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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laurie J Sears
SISSE 466
Seattle Campus

Islam, Mysticism, Politics and Performance in Indonesian Culture

Shows how Indonesia, the world's fourth most-populous country, with the largest Islamic population, weaves together local practices and influences from India and Persia. Offers ways of understanding modern Indonesian performing arts, religion, and polities. Offered: jointly with HSTAS 446.

Class description

This course has a twofold purpose: 1) to introduce students to Indonesian religions, performing arts, and politics and 2) to show how Indonesian Islam has been interpreted and misinterpreted in scholarly and popular literatures of the colonial and postcolonial periods.

Student learning goals

See HSTAS 466 for learning goals

General method of instruction

This course juxtaposes historical and literary ways of understanding Indonesian religion, performance, and politics. Through a combination of reading, discussion, films, and music, we will gain an appreciation for the ways in which religion, performance and politics are intertwined in Indonesian histories

Recommended preparation

Do the assigned readings and come to class.

Class assignments and grading

Course Requirements and Readings Jean Taylor, Indonesia: Peoples and Histories Pramoedya Ananta Toer, This Earth of Mankind (or one of its sequels) R.A. Kartini, Letters of a Javanese Princess (selected & provided by Instructor) Ayu Utami, Saman Dewi Lestari, Supernova (Please purchase from Amazon)

Goals Students should prepare the readings conscientiously, take notes on it, ask questions of it, and think deeply about it, all in advance of class.

The course grade will be calculated as follows:

In-class writing 40% [5% each, weeks 2-9] Group web project 25% Final take-home exam 35%


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 Laurie J Sears
Date: 11/23/2011