Anthropology 244a Fall 2017
Professor Erik Harms
Course Meetings: T,Th 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Sections: 1hr Optional
Teaching Fellow: Tram Luong
|Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:30-4 pm, Thursdays 2:30-4 pm|
Department of Anthropology
10 Sachem Street
This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the extraordinary diversity of Southeast Asian peoples, cultures, and political economy. Broadly focused on the nation-states that have emerged since the end of World War II (Brunei, Burma [Myanmar], Cambodia, Indonesia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), the course explores the benefits and limits to a regional perspective. Crossing both national and disciplinary boundaries, the course will introduce students to key elements of Southeast Asian geography, history, language and literature, belief systems, marriage and family, music, art, agriculture, industrialization and urbanization, politics and government, ecological challenges, and economic change. In addition to providing a broad and comparative survey of “traditional” Southeast Asia, the course will place special emphasis on the intellectual and practical challenges associated with modernization and development, highlighting the ways different Southeast Asian nations contend with the forces of globalization.
The principle readings will include key works from a multidisciplinary range of fields covering anthropology, art, economics, geography, history, literature, music, and political science. No prior knowledge of Southeast Asia is expected.
GRADING AND COURSE WORK
Grades will be based primarily on the written assignments (including drafts and final essays, and in-class writing assignments), and student participation in the class. The total course grade will be calculated as a percentage of accumulated points. (A = 93-100; A- = 90-92; B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82; etc.).
- · Major assignments are indicated in the chart below, and include blogging assignments, one short essay concerning a Southeast Asian news event chosen by the student, and one independent research paper on a topic chosen by the student. A map quiz will be worth 50 points. Students will also contribute five short responses on select course readings, worth 10 points each. Students will select which five readings they would like to write about after week three.
- · Attendance and classroom participation are essential to success in the course, and students who fail to attend all class meetings, or who consistently arrive late or fail to participate, will see their final course grade affected.
Major assignments and their due dates are as follows:
|Date Due||Topic||Weight of Paper|
|Periodic (5 per semester)||Reading Responses / Map Annotations||10 X 5 = 50|
|All Semester||Classroom Participation and Preparation||100|
|Sept. 19||Map Quiz||50|
|Oct. 6||Ripped from the Headlines Paper||100|
|Nov. 28 & 30||Final Project Presentation||50|
|Dec. 8||Final Research Paper||200|
- Students must attend all of the scheduled classes, unless excused in advance by the instructor. Students anticipating the need to miss class for religious holidays or for approved participation in University athletics should inform the instructor during the first two weeks of class.
- Students must hand in papers on time at the beginning of class on the date indicated on this syllabus. Unless otherwise indicated, papers should be double-spaced, using standard 12 point font, with 1 inch margins. Unexcused late papers will not receive anything higher than a “B”. Students anticipating the need for an extension must forewarn the instructor at least one week in advance. On occasion, I will ask you to submit papers online using the “canvas” course website or via email. Papers or assignments submitted electronically should always be saved as Microsoft Word documents with standardized filenames according to the following format:
yourlastname.assignment#.doc (e.g.: “harms.1a.doc”)
- Unless otherwise noted, the readings indicated for a particular week should be completed by the first class meeting of the week. (Note: Readings marked with a hollow bullet point, “○”, are optional).
- Don’t plagiarize! Students should be familiar with Yale’s policy on academic honesty, located in the student handbook (pages 42-44):
And students should visit the following useful guide to citing sources at:
If you have questions about citing sources or remain unclear about plagiarism, please feel free to ask prof. Harms, a reference librarian in any of the Yale libraries, or staff members at the Yale College Writing Center. If you plagiarize you will fail the class.
The following required texts are available for purchase wherever you purchase books these days (I wish it was a small independent brick and mortar bookseller, but I suppose I’m a dreamer):
- Barker, Joshua, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist (2012). Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. ISBN: 978-0-8248-3741-9
- Mills, Mary Beth (1999). Thai Women in the Global Labor Force: Consuming Desires, Contested Selves. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN: 0-1835-2654-X
- Scott, James C. (1985). Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN: 978-0-300-03641-1
All other course readings indicated in the course schedule are available as electronic text reserves accessible online via the links on this syllabus or alphabetically at the course bibliography:
- On an experimental basis, I will be periodically uploading map-based lecture notes and study guides. In order to access these, students should download the free version of Google Earth, available at:
Week 1: Course Introduction: Encountering Southeast Asia
Thursday, August 31st: Introduction to the class.
PART ONE: Geographical, Social-Cultural, and Political Diversity
Week 2: Geography and the Human Landscape
Tuesday, September 5th: Rainy Season / Dry Season, Land / Water, Islands / Mainlands
- Osborne, Milton (2004). What is Southeast Asia? Southeast Asia: An Introductory History. St. Leonards, NSW, Australia, Allen & Unwin: 1-17.
- Rigg, Jonathan (1990). Southeast Asia: Physical and Historical Threads. Southeast Asia: A Region in Transition. London ; Boston, Unwin Hyman: 1-18.
Thursday, September 7th: Upland / Lowland, Rural / Urban
- Cham H’Roi Girl, and H’Mong Thai School-Girl in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
- Anderson, Benedict (1996). Census, Map, Museum. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York, Verso: 163-185.
- Scott, James C. (2009). Hills, Valleys, and States. in The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven, Yale University Press: 1-39.
Week 3: Ethno-Linguistic Diversity
Tuesday, September 12th: Linguistic Diversity and Socio-Linguistic Relationships
- The Beauty Contestant in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Geertz, Clifford (1960). Selections on Javanese Language. The Religion of Java. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
- Goddard, Cliff (2005). Language Families, Linguistic Areas and Language Situations.The Languages of East and Southeast Asia: An Introduction. Oxford, N.Y., Oxford University
- Hsieh, Jessica. (2011). Speak Good English Lah!: Prescriptive language policy in Singapore. New Haven, Student Final Paper Modern Southeast Asia, Yale University:1-14.
Thursday, September 14th: The Politics of Ethnic Diversity
- The Chinese Mestizo and The Malay Gangster in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Duncan, Christopher (2004). Legislating Modernity Among the Marginalized. Civilizing the Margins: Southeast Asian Government Policies for the Development of Minorities. Christopher R. Duncan, Ed. Ithaca, Cornell University Press: 1-23.
And Read any TWO of the following articles:
- Gillogly, Kathleen (2004). Developing the “Hill Tribes” of Northern Thailand. Civilizing the Margins: Southeast Asian Government Policies for the Development of Minorities. Christopher R. Duncan, Ed. Ithaca, Cornell University Press: 116-149.
- Ong, A. (2006). A Biocartography: Maids, Neoslavery, and NGOs. Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty. Durham, NC, Duke University Press: 195-217.
- Suryadinata, Leo (2007). Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia: Problems and Prospects.Understanding the Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: 11-28.
Week 4: Kinship, Family and Gender
Tuesday, September 19th: Kinship, the Family, and Identity
- Janowski, Monica (2007). Introduction: Feeding the Right Food: The Flow of Life and the Construction of Kinship in Southeast Asia. Kinship and food in South East Asia. Monica Janowski and Fiona Kerlogue, Ed. Copenhagen, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies: 1-23.
- Carsten, Janet (1995). The Substance of Kinship and the Heat of the Hearth: Feeding, Personhood, and Relatedness among Malays in Pulau Langkawi. American Ethnologist. 22(2): 223-241.
- Conklin, Harold. (2011 ). Maling, a Hanunóo Girl from the Philippines. Everyday Life in Southeast Asia. K. M. Adams and K. A. Gillogly. Bloomington, IN, Indiana University
**ASSIGNMENT 1 DUE: In-class Map Quiz**
Thursday, September 21st: Gender
- Miss Beer Lao and The Single Woman in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Brenner, Suzanne (1995). Why Women Rule the Roost: Rethinking Javanese Ideologies of Gender and Self-Control. Bewitching Women, Pious men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia. Aihwa Ong and Michael Peletz, Ed. Berkeley, University of California Press: 19-50.
- Cannell, Fenella (1999). “Beauty and the Idea of America” Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
- (Optional) Peletz, Michael (1994). Neither Reasonable nor Responsible: Contrasting Representations of Masculinity in a Malay Society. Cultural Anthropology. 9(2): 135-178.
Film: Match Made
Week 5: Religion and Cosmology
Tuesday, September 26th: Islam, Hinduism, Christianity
- Rudnyckyj, Daromir. (2009). “Spiritual Economies: Islam and Neoliberalism in Contemporary Indonesia.” Cultural Anthropology 24(1): 104-141.
- Smith-Hefner, Nancy. J. (2007). “Javanese Women and the Veil in Post-Soeharto Indonesia.” The Journal of Asian Studies 66(2): 389-420.
- Cannell, Fenella (1999). The Funeral of the ‘Dead Christ’. Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 165-182.
Thursday, September 28th: Buddhism, Confucianism, and the World of the Spirits
- The Buddhist Ascetic and The Spirit Medium in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Keyes, Charles (1995). Selections on Theravada Buddhism. The Golden Peninsula: Culture and Adaptation in Mainland Southeast Asia. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press: 78-90; 113-126.
- Cadière, L. M. (1989). Religious Beliefs and Practices of the Vietnamese. Clayton, Vic., Australia: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University.
Film: Love Man Love Woman
Week 6: Political Systems
Tuesday, October 3rd: Political Developments in Post-Colonial and Post-War SEA
- The National Leader and The Government Official in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Selections from Southeast Asian Constitutions
- Owen, Norman G. et al (2005). Industrialization and its Implications; Human Consequences of the Economic “Miracle”; Malaysia Since 1957; Singapore and Brunei; Indonesia: The First Fifty Years; The Kingdom of Thailand; The Philippines since 1972; Vietnam after 1975; Cambodia since 1975; Laos since 1975; Burma Becomes Myanmar. The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press: 379-506.
Thursday, October 5th: “Freedom,” ASEAN-style
- ASEAN Declaration and ASEAN vision 2020
- Zakaria, Fareed (1994). Culture is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew.Foreign Affairs. 73(2): 109-126.
- Kim Dae Jung (1994). Is Culture Destiny? The Myth of Asia’s Anti-Democratic Values.Foreign Affairs. 73(6): 189-194.
- Kelly, David (1998). Freedom – A Eurasian Mosaic. Asian Freedoms: The Idea of Freedom in East and Southeast Asia. David Kelly and Anthony Reid, Ed. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
**ASSIGNMENT 2: Ripped from the Headlines, due on course website by 5pm, Friday Oct. 6th.**
PART TWO: Political Economy and Conflicting Experiences of Modernity
Week 7: Modern Dreams and the Dark Side of Modernity
Tuesday, October 10th: The Cambodian Genocide and Other Modern Nightmares
- McCoy, Alfred. W. (1972). Flowers of Evil: The CIA and The Heroin Trade. Harper’s Magazine: 47-53.
- Kiernan, Ben (2004). The Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979. A Century of Genocide Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. Samuel Totten et al, Ed. New York, Routledge: 338-373.
Thursday, October 12th: The Cambodian Genocide and Other Modern Nightmares
- Burma in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung. (2011). “The Politics of Everyday Life in Twenty-First Century Myanmar.” Journal of Asian Studies 70(3): 641-656.
- Prasse-Freeman, Elliott. (2012). “Power, Civil Society, and an Inchoate Politics of the Daily in Burma/Myanmar.” Journal of Asian Studies 71(2): 371-397.
Film: New Year Baby
**PAPER PROPOSALS**Before the end of Week Eight please post a brief, one paragraph proposal for your final paper to the course website. Proposals should include a brief description of the topic, and a preliminary bibliography. As the semester progresses, we will schedule individual meetings to discuss your final paper proposals.
Week 8: Agricultural Economies, Social Change, and Resistance
For this week, please read:
- Scott, James C. (1985). Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Tuesday, October 17th: What Counts as Resistance? Southeast Asian Agricultural Diversity and Agricultural capitalism
October Recess: Tuesday, October 17th 11 pm — Monday, October 23rd 8:20 am
**Final Paper Proposal Due Before October Recess**
Week 9: Migration and Mobility
For this week, please read:
- The Bangladeshi Worker and the Aspiring Overseas Student in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Mills, Mary Beth (1999). Thai Women in the Global Labor Force: Consuming Desires, Contested Selves. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Tuesday, October 24th: Migration and Mobility
Thursday, October 26th: Migration and Mobility 2
Week 10: Development and its Limits: Urbanization and Ecological Crisis
Tuesday, October 31st: The Challenges of Urbanization and Industrialization
- The Squatter and Bangkok Slum Leader in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Rigg, Jonathan (1990). Urbanization and Primacy: Bangkok. Southeast Asia: A Region in Transition. London ; Boston, Unwin Hyman: 133-162.
- Rigg, Jonathan (1997). Marginal People and Marginal Lives. Southeast Asia: The Human Landscape of Modernization and Development, Routledge: 69-151.
Thursday, November 2nd: Ecological and Social Crises of Development
- The Timber Entrepreneur and The Mitigation Expert in Barker, Harms & Lindquist (2012) Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
- Dove, Michael (1996). Rice-Eating Rubber and People-Eating Governments.Ethnohistory. 43(1): 33-63.
- Ong, Aihwa (1987). “Selections” Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia. Albany: State University of New York: 179-221.
- Taylor, Philip (2007). Poor Policies, Wealthy Peasants: Alternative Trajectories of Rural Development in Vietnam. Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2(2): 3-56.
PART THREE: The Arts of Change
Week 11: Literature and Social Change
For this week, please read:
- Ho Anh Thai (2001). The Goat Meat Special. Old Truths, New Revelations. K. K. Seet and Asean Committee on Culture and Information, Eds. Singapore, Times Books International: 318-326.
- Lapcharoensap, Rattawut (2004). Farangs. Over there: how America sees the world. London, Granta: 189-203.
- Le Minh Khue (2001). The Concrete Village. Old Truths, New Revelations. K. K. Seet and Asean Committee on Culture and Information, Eds. Singapore, Times Books International: 219-228.
- Pe Myint (2001). Parts for Sale. Old Truths, New Revelations. K. K. Seet and Asean Committee on Culture and Information, Eds. Singapore, Times Books International:65-71.
- Somsouk Souksavath (2001). The New God? Old Truths, New Revelations. K. K. Seet and Asean Committee on Culture and Information, Eds. Singapore, Times Books International: 257-259.
- Tan Hwee Hwee (2001). Mid-Autumn. Old Truths, New Revelations. K. K. Seet and Asean Committee on Culture and Information, Eds. Singapore, Times Books International: 295-305.
- Pramodya Ananta Toer (1996). My Kampung [Kampungku]. Indonesia. 61(April): 25-32.
Tuesday, November 7th: Is there a Southeast Asian Literature?
Thursday, November 9th: In-class peer review of Final Paper Outlines / Annotated Bibliography
**Annotated Bibliography and Final Paper Outlines Due in Class**
Week 12: Art and Music
For this week, please read:
- Mrázek, Jan (2000). More than a Picture: The Instrumental Quality of the Shadow Puppet. Studies in Southeast Asian Art: Essays in Honor of Stanley J. O’Connor. Stanley J. O’Connor, Nora A. Tayloret al, Eds. Ithaca, N.Y., Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University. Studies on Southeast Asia no. 29: 49-73.
- Taylor, Nora (1999). ‘Pho’ Phai and Faux Phais: The Market for Fakes and the Appropriation of a Vietnamese National Symbol. Ethnos. 64(2): 232-248.
- Lockard, Craig. (1998). “Thailand.” in Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press.
Tuesday, November 14th: Understanding Southeast Asian Music
Thursday, November 16th: Art and Music as Political Statement
**Draft of Final Paper Due After November Recess**
November Recess: Friday Nov. 17th, 5:30 pm – Monday Nov. 27th Nov. 8:20 am
Week 13: Student Project Presentations
For this week, please prepare and practice a presentation of your final research project:
Tuesday, November 28th: Group A Presentations
Thursday, November 30th: Group B Presentations
Week 14: Course Conclusion
For this week, please read:
- Your peer-review partners’ essay drafts.
- Comments on your essay from your peer review partners
Tuesday, December 5th: Peer Review of Final Essays
Thursday, December 7th: Course Conclusion
**FINAL PAPER: due, Friday Dec. 8th**