Undergraduate Course: Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia (IMES10106)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Southeast Asia is home to almost a quarter of the global Muslim population. This course will explore the diverse manifestations of Islam among Southeast Asian people who speak a myriad of languages and who belong to distinct national, ethnic, and racial groups. We will learn how Islam plays a crucial role in the development of Southeast Asian history, religion, politics, arts, and societies. We will critically analyse the impacts of Islamic beliefs and values on social and cultural practices, and the formation of nations, communities, and identities. Alongside academic publications, we will be examining a variety of sources including legal documents, poetry, novels, and films.
In this course, students investigate the relations between Islam, culture, and politics in Southeast Asia as well as the connections with the broader Muslim world. By exploring a range of texts, case studies, and televisual sources we will analyse how Islam influences and is influenced by local cultures and politics.
The course will explore both theoretical and practical studies on Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia. We will discuss case studies from countries such as: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Myanmar. A wide range of topics related to Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia will be covered including but not limited to:
Arrival & Expansion of Islam in Southeast Asia
Islam and Colonial Power
Islam and Nationalism
Women and Gender
Law: Adat, Sharia and State Law
Islam and Inclusive Citizenship
Muslim Minorities in Southeast Asia
Piety, Arts, and Popular Culture.
Muslim Political Activism and Populism in Southeast Asia.
Student learning experience:
This course will comprise a two-hour weekly seminar and include interactive lectures, student presentations, and small group or plenary discussions. There are assigned readings and sometimes video viewings to prepare students for class discussion.
Students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcome, engage with literature's both orally and in writing, through delivering class presentations, participating in discussions, as well as through completing research projects and written work: Reading Summary (500 words), Midterm project (1000 words), and Final Project - Academic Essay (approximately 1700 words). As a formative assignment, students are also recommended to post weekly discussion questions online (up to 100 words).
This UG course shares its weekly 2-hour seminar with PG students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||A presentation with Reading Summary (500 words) (30%) -
Midterm Essay (Book or Movie review): 1000 words (30%) -
1700 words final essay (40%)
||- Comments provided orally on class presentations and on weekly formative exercises of writing responding questions to the readings.
- Individual written feedback on mid-course essay provided by marker
- Individual written feedback on final research project provided by marker
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the historical scope, proper terminology, and conceptual approaches pertinent to the study of Islam and Muslim societies in Southeast Asia.
- Identify and describe different perspectives both within academia and within Southeast Asian Muslim communities themselves on select religious and political issues.
- Evaluate the different disciplinary approaches and critical debate within the study of Southeast Asian Muslim societies and how they have changed over time.
- Use critical thinking, academic research, and communication skills to analyse contemporary events and issues related to Islam in Southeast Asia and global socio-political dynamics.
|Essential readings: |
Al-Attas, Syed M. Naguib. 1976. "A General Theory of the Islamization of the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago." In Profiles of Malay Culture: Historiography, Religion, and Politics. Jakarta: Ministry of Education and Culture, Directorate General of Culture. pp.73-84.
Ali, Muhamad (2014), "Islam in Modern Southeast Asian History" In Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian History. Editors: Norman Owen. Routledge. London. pp., 213-223.
Burhani, Ahmad. 2017. "Geertz's Trichotomy of Abangan, Santri, and Priyayi Controversy and Continuity." Journal of Indonesian Islam 11 (2): 329-349.
Daniels, Timothy P. 2013. "Introduction: Performance, Popular Culture, and Piety in Malaysia and Indonesia." In Performance, Popular Culture, and Piety in Muslim Southeast Asia, edited by Timothy P. Daniels, 1-12. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.
Chalk, P. 2001. Separatism in Southeast Asia: The Islamic Factor in Southern Thailand, Mindanao and Aceh. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 24: 241-269.
Fadhlullah Jamil & Atiku Garba Yahaya, "Muslims in non-Muslim Societies and Their Response to Major Issues Affecting Them: the Case of Singapore", Islamic Quarterly, 44, 4, 2000: pp. 575-600.
Formichi, Chiara. 2016. "Islamic Studies or Asian Studies" Islam in Southeast Asia. The Muslim World 106 (4): 696-718.
Hirschman, Charles. 1986. "The Making of Race in Colonial Malaya: Political Economy and Racial Ideology." Sociological Forum: Official Journal of the Eastern Sociological Society 1 (2): 330-61.
Hussain, Jamila. 2011. "More Than One Law for All: Legal Pluralism in Southeast Asia." Democracy and Security 7 (4): 374-89.
Iza Hussin, "Revelation and Redemption: Colonial Precedents for the Politics of Islam in India and Malaysia," in The Everyday Life of the State: A State-in-Society Approach, ed. Adam White (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012), 142-159.
Kajla, Meghna, and Nasreen Chowdhory. 2020. "The Unmaking of Citizenship of Rohingyas in Myanmar." In Citizenship, Nationalism and Refugeehood of Rohingyas in Southern Asia, edited by Nasreen Chowdhory and Biswajit Mohanty, 51-70. Singapore: Springer.
Laffan, Michael F. 2013. "A Religion That Is Extremely Easy and Unusually Light to Take on¿: Dutch and English Knowledge of Islam in Southeast Asia, ca. 1595-1811." Empire and Science in the Making: Dutch Colonial Scholarship in Comparative Global Perspective, 165-84.
Liow, Joseph Chinyong. 2015. "The Arab Spring and Islamist Activism in Southeast Asia: Much Ado About Nothing" Working Paper. Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Rethinking Political Islam Series, August, 20.
Milligan, Jeffrey Ayala. 2020. Islamic Identity, Postcoloniality, and Educational Policy: Schooling and Ethno-Religious Conflict in the Southern Philippines. 2nd ed. Islam in Southeast Asia. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nair, Shelia. 2007. "Challenging the Mullahs: Islam, Politics and Women's Activism, Interview with Zainah Anwar." International Feminist Journal of Politics 9 (2): 240-48
Peletz, Michael G. 2012. "Gender, Sexuality, and the State in Southeast Asia." The Journal of Asian Studies 71 (4): 895-917.
Quimpo, Nathan Gilbert. 2016. "Mindanao: Nationalism, Jihadism and Frustrated Peace." Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs.
Rasmussen, Anne. 2010. Women, the Recited Qur'an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia. University of California Press. Ch 5. Performing Piety through Islamic Musical Arts.
Reid, Anthony. 2010. Imperial Alchemy: Nationalism and Political Identity in Southeast Asia. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. "Ch. 2. Understanding Southeast Asian Nationalisms." pp., 25-48.
Roff, William R. 2009. Studies on Islam and Society in Southeast Asia. Singapore: NUS Press. Part I, p1-52. Especially, "Islam Obscured" Some Reflections on Studies of Islam and Society in Southeast Asia.
Wade, Geoff. 2019. "Islam Across the Indian Ocean to 1500 CE." In Early Global Interconnectivity Across the Indian Ocean World, Volume II: Exchange of Ideas, Religions, and Technologies, edited by Angela Schottenhammer. Cham: Springer International Publishing, Imprint Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 85-138.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Research and Inquiry: the ability to identify and analyse problems.
Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: the ability to critically evaluate ideas, evidence, and experiences from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.
Communication: the ability to participate in constructive discussion and debate in respectful manner and the ability to develop and deliver an academic presentation.
|Keywords||islam,southeast asia,muslim societies,indonesia,philippines,malaysia,political islam
|Course organiser||Dr Sarah Muwahidah
|Course secretary||Mrs Anne Budo
Tel: (0131 6)50 4161