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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #164: September 8, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 35 - Issue 04 - October 2001
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

A Picture of Health: The Dilemma of Gender and Status in the Iconography of Empire, India c. 1805 (pp769-782)
Nigel Chancellor
This article provides a commentary on a painting entitled Dancing Girls, Madras, c. 1805, by the Irish artist Thomas Hickey shown in an exhibition of privately owned works from East Anglia at the Fitzwilliam Museum, 18 May-1 August 1999, entitled, 'In the Public Eye' (Catalogue No. 95)

Ankalu's Errant Wife: Sex, Marriage and Industry in Contemporary Chhattisgarh (pp783-820)
Jonathan P. Parry (London School of Economics and Political Science)
The Man with the Brief-case

I once met a man with a brief case on a train . . . I forget between where and where. If you have travelled by train in India you may have met him too. He is conscious of cultural difference and wishes you to understand that Indians have family values - on account of which they don't go in for divorce or extra-marital sex. It was possibly he who first told me (though I have read it somewhere since) that actuarial calculations reveal that one in three marriages in Britain, and one in two in the United States, is destined to end in divorce. I find his contrast confirmed in a scholarly study of the subject. By comparison with its 'alarming rate' in the West, 'divorce was unknown to the Hindu institution of marriage. Husband and wife were bound to each other not only in this life, but even in the lives to follow' (Pothen 1986: ix).

'Mamul' and Modernity in a South Indian Temple (pp821-870)
Anthony Good (University of Edinburgh)
In the first week of January 1951, the Raja of Ettaiyapuram was combating the forces of modernity on three fronts. In Madras High Court, he was filing a writ petition questioning the legality of the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act of 1948, which came into force on 3 January and authorized the government to take over his zamindari estate. Simultaneously, Tirunelveli District Court was hearing a case brought in his capacity as hereditary Trustee of Kalugumalai Devastanam, seeking to prevent the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments (HRE) Board from assuming administrative control of the temple and appointing one of its employees as Executive Officer. Meanwhile, he had two further law-suits pending in Kovilpatti Munsif's Court, questioning the authority of the newly-formed Kalugumalai Panchayat Board on the grounds that the entire town was temple property.

Home Science and the Nationalization of Domesticity in Colonial India (pp871-903)
Mary Hancock (University of California, Santa Barbara)
This paper investigates the late colonial origins of Home Science in British India. It deals most intensively with the institutionalization of Home Science in Madras Presidency and attends to the roles played by both the colonial state and Indian women's organizations in its establishment. Though the focus is on Madras because the efforts of those based there influenced the later course of Home Science education, the activities of Madras educators, policy makers and reformers are also situated within a wider frame of transregional and imperial relations forged through reform projects, missionization, travel and education. Consideration of Home Science education in this wider context reveals the socio-political constraints an opportunities of, as well as the ideological interests at work in, its establishment. The paper finds that, at its inception, Home Science was the product of strategic alliances among colonial authorities, Indian social reformers, and Indian nationalists — all of whom, despite other differences, considered the home a site of and symbol for nationalist modernity. Home Science is shown to have relied on and helped shape a set of discourses that can be deemed 'feminist nationalist' in that they were engaged dialectically with anti-colonial nationalisms and with internationalist feminisms. Using Home Science as a lens, this paper provides a window on a set of late colonial debates that, informed by nationalist struggles and goals, sought to reshape the meaning and scope of both female agency and domesticity.

The Second 'Women's War' and the Emergence of Democratic Government in Manipur (pp905-919)
Saroj N. Arambam Parratt (University of Manipur) and John Parratt (University of Birmingham)
The night has passed,

The whole day has gone,

Lady, tie up your hair,

The hair so dishevelled:

One December 12th has passed,

Another December 12th has come.

Have you forgotten?

Did you believe that your hair could be tied?

Did you believe that this day would ever return?

(poem by Hijam Irabot)

The story of what V. P. Menon euphemistically termed the 'integration' of the Indian States has still not yet received the scholarly attention it deserves.

Contesting State and Civil Society: Southeast Asian Trajectories (pp921-951)
Eva-Lotta E. Hedman (School of Oriental and African Studies University of London)
The spectre of civil society is haunting South East Asia. Witness Manila's 'People Power' in 1986, Bangkok's 'No-More-Dictatorship' demonstrations in 1992, and, most recently, the Reformasi movements centered on Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Indeed, these recent waves of popular mobilization have underscored the significance of civil society—as political discourse and social terrain—for the successful launching of challenges against the non-democratic state in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. In terms of the political discourse of 'civil society', a common claim to spontaneous voluntarism and cross-class universalism was articulated and celebrated in some form by each of the four mobilizational campaigns identified above.

Marriage by Abduction in Twentieth Century China (pp953-984)
Anne E. McLaren (The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
An orthodox marriage in the Chinese traditional system was marked by a complex negotiation between the two families concerning the dowry the bride took with her on marriage and the bride price paid by the groom to the bride's natal family. This protracted form of gift-giving posed a considerable economic burden on both families. For this reason, throughout the imperial period, considerable flexibility was exercised in interpreting what constituted an orthodox marriage in order to allow impecunious families to marry off a daughter or obtain a bride for a son. This study will focus on one such form of marriage, one so 'deviant' and 'primitive' that it is usually relegated to the dawn of the history of the Han Chinese race or placed in the category of 'objectionable customs' (lousu) of the imperial past. I am referring to a form of marriage by abduction, commonly known as qiangqin (seizing the bride), which was prevalent in many areas of China until the 1940s. It is argued here that marriage by abduction should be considered less a 'primitive' remnant from China's ancient past than a socially acceptable response to the irrationalities of the dowry/bride-price system, in other words, a local 'institution'.

Overseas Chinese Merchants and Multiple Nationality: A Means for Reducing Commercial Risk (1895-1935) (pp985-1009)
Man-Houng Lin (Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taipei)
The existing literature has examined the Chinese nationalism of Chinese overseas merchants, detailing their financial contributions to the anti-Japanese war and their participation in boycott movements of Japanese goods. This paper uses Japanese consular reports, prewar Japanese publications, as well as Chinese and Japanese newspapers from Taiwan, Fujian, Japan, Singapore, and the United States to study the adoption of multiple nationalities, including Japanese nationality, by overseas Chinese merchants to reduce commercial risk and seek out economic opportunity. The phenomenon suggests that overseas Chinese merchants were not simply agents of Chinese nationalism.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
Copyright ©2004 Cambridge University Press

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