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This paper introduces students to a diverse array of theoretical and ethnographic issues in the history and contemporary life of the societies and cultures of Southeast Asia (focusing on Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines).

Its key concerns are with the distinctive contributions made by anthropologists of Southeast Asia to fields of broad anthropological interest and debate, including the anthropology of the state, gender relations, theories of sovereignty, the anthropology of globalisation, and the relations between ‘world religion’ and local forms of faith and knowledge.

Specific topics covered may include:

  • transformations in kinship and intimacy
  • articulations of capitalism
  • political violence
  • memory
  • tradition, tourism, and cultural change
  • ritual
  • religious experience
  • the causes and consequences of environmental degradation
  • the ‘vernacularisation’ of socialism in Southeast Asia

Paper Resources


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