• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The course will provide an overview of the main historical trends in Southeast Asia over the last 2000 years. This region, remarkable for its ethnic, cultural and social diversity, has evolved into eleven nation states, but the approach in this course will be comparative and cross-regional. It will examine themes and issues that bind the region, including the early emergence of rich civilizations, the spread of world religions, the intrusion of Western colonialism and the tumultuous politics of nation-formation, war, revolution, independence and dictatorship. The course will address the different interpretations of the region’s history, especially the tension and contrast between indigenous and external perspectives.  It will address both the big picture of dramatic political change and the experiences of ordinary people as they accommodated those changes in their daily lives. Southeast Asia has inspired ideas such as Anderson’s ‘imagined communities’ and Scott’s ‘seeing like a state’ that have influenced research far beyond the region. The course offers an introduction to this writing and to the turbulent societies that it analyses. The coverage of the course will conclude in about 1990 with the end of the Indo-China Wars.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

The course will cater for students with a variety of skill levels and needs to be seen as enhancing skills which have been developed in prior study and work experience and which will be further developed in subsequent courses. Within this broad, student-focussed framework, graduate students successfully completing the course will:

  1. Enhance their empirical knowledge of Southeast Asian history in a way that will enable them to speak and write in an informed way on general topics in Southeast Asian affairs.
  2. Acquire models of empirical knowledge construction that will enhance their ability to identify kinds of information that are likely to be available
  3. Develop informed views on the place of Southeast Asia in world history.
  4. Identify the main controversies in Southeast Asian history and the evidence and arguments that are applied to those debates.
  5. Apply critical skills in the identification and use of historical sources
  6. Construct an evidence-based argument in essay form in answer to a historical question

Indicative Assessment

Item A Contribution to discussion (10%)

Item B 2 article summaries – 500 words each, 10% each – (20%)

Item C Long essay (4,000 words) (weighted 70%)

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The workload (per week) will be:

 2 X 1 hour lectures

 1 X 1 hour tutorial (except for week 1)

 7 hours independent study (likely to be unevenly spread over the semester)

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ASIA2085.

Prescribed Texts

Prescribed text for the course will be Craig Lockard Southeast Asia in World History (Oxford University Press, 2009)

A list of other readings will be provided to students and will include both scholarly works and primary sources.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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