SSEASN - Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies

Tu 3-5:59P
Edwards, Penelope

Crime Friction: Detecting Modernity in Southeast Asia & Empire

This seminar explores the history of modernity and empire in Southeast Asia through the figures of the bandit, policeman, detective, and writer/reader.  The first section explores histories and cultural myths and literary legacies of bandits, alongside the imperial vocabulary of dacoit/terrorist/bandit.  The second section focuses on police and surveillance techniques in city and empire, including censorship of print and visual media. The third  section focuses on the detective genre. We consider the translation and adaptations of Sherlock Holmes in Siam and Burma, and also why this genre was slow to catch on in Southeast Asia.  Most of our readings are on/about mainland Southeast Asia, but we will also read some comparative work on Hong Kong, Japan & Shanghai.  Our texts will be primarily historical and scholarly, but we will also read & view some primary sources including excerpts from Southeast Asian epic literature, Buddhist lore, and detective film & fiction.   A syllabus and reading list is available on request from pennyedwards [at] berkeley [dot] edu

Meets the Graduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities elective requirement

Fall 2017