Postgraduate Course: Southeast Asia (PGSP11044)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Southeast Asia has often been characterised by anthropologists and historians as a region of great cultural diversity, but it also appears to have an underlying cultural unity. The themes of diversity and unity can be discerned through the lens of some classic topics of anthropological analysis across the region - including ecology, religion, kinship, and politics. Through careful readings of classic and contemporary ethnographies of Southeast Asia together with films and fictional writing, this course will consider both locally salient social issues and the changing anthropological engagement with Southeast Asia over time.
Course Outline: Indicative Topics
Introduction to Southeast Asia as a region
Agriculture and economy
Power and politics
Kinship, the person, and the everyday
Violence and warfare
Law and ethics
The urban and other emergent forms of life
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| The overall aims of the course can be summarized as follows:
- to contribute to preparing students to participate in an effective and informed way in debates regarding the history and cultures of Southeast Asia, issues regarding regional cultural difference, and the relation between the anthropology of Southeast Asia and the work of social anthropology more generally;
- to enable students to identify and characterise key approaches from social anthropology, from other social science disciplines, and from some interdisciplinary materials such as films and novels in understanding and evaluating issues concerning Southeast Asia;
- to allow for critical evaluation of contributions to academic and public debates regarding regional issues and make links between Southeast Asia and the wider world;
- to make it possible for students to identify and evaluate a selection of approaches and debates within the anthropology of Southeast Asia.
Richard Baxstrom 2008 Houses in Motion: The Experience of Place and the Problem of Belief in Urban Malaysia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Andrew Beatty 1999 Varieties of Javanese Religion: An Anthropological Account. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fenella Cannell 1999 Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Janet Carsten 1997 The Heat of the Hearth: The Process of Kinship in a Malay Fishing Community. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Clifford Geertz 1960 The Religion of Java. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Clifford Geertz 1963 Agricultural Involution: The Procesess of Ecological Change in Indonesia. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Thomas Gibson 1986 Sacrifice and Sharing in the Philippine Highlands. London: Athlone Press.
Janet Hoskins 1998 Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of People's Lives. New York: Routledge.
Edmund Leach 1964  Political Systems of Highland Burma: A Study of Kachin Social Structure. London: Athlone Press.
James C. Scott 2009 The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven and London; Yale University Press
James Siegel (1986) Solo in the New Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Mary Margaret Steedly 1993 Hanging without a Rope: Narrative Experience in Colonial and Postcolonial Karoland. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Janet Carsten
Tel: (0131 6)50 3935
|Course secretary||Mr Fraser Maxwell
Tel: (0131 6)51 1183