SOAS University of London

South East Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Jawi and the Malay Manuscript Tradition (Masters)

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1
This course is an introduction the reading of Malay texts in the Jawi script both printed and handwritten.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By the end of the module students will be able to read simple manuscript texts. Students will develop an awareness of the various philological issues involved in the study and editing of manuscripts. They will also develop an understanding of the various writing systems in Indonesia, and the various writing materials used across the archipelago. Students will develop an awareness of the key genres found in the various manuscript traditions of the archipelago, and the development and transformation of these genres with the emergence of lithograph and typographical production. The module aims to continue to develop students' written and oral skills of presentation. In particular they will learn to use primary textual examples to backup arguments and hypotheses. Students will develop experience and knowledge of the various Indonesian/Malay bibliographic and other library resources. Students will have gained introductory knowledge about the issues of illumination and other decorative arts in the manuscript traditions of the archipelago.


A total of 10 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a one hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial.

Method of assessment

An essay of 2,500 words to be submitted on day 1, week 1, in the term following the one in which the module is taught (60%); in-class tests in Week 5 and Week 10 (40%).

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list will be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules