The question of “what is Southeast Asia” is one that garnered a lot of attention in “the West” in the years following World War II.

In the end, after years of debate and discussion, a kind of paradox emerged.

On the one hand, the idea that there is a place called Southeast Asia has become more firmly established (particularly among people who live in the region). On the other hand, scholars have found it increasingly difficult to determine what exactly it is (if anything) that makes the Southeast Asian region a “region.”

I made the above video in an effort to revisit this question, particularly so that younger people who are not aware of this earlier debate can learn about it.

Finally, a caveat as well: This is my first attempt at making what I would call a “popular academic” video (an “aca-pop” video maybe?). I still don’t have the right sound equipment working, and I’m still using very basic software (Microsoft’s Movie Maker), and most importantly, I have not yet figured out what “model” will work the best.

In some ways there already is a model for “aca-pop” videos in the “Crash Course in. . .” series that John Green has developed. The videos in that series are all fast-paced and witty (although I also find them obnoxious). They are also very professional, as John Green has plenty of money and resources to make those videos.

The “aca-pop” videos that I will try to make and post on the Le Minh Khai Southeast Asian History Blog YouTube Channel will not be as professional, nor as witty. . . but they will contain some kind of core academic information, and hopefully someone will like them (although I’m sure that others will find them obnoxious as well).

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So if you watch the video, please keep all this in mind, and. . . please, please be merciful.