Learning outcomes: after completing the course, students will have:|
• knowledge and understanding of the academic debate and analytical vocabulary on the connections between identity, boundary (un)making and violence, the capacity to demonstrate this understanding through carrying out and reporting on mini-research projects in which analytical concepts are applied to empirical data, at an academic level and in line with academic standards,the capacity to give oral presentations for a disciplinary mixed and international audience of students.
Learning objectives and skills:
• To introduce you to key texts on the connections between social identity (ethnicity, the nation), boundary formation and the use of violence.
• To introduce you to analytical approaches on contemporary violence and conflict with an emphasis on social boundary drawing and the spatial approach.
• To acquaint you with new analytical vocabularies on virtual boundaries, surveillance technology and remote warfare.
• To improve your ability to apply abstract theoretical approaches to actual contemporary cases of violent conflict and collective violence (both ‘close to home’ and abroad).
• To learn by doing: by actively experiencing knowledge.
• To strengthen your research skills through a series of ‘mini-fieldwork’ assignments.
• To strengthen your capacity to give verbal and written presentations on the issues mentioned above, and to capture the spatial component of conflict by visualizing your case by photographing it.
• To improve your conceptual and analytical capacity to critically question conventional ideas and accepted courses of action, and to define your own position.
• To train you to become better conflict analysts
About this course:|
Why are people prepared to die for the notion of a ‘mother country’, a nation or a religious group? What moves people to fight their neighbours, city members or acquaintances in the name of ‘ethnicity’? In the current academic debate social identities and communities are seen as constructed: as ‘inventions’ and ‘imaginings’. Nevertheless, in times of conflict, constructions like the nation, the ethnic group, or any other putative identity can crystallize as a powerful, compelling reality.
This course introduces students to a selection of analytical approaches that explore the connection between identity and violence through an emphasis on social, spatial and virtual processes of boundary making and unmaking. The course examines the role of violent practices and violent imaginaries in the cementing of antagonistic identities, and the connections to elite machinations and predatory mythologies. It introduces students to social constructivism, spatiality and critical discourse analysis, and concepts such as identity, ethnicity, reification, , urbicide, and ‘everywhere war’. In the last part of the course, we address the rise of virtual boundaries and digital borders, and the ways remote technologies such as geospatial intelligence and drones have impacted contemporary war and warfare.
Early Exit option (5 ECTS)
Exchange students who are required to return to their home university before January, are allowed to choose an Early Exit option for this course. The Early Exit option means that students can finish the course before Christmas break, receiving 5 ECTS for the course. Students must make arrangements with the course coordinator at the start of the course.