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Histories of Modern South and Southeast Asia



This course will start a week later on Monday, September 14.

Admission requirements



This course aims to give students a concise knowledge of the modern histories of South and Southeast Asia from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, and to make them familiar with current debates on key issues with relation to those histories. These include for South and Southeast Asia: the character and institutions of the colonial state, the colonial economy, colonial instruments of knowledge, the late-colonial economic structure, the emergence of nationalism, decolonization, including the partition of the British Raj.

Part of this course involves compulsory meetings on Academic Skills (tutorials about Research Skills) offered by the EAV.

Course objectives

This course offers participants a good survey of the facts and the historical debates concerning modern South and Southeast Asia. Participants are also trained in essay writing.



Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Lectures: 26 hs
Sessions Academic Skills: 4 hs
Preparation for lectures: 26 hs
Preparation for exam: 40 hs
Essay: 44 hs

Assessment method

  • Written examination: 60 %

  • Brief essay: 40 %

The final mark is made up of the essay (40 %) and the written examination (60 %). In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of “5.50” (=6) or higher. There is a re-sit for the examination and an opportunity to submit a revised essay but only if the final mark is fail (i.e. if the overall mark for the course is “5.49” or lower).

The course is an integrated whole. The written examination and the brief essay must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.



Reading list

A selection of chapters from:

  • Crispin Bates, Subalterns and Raj, South Asia since 1600. (London: Routledge, 2007).

  • Norman Owen at al eds, The Emergence of Southeast Asia, A New History (Hawaii Univ Press 2005).


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registration procedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte.


Mw. Prof.dr. N.K. Wickramasinghe
Dhr. Prof.dr. H. Schulte Nordholt


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).