Southeast Asia is one of the most populous and culturally diverse regions of the world. It embraces the nation-states of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. The region has been the exotic destination of European spice merchants and modern tourists, a battlefield during the Cold War, and since 9/11, a frontline in the war against terror. This course is an introduction to the history of Southeast Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will examine political, social, cultural, environmental, and economic transformations, with particular attention to the effects of decolonization and globalization throughout the region. Topics of special interest will include the role of women and Chinese migrants in the making of modern Southeast Asia and Islamic and ethnic separatist movements. We will approach the modern history of Southeast Asia through the reading of historical documents, travel narratives, autobiographies, novels, scholarly writings, as well as through the viewing of documentaries and feature films.