Course name: “Ethnicity and Nationalism in Southeast Asia”
Instructor/Affiliation: Dr. Marja-Leena Heikkilä-Horn/Assistant Professor, Mahidol University International College, Nakhon Pathom (Thailand)
Dates: June 27-July 1, 2016
‘Increased political and economic relations in Southeast Asia had lead us to interact with people with different ethnicities, and the idea of ethnicity and nationalism is an interesting topic to learn’, said Dr. Heikkilä-Horn, who offered this intensive course. She is specialized in history and ethnicity in Southeast Asia and comparative religions, and has a research interest in into Christian communities in Burma/Myanmar.
The course aimed at introducing students to ethnic diversity in Southeast Asia, through exploring the concept of ethnicity, in relation to language, religion, race and culture. The lectures began by exploring the concept of nations and nationalism. It moved onto to analyzing the ideas of ‘minorities and majorities’ in different areas of the regions such as Burma and Indonesia. The course also discussed the culture and territorial identities and the relation to traditions, through the cases of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Dr. Heikkilä-Horn was impressed by well-travelled AIU students, who brought interesting ideas in the class. As a final message, she wishes students to ‘work hard and travel a lot!’
This intensive lecture was funded and organized by the Global Human Resource Development Project at AIU.