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Southeast Asia

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at the University of Michigan is dedicated to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of the SEA region—its histories, cultures, languages, and peoples.

CSEAS offers resources to educators through teacher workshops, websites, curricula and lesson plans. These sources can be useful in providing methods to teach about the SEA region. A variety of materials and links on SEA are also available to students and the general public.

Lesson plans relating to SEA subjects including brief descriptions, components, such as learning objectives, time benchmarks, accompanying worksheets, teacher reflections, etc are available to educators. If you have anything to add to these resources, or see something missing, please let us know by emailing us at

Grade 5-12 Lesson Plans and Teacher Reflections

Addressing Islamophobia and Bias

Arts, Literature and Culture

Comparative Government

Conflict, War and Intervention


Global Islam

History and Geography

Movement, Migration and Diaspora

Nationalism, Identity, and Globalization



Post-secondary Lesson Plans

Arts, Literature and Culture

Conflict, War and Intervention

Movement, Migration and Diasporas

Society and Governance

Bentley Historical Library | American-Philippine Research Guide

American Philippine Relations Research Guide

Over the past one hundred years or more, a large number of University of Michigan faculty and alumni and other citizens of the state of Michigan have played a decisive role in shaping relations between the United States and the Philippines. The Bentley Historical Library has collected the papers of many of these men and women. The Bentley Historical Library offers a research grant twice a year to support writing on the holdings in their collections. Over the years, important works of scholarship on the U.S.-Philippines colonial experience have been supported by this grant.

Department of History of Art Archives | SEA Archives

The Department of History of Art houses two significant collections:

  • The Southeast Asian Art Foundation Archive (SAAF Archive) contains approximately 100,000 photographs and slides, and features 18 collections of visual materials by photographers and leading scholars of Southeast Asian art. Collections may be viewed through the U-M Digital Library here.

  • The Southeast Asia Archive contains photographs of monuments, sculpture and murals of Thailand and Java.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, housed on the University of Michigan's North Campus, contains core collections on the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos during especially the Nixon and Ford administrations; the flight of refugees from Indochina after April 1975 and the admittance of many to the United States; the accounting of U.S. armed forces MIAs and POWs; and the issue of amnesty/clemency for draft resisters and military absence offenders.

UMMA | Collection of Southeast Asian

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) collection of Southeast Asian art is focused on Buddhist and Hindu sculpture from Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

UMMAA | SEA digital collection & exhibits

One of the nation's largest collections of Southeast Asian archaeology and ethnology. Extensive collections and several online exhibits on the Philippines, Thailand, Sumatra, and New Guinea.

Batak Exhibit

In the early 20th century, U-M Professor Harley Harris Bartlett (1886-1960) traveled to Sumatra, Indonesia to conduct botanical research and collect specimens for the U-M Herbarium and Smithsonian Institution. 155 of the approximate 2,000 Batak manuscripts are in the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology collections and are described in an online exhibit.

The Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection

From 1890 to 1913, Dean Conant Worcester took thousands of photographs of people and places throughout the Philippines. The majority was taken while Worcester served as the controversial Secretary of Interior in the U.S. colonial government from 1901-1913. Simultaneously disturbing and beautiful, these photographs portray the perspectives and emphases of a leading proponent of the colonial mission. This exhibition features a subset of the nearly 5,000 glass negatives and lantern slides in the Museum of Anthropology’s Worcester Collection. Thanks to Carla Sinopoli, professor and director of the Museum of Anthropology, Julia Falkovitch-Khain, web designer, and the Museum of Anthropology, owner of the Worcester collection. The exhibit was developed with funds from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.. 

The Philippine Photographs Digital Archive

The Digital photographs archive consists of over 2,100 images taken from the following Special Collections Library photograph collections. In general, the images depict Filipinos, buildings, dwellings, and monuments in and around Manila, Filipino political and military leaders, members of American commissions and military units based in the Philippines, and numerous landscape scenes, particularly on Mindanao and in Lanoa Province.


Teaching with Gamelan

Created by Vera Flaig and Jesse Johnston.

The art and music of the Javanese gamelan can be used to teach arts and music, language arts and drama, social studies, science, and movement at all grade levels. The lesson plans provided through CSEAS are geared toward grades K-5. The goal of these lesson plans and corresponding materials is to support teachers in incorporating Southeast Asian arts and music into their classes. These lessons provide a diverse perspective to students by providing an opportunity to explore the music, drama, and culture of Central Java.

Field trips to visit the gamelan can be arranged through the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. Please email for details and availability.

Lesson plans and materials available to download

  • History of Central Javanese Gamelan: A short overview of Javanese court history that shaped Javanese gamelan music. (pdf)
  • Human Gamelan: Explores the concepts of frequency (speed of a vibration commonly known as pitch) and duration (length of vibration) through movement and sound.
  • Glass Gamelan: Constructing a Gamelan – a prerequisite/co-requisite to “Learning to Play Ricik Ricik” (pdf)
  • Learning to Play “Ricik Ricik” – a piece that only has two musical phrases, and each of these repeats. This piece can be played in either the slendro or pelog tuning systems.
    • Lesson Plans (pdf)
    • Score of Ricik Ricik in Staff Notation (pdf)
  • Wayang (shadow puppet play): a theatrical performance with puppets or human dancers. When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theatre, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as “wayang.”
    • Lesson Plans (pdf)
    • Shadow Puppet templates (pdf)
  • Script of “Lyrical Tension: The Mahabharata” (pdf)
  • Gamelan Outreach Music Slides: These slides introduce the basic concepts, instruments, and structures that characterize Javanese gamelan music. These accompany the three introductory lessons that use the song “Ricik Ricik” as well as the Glass Gamelan lesson. (pdf)
  • Gamelan Outreach Puppetry Slides: These slides introduce the social and musical concepts behind Javanese shadow puppetry. This accompanies the Wayang Lessons. (pdf)