1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Modern Southeast Asia

Modern Southeast Asia (HIST20034)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeHIST20034
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

From the growing influence of Islam and contemporary efforts to deal with past violence, this subject explores the history and lasting legacies of political, social and cultural change in modern Southeast Asia. Using case studies from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, East Timor and the Philippines from the 19th and 20th centuries we will explore European colonisation, anti-colonial resistance, the Japanese occupation, the Cold War and their impact on the societies of Southeast Asia. We will also examine nationalism, decolonisation, and contemporary issues ranging from ethnic tensions, separatist movements, religious revival, economic globalisation and human rights challenges. The focus of this subject will be the experience of Southeast Asian peoples of key moments in history and of broad social changes. The subject will encompass approaches to social and political history and draw extensively on translated primary documents including memoirs, speeches and literature.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • develop understanding of key issues in the social, cultural and political history of Southeast Asia since the late 19th century;
  • comprehend of the impact of colonialism, war and the Cold War on the countries of Southeast Asia;
  • understand the sources of inspiration for (and opposition to) independence struggles and revolutions in Southeast Asia, as well as legacies of these movements in present-day;
  • comprehend key themes in the historiography of Southeast Asia and the countries that make it up;
  • be able to analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments;
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources; and
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing, and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.

Last updated: 11 October 2019