2020 Area Studies: South and Southeast Asia

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Humanities and social science courses
Nanba Seitaro 
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Course description and aims

   What is Southeast Asia? Can we find the unity in the area? If you travel around the area, you will hear various languages, and see various religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Animism. In fact, the idea of Southeast Asia was rarely used before the Second World War.
   This course focuses on the diversity of Southeast Asia, and the historical background of it. People living in the area make their livelihoods under diverse geographical conditions. Someone catches fish at sea, and others grow rice at swidden fields in mountain areas. They have always communicated with the people in other areas such as East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and Europe. The legacy of colonialism or the cold war is still important for them.
   This course has two purposes. The first is to learn about the basic knowledge about languages, religions, food cultures, and political systems in Southeast Asia. The second is to deepen the understanding of the diversity of human societies.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able;
①to acquire general knowledge about geography, livelihood, language, religion, history, political system in Southeast Asia.
②to understand the diversity of human societies and to respect it.


Southeast Asia, Diversity, History, Culture, Politics

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

All lectures will be conducted using Power Point slides and handouts. Occasionally, photos and movies will be used.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: What is Southeast Asian Studies? Understand the purpose of Area Studies.
Class 2 Geography and Livelihood: Living at Mountains, Rivers, or Seas. Understand the relationship between geography and livelihood.
Class 3 Language and Religion: Acceptance and Transformation of Civilizations. Understand the process of forming languages and religions.
Class 4 Legacy of Colonialism: Various Perspectives on Modernization. Understand the impact of colonialism.
Class 5 Legacy of the Hot War: From the Experience of Madam Dewi Sukarno. Understand about the nation building in the cold war era.
Class 6 Political Background of Economic Development: Capitalism, Socialism, and Neutralism. Understand the idea of developmental dictatorship.
Class 7 Conclusion:Contemporary Issues in Southeast Asia. Understand contemporary issues.
Class 8 Examination.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

今井昭夫(編). 2014. 『東南アジアを知るための50章』明石書店.(ISBN978-4-7503-3979-5)
古田元夫. 2018. 『東南アジアの歴史』放送大学教育振興会.(ISBN978-4-595-31858-0)

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' course scores are based on normal points (reaction papers, 40%) and final exams (60%).

Related courses

  • LAH.A501 : Area Studies: Europe
  • LAH.A502 : Area Studies: East Asia
  • LAH.A503 : Area Studies: Latin America
  • LAH.A504 : Area Studies: Middle East and Africa
  • LAH.A506 : Area Studies: North America and Oceania

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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