Advanced Studies in Asian History

History 280F

Fall 2015
Day & Time: 
W 12-2P

The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to some of the most influential works, figures and debates within the field of Southeast Asian History.  Most weekly readings are taken from classic texts that have shaped the study of the field (for good or for ill) in important ways.  Early readings will address important efforts to think about Southeast Asian history as a coherent academic field.  Many of the later readings discuss general conceptual formulations put forward by scholars of the region that have been influential in subsequent scholarship.  Examples include Furnivall's plural society, Wolters' ideas about localization and mandala state-craft, Smail's avocacy of autonomous history, Scott's notion of the moral economy of the peasant, Geertz's theses on agricultural involution and the theater state, and Anderson's famous account of the emergence of imagined communities.  Students are expected to do the readings, deliver in-class presentations and write a 20- to 25-page paper.  The course may also be taken as a 285 but with a different writing assignment.