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Histories of Modern South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements



This course offers a comprehensive historical survey of South and Southeast Asia from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century. Key themes include: the character and dynamics of colonialism, colonial development of knowledge, the late-colonial economic structure, the emergence of nationalism, decolonization, including the partition of the British Raj.

Course objectives

This course offers participants a good survey of the facts and the historical debates concerning modern South and Southeast Asia. Participants are also trained in essay writing.



Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course load

Assessment method

  • Written examination: 60 %

  • Brief essay: 40 %

The final mark is made up of the essay (40 %) and the written examination (60 %). Separate marks given for both, final mark is the weighted average. There is a resit for the examination and an opportunity to submit a revised essay but only if the final mark is fail.


Blackboard is used as the main means for communication and for distribution of additional course materials.
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

A selection of chapters from:

  • Crispin Bates, Subalterns and Raj, South Asia since 1600 (London: Routledge, 2007).

  • M.C. Ricklefs and others, A new history of Southeast Asia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte


Prof.Dr. N.K. Wickramasinghe