Southeast Asian Literature, Culture and Media

Located at the intersection of diverse historical, racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural formations, Southeast Asian studies within AMCM takes seriously expansive understandings and active engagement with other areas both geographically and disciplinarily. PhD students who focus on Southeast Asian Literature, Culture, and Media can research a variety of social and cultural phenomena, literature, media and cinema from various geopolitical locations in Southeast Asia or from a regional or transnational perspective. The program encourages students to study Southeast Asia in a way that is conscious of the historical complexities of the region as an area for knowledge while inviting them to engage with interdisciplinary and comparative frameworks. The department currently offers required courses that reflect such vision and emphasis. They are designed to help students advance theoretical and conceptual understandings of their area of studies, their primary texts, the significance of languages and translations, and their entanglement with relevant social, cultural, and political contexts.

Students whose primary focus is literature are encouraged to take courses offered in  other linguistic and cultural traditions in order to familiarize themselves with the discussions of translation and comparative frameworks in literary studies. Students who want to work in media and cinema studies can take both theoretical and topics related courses offered regularly by our core faculty and by MIMS faculty. Students will work very closely with faculty members in order to develop their research plan and focus. Our faculty specialize in a range of theoretical discussions, historical periods, and geopolitical areas of Southeast Asia include:

● Colonial, Postcolonial, and Cold-War cinema of Southeast Asia

● Historiography of the Moving Image

● Contemporary Southeast Asian Cinema and Media Cultures

● Media Theory and the Global South

● Postcolonial Studies

● Political Economy; Authoritarian Politics

● Gender and Sexuality Studies

● History of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the

Hmong diaspora


Visit the department’s faculty page for information about current faculty members who specialize in Southeast Asian literature, culture, and media.

Resources and Activities

IMAGINE FUND special event

Southeast Asia and Its Diaspora: Theory/Praxis/Politics (upcoming 2023-24)