ISLAM & SOC SEASIA -- CULTURES, TEXTS AND POLITICS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
This seminar will focus on the late colonial and national periods in Southeast Asia (with readings from Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines). Through literary and political texts, as well as classical and anthropological sources, we will explore different approaches to reading and analyzing Southeast Asian source material. The course will consider changing perceptions of self and family, of cultural identity and of state systems throughout modern Southeast Asian history. The concepts of “traditional” and “modern” and of the role of individual authority will be analyzed at length. How do conceptualizations of Southeast Asian polities influence modern states? How do religious identities affect self-described “modern” and “political” writings? There will be extensive readings of works of fiction and primary source material in translation as well as occasional screenings of films. We will be tackling broader themes and theoretical approaches to Southeast Asian sources and literatures and we will discuss different approaches to take to the reading of modern Southeast Asian texts.