This programme introduces you to a range of colonial and postcolonial discourse from countries and regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, Canada and Oceania. You will explore a range of issues contingent upon colonisation, independence, and the formation of postcolonial diasporic communities.
You will be encouraged to develop a knowledge and understanding of the roles played by various forms of writing in the shaping and representation of postcolonial subjectivity and context, and to contextualise postcolonial writing in terms of its chronological and geographical specificities, deepening your knowledge and understanding of selected themes and topics in a way that will enable you to select and execute an independent piece of research.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of postcolonial literature, and have particular strengths in African American and Chicana writing, black British writing, Canadian literature, Indian subcontinental and diasporic writing, New Zealand literature, and Pacific literature.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
The course includes a 15,000-word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of postcolonial literature and culture related to their chosen fields, each consisting of a weekly two-hour seminar, and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.
The Master’s programme in African Studies at Leiden University is an advanced area studies qualification that combines world-class scholarship with practice-based learning.
This multidisciplinary programme offers you the opportunity to explore the African continent from a wide range of perspectives: historical, literary, cultural, socio-economical and political. At Leiden, relevance and real-world issues are at the fore. During your programme you will analyse current events as they unfold and explore issues from a broad, comparative and global perspective. You will be able to pursue the issues and subject areas that interest you most by designing your own project and thesis.
Taught by top scholars from the African Studies Centre (ASC), the Master’s programme in African Studies has a genuine area studies profile. During your studies you will gain access to the African Studies Centre’s extensive international network and high-profile events that will connect you to the leading researchers in the field.
An important part of this Master's programme is a three-month internship at an organisation in Africa. This is your opportunity to test your new skills and ideas in practice while gaining invaluable cultural and professional experience. For your internship in Africa, you will receive funding from the Humanities Faculty’s Sustainable Humanities Internship Fund.
The research master's programme in African Studies at Leiden University is unique in continental Europe for the interdisciplinary range of subjects offered and the variety of perspectives.
The research master in African Studies at Leiden University bridges the often artificially drawn boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences. The programme combines disciplines from the humanities, such as history and literary studies, with disciplines from social sciences, in particular: political science; anthropology; and economics. As a result you have the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge about different aspects of the African continent and its peoples, at the same time you are not bound by boundary constraints of any of the more traditional disciplines focusing on Africa.
Within this research master you will focus on developing your research skills, and you will have an entire year (of which six months consists of fieldwork) to execute your own research project which offers you outstanding opportunities to get insights into working and conducting research in Africa and to enhance your job prospects. You will take in-depth courses that will guide you through social theory, methodology development, and proposal writing; you will write a scientific publication, and practice your debating and presentation skills. This will enable you, upon graduation, to initiate independent PhD or policy research, advise and participate in policy development and implementation, or offer training to businesses.
During your studies you will gain knowledge on the different regions on the African continent and contextualise and embed your regional knowledge in a broad set of theoretical and thematic perspectives. This will make you well-prepared to subsequently design your own research project on a topic of your liking. The programme is taught by leading African Studies scholars from all the relevant institutions in the Netherlands, including the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and the Universities of Wageningen and Amsterdam (UvA and VU).
During your studies you will have access to the excellent facilities of Leiden University, and in particular those of the Africa Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) and its research library. The network of the ASCL, regular seminars, conferences and projects on Africa will provide international orientation and embedding for your MA research.