ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Section: 001 Criminality, Power, and Culture in Southeast Asia
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Credits:
3
Enforced Prerequisites:
Graduate Standing
Repeatability:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Criminality, power, and culture are intertwined in Southeast Asia, as they are elsewhere. In order to assert the legitimacy of their practices, states and their officials rely on the maintenance of a boundary between legality (e.g., taxation) and illegality (e.g. extortion). At the same time, they not infrequently rely on those they formally criminalize for the informal enforcement of their authority (e.g., “goons”). In popular discourse, criminality tends to oscillate between popular heroism, as with Robin Hood-like champions who subvert authority, and public menace, which conversely suggests a popular demand for intensified authority. How have these dimensions of criminality changed over time and across regimes? How are they reflected in the domains of both popular culture and politics? We will focus heavily on Indonesia, where bandit figures became anti-colonial resistance fighters and where gangsters were at times deployed by the postcolonial military regime and at other times were repressively contained by it. Our secondary focus will be the Philippines, where the influence of local mafia-like bosses can be seen largely a product of a form of democracy, instituted under American colonialism, which favored a political system oriented around local elections. We will also consider the intermediary case of Thailand which, long ruled by a succession of military regimes, has seen the rise of local “godfathers” as parliamentarians since turning toward parliamentary politics in recent decades. This course will approach its subject theoretically and historically. In addition to reading scholarly work, students will be asked to interpret a variety of cultural products such as journalism, novels, and films. By the end of the course, students should achieve a more nuanced understanding of local interpretations of abstract concepts such as democracy, legitimacy, the rule of law, citizenship, identity, and subjectivity in Southeast Asia today. Course requirements will include weekly response papers and a final research project. Some prior coursework related to Southeast Asia is highly recommended.

ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
19823
Open
9
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (SEM)
P
21878
Open
4
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Meets together with HISTART 489 section 006
003 (SEM)
P
22579
Closed
0
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
004 (LAB)
 
24100
Closed
0
 
-
Th 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Note: This course meets together with ANTHRCUL 458 section 003 and HISTORY 498 section 001
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 9780877277248
Figures of criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines, and colonial Vietnam, Author: Vicente L. Rafael, editor; [Ru, Publisher: Southeast Asia Program Publica 1999
Required
ISBN: 9780877271345
Gangsters, democracy and the state in Southeast Asia, Author: ed.: Carl A. Trocki, Publisher: Southeast Asia Program Publ. Repr. 1998
Required
ISBN: 0822382512
A new criminal type in Jakarta counter-revolution today, Author: James T. Siegel., Publisher: Duke University Press 1998
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9780824813956
Gangsters and revolutionaries : the Jakarta People's Militia and the Indonesian revolution, 1945-1949, Author: Cribb, R. B., Publisher: University of Hawaii Press 1991
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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