Research Seminar: Ethnographies of Southeast Asia
This is a graduate seminar dedicated to the exploration of classic and contemporary ethnographic texts about Southeast Asian societies. Designed for graduate students whose area focus is Southeast Asia, or whose theoretical concerns merit a close reading of key texts on the syllabus, the course will engage with cannonical work, such as the writings of Clifford Geertz, Edmund Leach, James C. Scott, Ann Laura Stoler, Anna Tsing, and others, as well as with emerging voices in Southeast Asian studies such as Tyrell Haberkorn, Erik Harms, Johann Lindquist and Karen Strassler. The course is particularly well suited to students in the social sciences and Asian Studies interested in writing ethnographically about the region, and in gaining a sense for the particularities of Southeast Asia at the intimate scale of ethnographic narrative. Students will engage not only with the theoretical insights advanced by core texts, but also with the relationship between ethnographic research and the production of “theory”, and with questions of tone, voice and style in ethnographic writing. Finally, the course provides students with the opportunity to write their own theoretical and/or ethnographic texts, and culminates in a writing workshop for course participants.
Image credit: Tyra De Kleen, Wayang (Javanese Theatre), New Series, Publication No. 3 (Stockholm, Sweden: The Ethnographical Museum of Sweden, 1937).