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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #168: October 1, 2004

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Journal Name: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies: June 2004, Volume 35, Issue 2
Print ISSN:0022-4634 Online ISSN:1476-0680


Constructions of Nation and the Classicisation of Music: Comparative Perspectives from Southeast and South Asia (pp187-211)
Pamela Moro (Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, USA.)
This article compares how elite music was classicised or canonised as part of the process of constructing national culture in India, Indonesia and Thailand. Issues examined include the role of the middle class; homogeneity and heterogeneity in national culture; the rise of mass education and innovative forms of musical transmission; the institutionalisation of music theory and music scholarship; dynamic influences from the West; and transformations in the roles of musician, patron and audience.

Presidents as Punakawan: Portrayal of National Leaders as Clown-Servants in Central Javanese Wayang (pp213-233)
Helen Pausacker (The Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne)
The trend to portray Indonesian presidents as punakawan (clown servants) in wayang (shadow puppetry) was started under the former President Soeharto. Whereas Soeharto chose to be conveyed as Semar, a clown but also a former god, greater artistic freedom post-Soeharto led to a more farcical depiction of Habibie and Gus Dur as Semar's sons, Gareng and Bagong.

The Changing Historiographies of Laos: A Focus on the Early Period (pp235-259)
Vatthana Pholsena (The Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore)
The narrative of the origins of the Lao people in contemporary Lao-language history books and textbooks is divided among divergent interpretations. The most popular reading is the 'Ai-Lao' version, an implicit response to Thai nationalist historiography. Marxist-Leninist-orientated historiography, by contrast, resembles the Vietnamese Communist narrative. As far as likely future trends are concerned, a journey back to the 'roots' seems ultimately to reveal the biography of a pre-modern spatial identity.

Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnamese Catholics and Others in the Pages of the Annales de la Propagation de la Foi (pp261-285)
Nola Cooke (The Division of Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, Australian National University.)
Western secular historiography has conventionally viewed the history of Catholicism in Vietnam through a political optic, a perspective which has distorted the early nineteenth-century religious situation in both Vietnam and France. This article discusses how Vietnamese understood Catholicism at the popular level and what attracted people to the religion, as well as introducing an important European Catholic fund-raising society whose interventions into Vietnam long predated any serious French political designs on the country.

French Missionary Expansion in Colonial Upper Tonkin (pp287-310)
Jean Michaud (The Université de Montréal in Montréal, Canada.)
This article examines the circumstances and logic of French Catholic missionary expansion in Upper Tonkin. It explores how, over a few decades, the missionary push in the mountainous outskirts of the Red River Delta was conceived, how it unfolded, and how it came to a standstill in the 1920s before its decline towards the final exit of the French in the late 1940s.

Extortion and Exploitation in the Nguyên Campaign against Catholicism in 1830s–1840s Vietnam (pp311-328)
Jacob Ramsay (The Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University.)
Preoccupied with French mission agitation in the late 1850s and during the Franco-Spanish invasion of southern Vietnam, scholarship has long neglected the dramatic change taking place in preceding decades at the local level between Catholics and mainstream society. Exploring negotiation between Catholic communities and authorities, as well as organisational shifts in mission activity, this article brings into sharper focus the turmoil of the late 1830s and 1840s Nguyên repression of Catholicism.

Review Article

Esoteric Buddhism in Southeast Asia in the Light of Recent Scholarship (pp329-354)
Hiram Woodward (The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles St., Baltimore MD 21201 USA.)
Indian esoteric Buddhism: A social history of the Tantric movement. By Ronald M. Davidson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Pp. 475. Maps, Illustrations, Glossary, Bibliographies, Index.

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