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Unformatted text preview: 23 rd September 2010 SEAS 1 – Lecture 1 Course Overview and Topography, Geography and Climate of Southeast Asia COURSE OVERV IEW Why do we study Southeast Asia? • Culture: I t is a fascinating region that is culturally rich (over 100 cultures). • Population : major global population center. Around the population of Europe. 4 of the 20 most populous countries in the World. Indonesia (230 million), Philippines, Vietnam (80 million), Thailand. • Economics : SE Asia has annual export value that is more than twice of South America. Crucial source for minerals: tin, copper, oil. Significant oil producing region. Indonesia is the only SE Asian member of OPEC. Major manufacturing center: textiles, electronics.. • Size : Physically huge, 3,500 miles East to West and 2,500 from South to West. • Location: Strategic location. Between South and East Asia. • Political : Cold War of 1940-1990s played out in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos), Communism spreading from China. • American Connections : United States was colonial overlord of Philippines. WWII was fought in parts of SE Asia. Indo-China wars, many refugees to the United States. History of Southeast Asian Studies • Origins : Grew out of WWII. First came on the map in terms of American consciousness. Because of the Japanese invasion of many parts of SE Asia, the US focused attention on SE Asia. Push to study SE Asia in that time to learn more due to a need for information. US is the strongest center for SE Asian studies outside of the area. Japan, Australia, France, etc are also strong centers for SE Asian studies. • Structures : Comparative view of SE Asia. Look at each constituent of SE Asia. What is Southeast Asia? • Countries: Madagascar can be included for ethnic reasons. Many people have moved there. Papua New Guinea is not in SE Asia but Indonesia is part of SE Asia. Taiwan and South Korea have been classified as parts of SE Asia but are in fact not. No academic perspective why we should not include PNG and include Indonesia. The line defining SE Asia has been arbitrarily drawn for convenience’s sake. • Does “Southeast Asia” even exist? : Europe is also somewhat arbitrary so there is no real argument that SE Asia does not exist. • ”Southeast Asia” as a historical term : “Nan Yang” – China. Suvannabhumi (lands of gold) – India. Further India/India Orientalis (East India), Indochina – Europe (due to the Indian cultural influences found in SE Asia). Historically, Europe (due to the Indian cultural influences found in SE Asia)....
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- Fall '09
- Islam, SE Asia