analyse these histories, their continuing legacies, and contemporary realities in the Indian Ocean region. The aim is to better understand the significance of the third largest ocean in world history and explore what an anthropological perspective could contribute to the study of Indian Ocean societies.

Course aims:
1. To gain a historical understanding of the pre-colonial period.
2. To obtain a historical understanding of the colonial period.
3. To learn how historical developments continue to influence contemporary realities in Indian Ocean societies.
4. To better understand the particular qualities an anthropological perspective has to offer in the study of Indian Ocean societies.

We will start with discussing trading routes and (cultural) exchanges in and through the Indian Ocean prior to 1500. Subsequently, we will look at the impact of Portuguese and Dutch colonists, later followed by the English, on societies in the region as well as in Europe. This historical overview will allow us to better understand how legacies of the past continue to shape social interactions in the Indian Ocean. Building upon various key debates within anthropology, we will zoom in on a number of important themes, such as on ethnicity, tourism, indentured labour, commodity exchange, and climate change. Together with other themes and the historical overview, this will allow us to obtain a better understanding of the (historical) significance of the Indian Ocean.

Reading literature, presentations, discussions, and individual papers.

Assessment and permitted materials

1. Attendance and participation will count towards 10 points of the final mark.
2. Each student will give a short presentation about an (additional) article or book that is not on the literature list and link it to the themes and literature discussed (of about 10 to 15 minutes). The assignment will count towards 40 points of the final mark.
3. Each student will write an essay of 6,000 to 8,500 words at the end of the course. This will count towards 50 points of the final mark.

NB. Please note, all written assignments will be checked with anti-plagiarism software.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

1. Presence and active participation in the seminar.
2. With prior notification, an absence of a maximum of 20% of the total hours will be allowed - that is, an attendance of 80% of the total hours is compulsory. Failing to notify your absence in advance will be considered a failure of the minimum requirements.
3. All assignments have to be completed successfully.

NB, as part of the course, we will visit the natural history museum, which involves an own contribution of about €7.

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). From winter term 2019/20 the plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.

Examination topics

Reading list

Will be announced.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21