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Semester 1

Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia (IMES10106)


Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies





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Visiting students should have at least 3 courses in a related subject area at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

Southeast Asia is home to almost a quarter of the global Muslim population. This course will explore the diverse manifestations of Islam among Southeast Asian people who speak a myriad of languages and who belong to distinct national, ethnic, and racial groups. We will learn how Islam plays a crucial role in the development of Southeast Asian history, religion, politics, arts, and societies. We will critically analyse the impacts of Islamic beliefs and values on social and cultural practices, and the formation of nations, communities, and identities. Alongside academic publications, we will be examining a variety of sources including legal documents, poetry, novels, and films.

Course Description

In this course, students investigate the relations between Islam, culture, and politics in Southeast Asia as well as the connections with the broader Muslim world. By exploring a range of texts, case studies, and televisual sources we will analyse how Islam influences and is influenced by local cultures and politics. The course will explore both theoretical and practical studies on Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia. We will discuss case studies from countries such as: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Myanmar. A wide range of topics related to Muslim Societies in Southeast Asia will be covered including but not limited to: Arrival & Expansion of Islam in Southeast Asia Islam and Colonial Power Islam and Nationalism Women and Gender Law: Adat, Sharia and State Law Islam and Inclusive Citizenship Muslim Minorities in Southeast Asia Piety, Arts, and Popular Culture. Muslim Political Activism and Populism in Southeast Asia. Student learning experience: This course will comprise a two-hour weekly seminar and include interactive lectures, student presentations, and small group or plenary discussions. There are assigned readings and sometimes video viewings to prepare students for class discussion. Students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcome, engage with literature's both orally and in writing, through delivering class presentations, participating in discussions, as well as through completing research projects and written work: Reading Summary (500 words), Midterm project (1000 words), and Final Project - Academic Essay (approximately 1700 words). As a formative assignment, students are also recommended to post weekly discussion questions online (up to 100 words). This UG course shares its weekly 2-hour seminar with PG students.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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