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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Winter 2007, Dept = SEAS
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SEAS 215 — Contemporary Social Issues in Southeast Asia
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Sullivan,Charles Parks

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Southeast Asia is an 11-country region of 600 million people that includes 250 million Muslims, 170 million Buddhists, and 120 million Christians. It is at the forefront and center of a host of global social, political, environmental and public health problems and issues including the following: ethnic and religious diversity and conflict; economic and social transition; democratization and terrorism; human, women's and children's rights; labor standards and international migration; avian flu, SARS and AIDS; environmental degradation from rapid urban-industrial and agrarian development; and technological growth and globalization and their associated cultural and artistic transformations, particularly among youth who are growing up in a drastically different world than their parents and grandparents did. This course comprises a coordinated set of guest lectures by U-M faculty from a variety of LSA departments (Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology) and professional schools (Business, Law, Natural Resources, Public Health, Urban Planning), with presentations, readings and class assignments designed to form a cohesive whole. The lectures will be interactive, with sufficient time for discussion and in-class projects.

Course work will include a specially developed set of materials focused on the lives of 12 university-age men and women in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. These young people will be available at times during the course to communicate with enrolled students via some form of internet connection (email, bulletin boards, chat or video conference) to allow for a direct exchange of ideas between U-M students and our partners in Southeast Asia.

Intended audience: Lower-level undergraduates from across the University: LSA, School of Business, Ford School, School of Natural Resources, etc.

Course Requirements: Three 5-page papers, in-class projects, participation in discussion, attendance in class, short reading assignments with reflections and questions.

SEAS 455 — Topics in Southeast Asian Studies
Section 001, SEM
Thai Theater: Women's Lives in the Ramayana

Instructor: Damrhung,Pornrat

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will use stories of the life of Seeda (known in other forms of the Ramayana as Sita or Sinta) from old Thai sources as vehicles for students/performers to create and stage new versions of Seeda's life by working through and developing what is familiar to them in these old stories. In this way the project will introduce participants not just to a classical tradition from far away, but also to what such a tradition can teach them about their own arts and talents. The result will weave between old and new, between East and West, between Seeda's stories and their own, thereby helping audiences and performers alike to expand their own worlds.

The course's final project, a theater piece called "Stories of Seeda" will use English words and a modernized Thai / Southeast Asian setting to retell Seeda's life in a way that highlights its parallels and similarities to those familiar to the performers. By creating a space in between what is old and new, and in Thailand and in Michigan, performers can see how far — and how close — their lives are to that of Seeda and then relay this distance to audiences.

"Stories of Seeda" will be a contemporary production based on Thai classical stories, using classical Thai forms and motifs to let performers highlight both the importance of the old stories of Seeda's life and the importance of contemporary women's lives. The choice of Seeda — the reincarnation of the Goddess Lakshemi, who suffered so much in her life — is based on the many neglected parts of Seeda's life that are worth sharing as reminders of her experience as a powerful and precious woman who can touch everybody's heart, rather than as one who mainly honored her husband, Rama.

Advisory Prerequisite: Junior, Senior, graduate students.

SEAS 798 — MA Essay in Southeast Asian Studies
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 6

The master's essay is the product of an individual research project with professionally significant results. The work should achieve the quality of a publishable academic article or set of articles. By the beginning of the second year, the student is expected to have developed a relationship with a Center faculty associate who will serve as the student's essay advisor. The research and writing is done under the supervision of the essay advisor, who serves as the primary reader. Both the primary reader and one other faculty member must approve the final written work, and the student is expected to work with both readers to determine the topic, methods, content, and format of the essay.

The essay should be 50 to 100 pages in length. A prospectus including the topic, bibliography and methodology must be submitted to and approved ahead of time by the advisor. Once the essay is complete, a Master's Essay/Thesis Reader's Form must be filled out and submitted to the center with a bound, clean unmarked copy of the approved thesis.

You may elect to enroll in an independent research or directed reading course closely related to the work on the master's essay. This course can carry graduate credit that will count towards the area course work requirement, and is typically taken the semester before the term in which the student plans to complete the essay.

During the semester that the essay is being completed, you must enroll in SEAS 798, MA Essay in Southeast Asian Studies for 1-6 credits. These credits do NOT count toward your area total of 24. The number of credits is determined in consultation with your essay advisor.

In rare instances, the essay may be waived with the permission of the student's academic advisor and the director. The student must have completed 30 hours of area course work including two courses requiring a substantial research writing component. The student must submit a letter of request and explanation to the advisor. The advisor then submits the student's letter and a letter of agreement to the director. The director will inform the student's advisor and the student if the waiver is granted. The initial request should be submitted no later than the semester prior to the semester in which the student plans to graduate.

Advisory Prerequisite: Permission of instructor required. Center MA Students. Graduate standing.

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