nl en

Premodern History of South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements



This course provides a long-term History of South and Southeast Asia from 3500 BCE to 1850 CE. After a historiographical (sources & concepts) and geopolitical (la longue durée) introduction the lectures engage (in chronological sequence) with themes that connect the various regions of South and Southeast Asia. We will compare the most prominent regional developments of settlement, state-formation and cultural developments and connect them through various trans-regional processes of migration, trade and conquest. The course will also reflect on the unity and diversity of the SSEA region as a whole by discussing three regional varieties of globalization: Indianization, Islamization and Colonization

Course objectives

Students will gain basic knowledge of the main historiographical concept and discussions and of the developments of the pre-modern history of South and Southeast Asian history. They will be able to understand what long-term conditions and historical processes unified and divided the SSEA macro-region. Students will gain a sense that history itself is not somewhere out there but part of an ongoing process.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Attendance is not obligatory for lectures. The conveners do not need to be informed in case of missed classes. Information and knowledge provided in the lectures greatly contribute to the subsequent courses of the programme and their contents will be part of the examination. In order to pass the course, students are strongly advised to attend all sessions.

Assessment method


For the entire course, there will be just one exam that consists of an essay of circa 2400 words (min. 2000, max 2600), exclusive of footnotes and bibliography.

The essays should build on both the two textbooks and the lectures.


If you have submitted your essay but it was graded with an insufficient,
you will have a chance to resubmit an improved version of the essay before 19 January 2023 at 13 hrs.

Please note: Since you have had more time to conceive and write the essay, your grade will be lowered with one full point.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Herman Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, A History of India (London & New York: Routledge 2016 – sixth edition)

  • Anthony Reid, A History of Southeast Asia: Critical Crossroads (Oxford: Blackwell, 2015)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.