Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Image Wars in Southeast Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x oral assessment  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word project  80%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word short essay in lieu of oral assessment  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 4,000 word supplementary (resit) essay  80%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which propaganda has been produced and utilized in modern Southeast Asia.

Demonstrate an understanding of how propaganda can be used as a historical source for insights into both the powers exploiting it and the people they are targeting.

Demonstrate an understanding of how the cultures of Southeast Asia are shaped by political priorities.

Construct cogent historical arguments relating to propaganda in modern Southeast Asia.


This module is intended to introduce students to key themes in modern Southeast Asian history while also giving them direct access to primary sources. Requiring no language ability, the use of images, provides first hand use of primary materials. Through the course, students will be able to work with such sources, learning how to ‘read’ images, and how to write about them in a professional manner. This will provide them with an important basis from which to work on more complex historical problems during the third year.

Brief description

This module allows students to take a novel look at the modern history of Southeast Asia through the propaganda that different powers employed during the twentieth century. Exploiting a range of sources, the module will require students to engage with a range of historiographical approaches. Many of the sources will be image based, such as photographs, posters, magazines or adverts, but students will also be asked to perform textual analysis on sources such as poems, speeches and articles as well as film. In engaging with this material, students will gain close insight into the narratives that shaped Southeast Asian society and how these were both constructed and exploited by national leaders and foreign powers. This direct engagement with the source material will also provide insight into the thinking of propagandists, supporting a broader understanding of propaganda as a craft.


Weekly 2-hour seminars:

1. Studying Propaganda, Studying Southeast Asia
2. Japanese Imperial Propaganda and World War II
3. Thai nationalist ideology and the propaganda machine
4. The United States and post-war Southeast Asia: Finding the right message
5. The USA and Thailand's development ideology
6. The War in South Vietnam: A Battle for Hearts and Minds
7. The Anti-War movement in the United States and the depiction of Southeast Asia
8. Ideology and genocide: Understanding the Khmer Rouge
9. Indonesia 1965: How to portray a massacre
10. The power of images: Reflecting on the reign of King Bhumibol of Thailand

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. These skills will be assessed through assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given regarding the improvement of research and techniques and essay writing skills
Information Technology Through the retrieval of primary and secondary works from online resources and AberLearn Blackboard and through the writing, formatting and printing of essays.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will develop oral and written skills. It will also prepare students for careers which involve the research, critical analysis and presentation of material relevant to a particular problem or set of problems
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area, and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work.
Subject Specific Skills This module is designed to provide an introduction to Southeast Asian History, providing a base of knowledge and understanding that will support future research on the region.
Team work Through seminar activities, including seminar leading with another student.


This module is at CQFW Level 5