Current publications in southeast asia

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Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on current publications in southeast asia. According to Aung-Thwin,2 when historians refer to the “classical” period in Southeast Asia, they are usually referring to the period between the ninth and fourteenth centuries AD. In other words, the use of the term “classical” refers to the civilization of SEA ancient kingdoms. The term refers to specific dynamics in the past considered critical in shaping the current dynamics in SEA countries. Moreover, as Aung-Twin argues, the word “classical” in SEA historical context was only recently used. Its use gained root in lectures and seminars during the 1960s and 1970s by western history scholars.3 Importantly, the term “classical” was first used when a group of western scholars of SEA studies met in 1977 to discuss “indigenous conceptual systems” among the “Indic” states.4 After some heated discussions among the scholars in the conference, the term “Indic” was deliberately replaced by the term “classical,” and all the following scholastic work in SEA studies started bearing the term “classical” instead. Essentially, the aim of the scholars was to separate the SEA historical context into distinct and systematic periods that successfully built on one another, similar to the European pre-medieval to post-medieval periods. Therefore, judging from these dynamics, the term “classical” is Eurocentric and does not have any relevance or meaning to the SEA people regarding their history. In addition, the current breed of scholars has refrained from writing anything about the classical SEA as people are more and more becoming aware of Eurocentrism, which is portrayed as a biased interpretation of history. The fact that earlier scholars chose to dwell on “classicalness” of SEA maybe because they were Western-educated, different from the current scholars who continually engage in detail inquiry from all spheres of history. This would imply that the historical accounts offered in such books are developed in the subjective context of the scholars, and do not necessarily portray the reality of such history to the SEA people.

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