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From December 1941, Japan, as part of its plan to build an East Asian empire and secure oil supplies essential for war in the Pacific, swiftly took control of Southeast Asia. Japanese occupation had a devastating economic impact on the region. Japan imposed country and later regional autarky on Southeast Asia, dictated that the region finance its own occupation, and sent almost no consumer goods. GDP fell by half everywhere in Southeast Asia except Thailand. Famine and forced labour accounted for most of the 4.4 million Southeast Asian civilian deaths under Japanese occupation. In this ground-breaking new study, Gregg Huff provides the first comprehensive account of the economies and societies of Southeast Asia during the 1941-1945 Japanese occupation. Drawing on materials from 25 archives over three continents, his economic, social and historical analysis presents a new understanding of Southeast Asian history and development before, during and after the Pacific War.
In this ground-breaking new study, Teren Sevea reveals the economic, environmental and religious significance of Islamic miracle workers (pawangs) in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Malay world. Through close textual analysis of hitherto overlooked manuscripts and personal interaction with modern pawangs readers are introduced to a universe of miracle workers that existed both in the past and in the present, uncovering connections between miracles and material life. Sevea demonstrates how societies in which the production and extraction of natural resources, as well as the uses of technology, were intertwined with the knowledge of charismatic religious figures, and locates the role of the pawangs in the spiritual economy of the Indian Ocean world, across maritime connections and Sufi networks, and on the frontier of the British Empire.
During South Vietnam's brief life as a nation, it exhibited glimmers of democracy through citizen activism and a dynamic press. South Vietnamese activists, intellectuals, students, and professionals had multiple visions for Vietnam's future as an independent nation. Some were anticommunists, while others supported the National Liberation Front and Hanoi. In the midst of war, South Vietnam represented the hope and chaos of decolonization and nation building during the Cold War. U.S. Embassy officers, State Department observers, and military advisers sought to cultivate a base of support for the Saigon government among local intellectuals and youth, but government arrests and imprisonment of political dissidents, along with continued war, made it difficult for some South Vietnamese activists to trust the Saigon regime. Meanwhile, South Vietnamese diplomats, including anticommunist students and young people who defected from North Vietnam, travelled throughout the world in efforts to drum up international support for South Vietnam. Drawing largely on Vietnamese language sources, Heather Stur demonstrates that the conflict in Vietnam was really three wars: the political war in Saigon, the military war, and the war for international public opinion.
Chiara Formichi explores the ways in which Islam and Asia have shaped each other's histories, societies and cultures from the seventh century to today. Challenging the assumed dominance of the Middle East in the development of Islam, Formichi argues for Asia's centrality in the development of global Islam as a religious, social and political reality. Readers learn how and why Asia is central to the history of Islam, and vice versa, considering the impact of Asia's Muslims on Islam; and how Islam became an integral part of Asia, and its influence on local conceptions of power, the sciences, arts, and bureaucracy. Grounding her argument in specific case studies, Formichi ultimately concludes that the existence of Islamized interactions across Asia have allowed for multi-directional influences on Islamic practices and interpretations throughout the Muslim world.
This study offers a new approach to the history of sites, archaeology, and heritage formation in Asia, at both the local and the trans-regional levels. Starting at Hindu-Buddhist, Chinese, Islamic, colonial, and prehistoric heritage sites in Indonesia, the focus is on people's encounters and the knowledge exchange taking place across colonial and post-colonial regimes. Objects are followed as they move from their site of origin to other locations, such as the Buddhist statues from Borobudur temple, that were gifted to King Chulalongkorn of Siam. The ways in which the meaning of these objects transformed as they moved away to other sites reveal their role in parallel processes of heritage formation outside Indonesia. Calling attention to the power of the material remains of the past, Marieke Bloembergen and Martijn Eickhoff explore questions of knowledge production, the relationship between heritage and violence, and the role of sites and objects in the creation of national histories.
The history of the Indonesian Revolution has been dominated by depictions of grassroots fighters and elite politicians who thought of it as a nationalistic or class-based war. In this major new study, Kevin W. Fogg rethinks the Indonesian Revolution (1945–49) as an Islamic struggle, in which pious Muslims, who made up almost half the population, fought and organized in religious ways. Muslims fighting on the ground were convinced by their leaders' proclamations that they were fighting for a holy cause. In the political sphere, however, national leaders failed to write Islam into Indonesia's founding documents - but did create revolutionary precedents that continue to impact the country to this day. This study of a war of decolonization in the world's most populous Muslim country points to the ways in which Islam has functioned as a revolutionary ideology in the modern era.
Lanka, Ceylon, Sarandib: merely three disparate names for a single island? Perhaps. Yet the three diverge in the historical echoes, literary cultures, maps and memories they evoke. Names that have intersected and overlapped - in a treatise, a poem, a document - only to go their own ways. But despite different trajectories, all three are tied to narratives of banishment and exile. Ronit Ricci suggests that the island served as a concrete exilic site as well as a metaphor for imagining exile across religions, languages, space and time: Sarandib, where Adam was banished from Paradise; Lanka, where Sita languished in captivity; and Ceylon, faraway island of exile for Indonesian royalty under colonialism. Utilising Malay manuscripts and documents from Sri Lanka, Javanese chronicles, and Dutch and British sources, Ricci explores histories and imaginings of displacement related to the island through a study of the Sri Lankan Malays and their connections to an exilic past.
In this innovative reading, the development of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) is explored in the context of an emerging nationalism in Southeast Asia, the interplay of overseas Chinese networks and the Comintern. Based on extensive new archival material, Anna Belogurova shows how the MCP was shaped by the historical contingencies of anti-imperialism in Southeast Asia, long-term Chinese migration trends, networks, identity, and the organizational practices of the Comintern. This is the story of how a group of left-leaning Chinese migrant intellectuals engaged with global forces to create a relevant and lasting Malayan national identity, providing fresh international perspectives on the history of Malaysia, Chinese communism, the Cold War, and decolonization.
Situated at the crossroads between the history of colonialism, of modern Southeast Asia, and of medical pluralism, this history of medicine and health traces the life of pharmaceuticals in Vietnam under French rule. Laurence Monnais examines the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, looking at both circulation and consumption, considering access to drugs and the existence of multiple therapeutic options in a colonial context. She argues that colonialism was crucial to the worldwide diffusion of modern medicines and speaks to contemporary concerns regarding over-reliance on pharmaceuticals, drug toxicity, self-medication, and the accessibility of effective medicines. Retracing the steps by which pharmaceuticals were produced and distributed, readers meet the many players in the process, from colonial doctors to private pharmacists, from consumers to various drug traders and healers. Yet this is not primarily a history of medicines as objects of colonial science, but rather a history of medicines as tools of social change.
The suppression of piracy and other forms of maritime violence was a keystone in the colonisation of Southeast Asia. Focusing on what was seen in the nineteenth century as the three most pirate-infested areas in the region - the Sulu Sea, the Strait of Malacca and Indochina - this comparative study in colonial history explores how piracy was defined, contested and used to resist or justify colonial expansion, particularly during the most intense phase of imperial expansion in Southeast Asia from c.1850 to c.1920. In doing so, it demonstrates that piratical activity continued to occur in many parts of Southeast Asia well beyond the mid-nineteenth century, when most existing studies of piracy in the region end their period of investigation. It also points to the changes over time in how piracy was conceptualised and dealt with by each of the major colonial powers in the region - Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
This revealing portrait of the Dutch Empire repositions our understanding of modern empires from the terrestrial to the oceanic. It highlights the importance of shipping, port cities, and maritime culture to the political struggles of the 1920s and 30s. Port cities such as Jeddah, Shanghai, and Batavia were hotbeds for the spread of nationalism, communism, pan-Islamism, and pan-Asianism, and became important centers of opposition to Dutch imperialism through the circulation of passengers, laborers, and religious pilgrims. In response to growing maritime threats, the Dutch government and shipping companies attempted to secure oceanic spaces and maintain hegemony abroad through a web of control. Techniques included maritime policing networks, close collaboration with British and French surveillance entities ashore, and maintaining segregation on ships, which was meant to 'teach' those on board their position within imperial hierarchies. This innovative study exposes how anti-colonialism was shaped not only within the terrestrial confines of metropole and colony, but across the transoceanic spaces in between.
North and South Vietnamese youths had very different experiences of growing up during the Vietnamese War. The book gives a unique perspective on the conflict through the prism of adult-youth relations. By studying these relations, including educational systems, social organizations, and texts created by and for children during the war, Olga Dror analyzes how the two societies dealt with their wartime experience and strove to shape their futures. She examines the socialization and politicization of Vietnamese children and teenagers, contrasting the North's highly centralized agenda of indoctrination with the South, which had no such policy, and explores the results of these varied approaches. By considering the influence of Western culture on the youth of the South and of socialist culture on the youth of the North, we learn how the youth cultures of both Vietnams diverged from their prewar paths and from each other.
Hans Pols proposes a new perspective on the history of colonial medicine from the viewpoint of indigenous physicians. The Indonesian medical profession in the Dutch East Indies actively participated in political affairs by joining and leading nationalist associations, by publishing in newspapers and magazines, and by becoming members of city councils and the colonial parliament. Indonesian physicians were motivated by their medical training, their experiences as physicians, and their subordinate position within the colonial health care system to organise, lead, and join social, cultural, and political associations. Opening with the founding of Indonesia's first political association in 1908 and continuing with the initiatives of the Association of Indonesian Physicians, Pols describes how the Rockefeller Foundation's projects inspired the formulation of a nationalist health programme. Tracing the story through the Japanese annexation, the war of independence, and independent Indonesia, Pols reveals the relationship between medicine and decolonisation, and the role of physicians in Asian history.
This volume is a book of reflections and encounters about the region that the Chinese knew as Nanyang. The essays in it look back at the years of uncertainty after the end of World War II and explore the period largely through images of mixed heritages in Malaysia and Singapore. They also look at the trends towards social and political divisiveness following the years of decolonization in Southeast Asia. Never far in the background is the struggle to build new nations during four decades of an ideological Cold War and the Chinese determination to move from near-collapse in the 1940s and out of the traumatic changes of the Maoist revolution to become the powerhouse that it now is.
Communist forces in the Vietnam War lost most battles and suffered disproportionally higher casualties than the United States and its allies throughout the conflict. The ground war in South Vietnam and the air war in the North were certainly important in shaping the fates of the victors and losers, but they alone fail to explain why Hanoi bested Washington in the end. To make sense of the Vietnam War, we must look beyond the war itself. In his new work, Pierre Asselin explains the formative experiences and worldview of the men who devised communist strategies and tactics during the conflict, and analyzes their rationale and impact. Drawing on two decades of research in Vietnam's own archives, including classified policy statements and reports, Asselin expertly and straightforwardly relates the Vietnamese communist experience - and the reasons the war turned out the way it did.
Planting Empire, Cultivating Subjects examines the stories of ordinary people to explore the internal workings of colonial rule. Chinese, Indians, and Malays learned about being British through the plantations, towns, schools, and newspapers of a modernizing colony. Yet they got mixed messages from the harsh, racial hierarchies of sugar and rubber estates, and cosmopolitan urban societies. Empire meant mobility, fluidity, and hybridity, as well as the enactment of racial privilege and rigid ethnic differences. Using sources ranging from administrative files, court transcripts and oral interviews to periodicals and material culture, Professor Lees explores the nature and development of colonial governance, and the ways in which Malayan residents experienced British rule in towns and plantations. This is an innovative study demonstrating how empire brought with it both oppression and economic opportunity, shedding new light on the shifting nature of colonial subjecthood and identity, as well as the memory and afterlife of empire.
Sumit K. Mandal uncovers the hybridity and transregional connections underlying modern Asian identities. By considering Arabs in the Malay world under European rule, Becoming Arab explores how a long history of inter-Asian interaction was altered by nineteenth-century racial categorisation and control. Mandal traces the transformation of Arabs from familiar and multi-faceted creole personages of Malay courts into alienated figures defined by economic and political function. The racialisation constrained but did not eliminate the fluid character of Arabness. Creole Arabs responded to the constraints by initiating transregional links with the Ottoman Empire and establishing modern social organisations, schools, and a press. Contentions emerged between organisations respectively based on Prophetic descent and egalitarianism, advancing empowering but conflicting representations of a modern Arab and Islamic identity. Mandal unsettles finite understandings of race and identity by demonstrating not only the incremental development of a modern identity, but the contested state of its birth.
This volume is based on papers from the second in a series of three conferences that deal with the multi-scalar processes of heritage-making, ranging from the local to the national and international levels, involving different players with different degrees of agency and interests. These players include citizens and civil society, the state, and international organizations and actors. The current volume focuses on the role of citizens and civil society in the politics of heritage-making, looking at how these players at the grass-roots level make sense of the past in the present. Who are these local players that seek to define the meaning of heritage in their everyday lives? How do they negotiate with the state, or contest the influence of the state, in determining what their heritage is? These and other questions will be taken up in various Asian contexts in this volume to foreground the local dynamics of heritage politics.