Historical Thought and Historiography: Southeast Asia

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


    Southeast Asian literary traditions, extant from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, included Chinese-style dynastic histories, narratives of Buddhist sacred sites, and royal chronicles influenced by both Buddhist and Islamic patterns. More modern types of religious and secular narratives developed by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. For some of these, we can trace the external stimuli, but others appear to have developed autonomously. These traditions were overwhelmed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by Western narratives taught in colonial schools, often of a triumphalist imperial kind. These were adapted for their own purposes by Marxist and nationalist writers intent on change. Initially ignorant, embarrassed, or romantic about the older indigenous writing, Southeast Asia’s new national historians rediscovered the great diversity of these traditions as they became professionalized with the development of university systems. International historians writing in English remain influential in these professional circles, particularly in the growing fields of social, intellectual, economic, and environmental history and transnational trends across the region. Controversies continue to swirl around the definition of the nation, violent traumas such as 1965–66 in Indonesia and 1975–78 in Cambodia, and the monarchy in Thailand.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition)
    Editors James D Wright
    Place of PublicationOxford
    ISBN (Print)9780080970875
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    Dive into the research topics of 'Historical Thought and Historiography: Southeast Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this