East and West: Identity, Tradition and Modernity

LGLOR2524  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

East and West: Identity, Tradition and Modernity
5.0 credits
30.0 h

This biannual course is taught on years 2015-2016, 2017-2018, ....

Coulie Bernard ; den Heijer Johannes ;


Main themes

The course deal swith the following themes:

- notions of East and West and of Orientalism and Westernism;
- relations between East and West from historical times to the present day.

Particular attention will be given to the different concepts inherent in the respective Eastern and Western points of view, such as culture, identity, tradition, modernity. Examples will be considered from different areas of the East (the Arab world, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian world, the Far East, etc.) and the West (Europe, United States, etc.). These examples will juxtapose the links between current events and their historical roots.


At the end of this course, the student will be able to construct a personal opinion of, and to undertake a research on the notions of East and West, of Orientalism and Westernism and on the relations between East and West from historical times to the present day.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.


In a globalised world the uniformisation of behaviour and habits, the diffusion of political systems, or even the appeal to values which are presented as universal lead one often to think that the world of today has overcome the differences between its constituent parties. Yet these differences are nonetheless present and have their roots in history. They mark the distinction between the groups of human beings which identify cultures, languages, philosophical or religious systems. The distinction between East and West is one axis for the analysis of the these distinctions. The knowledge of cultural and religious traditions is a means of accessing the understanding of these differences.

Teaching methods

Formal lectures, seminars and, occasionally, presentation by external experts. Inscription on Moodle is obligatory.

Evaluation methods

Personal working to be defended orally

Other information

The course is given in English. Students are encouraged to complete the individual work in English.

Online resources

The student will find  on the Moodle server useful study material. In addition it will be used as a platform for ongoing work and communication.


To be established

Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Program title
Master [120] in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies