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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Judith A.N. Henchy
HSTAS 221
Seattle Campus

History of Southeast Asia

Surveys Southeast Asian civilizations at the outset of Western colonial rule; the colonial impact on the traditional societies of Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines; nineteenth- and twentieth-century nationalist and revolutionary movements; emergence of Southeast Asia as a region in the modern world. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 221.

Class description

This course is an introduction to several of the countries of Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The goal will be to gain a multi-faceted understanding of ideology and representation in 20th and 21st century Southeast Asia by focusing on politics, religion, and colonialism, through the study of oral and written literatures. The course will focus on broad theoretical themes: images and representations of the American wars in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines through literature, and film; representations of Indonesia and Cambodia in the popular American imagination, from genocide to tourism; and the investigation of Southeast Asian colonial and postcolonial identities. The readings and discussions of these topics will provide multiple perspectives.

Student learning goals

Students will have an introduction to this strategically important region through novels, scholarly readings and film.

They will be introduced to ideas about colonialism, nationalism and power relations between "big powers" and smaller nations.

Students will understand the ways in which these power relationships are represented in various media (academic books, novels or films).

Students will be challenged to think about how these representations affect the peoples who are being represented.

Students will have an opportunity to write short analytical essays in class, using the content of readings and lectures.

Students will be encouraged to think analytically and to create an 8 page synthesis that brings together both the ideas and subject content of the class.

General method of instruction

There will be lectures, films, and a discussion section each week. The discussion sections will integrate the reading assignments with material presented in the lectures. Attendance at lectures and discussion sections is required.

Your grade for this course will be based on three IN-CLASS writing assignments in weeks 3, 6, and 9; a final 8 page paper; carrying out one oral interview or self-reflection and writing up a first person transcription and analysis (3-4 pages); and your participation in discussion sections. You will be able to revise your 3 in-class writing assignments and use them in your final papers. The written assignments are intended to assess student understanding of issues presented in the lectures, discussion sections, and readings. Guidelines for the papers, interviews, and transcriptions will be handed-out and posted on the website.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

In-class writings 30% (10% each) Interview Transcription Project 25% TA Section Participation 20% Final papers 25%

In addition students will be required to submit a map exercise on the first Tuesday of the third week of class. A passing grade on the map exercise is necessary to pass the course. The blank map will be provided in class. Assigned readings should be prepared for discussion in TA


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Judith A.N. Henchy
Date: 03/09/2009