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Histories of Southeast Asia (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant research MA programme. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


This course is offered in the form of a literature seminar surveying, in global context, current discourses on the history of Southeast Asia. Attention is paid to a variety of prominent historiographic debates, including ongoing controversies over the prehistoric origins of the region’s population, and over the historical roots of Southeast Asia’s authoritarian ideologies. Students learn to situate Southeast Asia in relation to global historical forces such as colonialism, the Cold War, and Islam, and in relation to the international literature on those topics. The course makes use of comparisons among the Southeast Asian countries, and also highlights their historical relations with China, India, and the Middle East.

Course objectives

Participants will gain a thorough understanding of key current discourses on the history of Southeast Asia, and are trained in critically examining key texts. Both oral and written presentations are required.


Check timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total: 280 hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours, with an extra 6 hours for students of the Research MA (in a form to be discussed)
Reading, and preparation of presentations and assignments: 248 hours

Assessment method

Presentations and participation in class: 35 per cent
Written assignment: 65 per cent (6000 words)

(The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

To be announced


Registration through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Register A la carte
Register Contractonderwijs


Further information can be obtained from the lecturers: Prof.dr. David Henley and Prof.Dr. H. Schulte Nordholt