ANT 324L • Cultures of Southeast Asia
Course objective and content: The course aims to provide a general introduction to important themes in the anthropological literature on Southeast Asia. This semester the course will focus on the three countries, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, that were colonized by the French and which suffered the most from the depredations of the anti-colonial wars of the mid-twentieth century.
Classes will include both lecture and discussion. Readings will consist primarily of fiction and memoirs by people from the region, although some writings by Western social scientists will also be included. The reading load, while consistently fascinating, is quite heavy. Students should not expect the lectures to substitute for the reading. We will also discuss two Hollywood films about the American involvement in Vietnam. Prior coursework in anthropology is not a prerequisite for this course. However, upperclass standing is required. Students who have registered for the course but do not have upperclass standing will not be permitted to remain once the semester starts.