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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #169: October 8, 2004

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Journal Name: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies: February 2003, Volume 34, Issue 1
Print ISSN:0022-4634 Online ISSN:1476-0680


Southeast Asian History and the Mediterranean Analogy (pp1-20)
Heather Sutherland (The Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.)
Historians of Southeast Asia have been inspired by Fernand Braudel's classic The Mediterranean because of its focus on the sea and multidisciplinary approach, and because it seems to solve two recalcitrant historiographical problems: the definition of time and space, and the reconciliation of local identities and external influence. But while Braudel's prose and intellectual ambition are justly seen as inspiring, conceptual confusion and analytic evasion limit his contribution.

As in Heaven, So on Earth: The Politics of Visnu, Siva and Harihara Images in Preangkorian Khmer Civilisation (pp21-39)
Paul A. Lavy (The University of California, Los Angeles and the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.)
Analysis of the earliest sculpture and epigraphy of Southeast Asia reveals contrasting geographic patterns regarding the worship of Hindu deities. During the seventh century, efforts to consolidate political authority by Khmer rulers led to the deployment of Harihara, a god that embodied multiple conceptions of power and could serve as a ready statement of political and religious unification.

Ayutthaya Rising: From Land or Sea? (pp41-62)
Chris Baker
Ayutthaya rose as a maritime power with involvement down the peninsula and in the China trade. Early Ayutthaya resembled coastal polities of the archipelago more than hinterland states of the mainland. Over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Ayutthaya changed by absorbing people, political structures, and cultural practice from the north.

Vietnam as a 'Domain of Manifest Civility' (Va[breve]n Hie^n chi Bang) (pp63-76)
Liam Kelley (The University of Hawai'i at Manoa.)
While some scholarship has found the roots of the modern Vietnamese idea of 'nation' in the distant past, this paper attempts to illuminate ways of thought which were in conflict with Western nationalist ideas. These ways of thought had to be transformed in the early twentieth century in order for the idea of a Vietnamese nation to take hold.

Problematic Progress: Reading Environmental and Social Change in the Mekong Delta (pp77-96)
David Biggs (The Department of History, University of Washington.)
Colonial engineers and administrators often referred to the pre-colonial Mekong Delta landscape as a vast solitude yet to be reorganised through their hydraulic technology. However, the environmental history of the Delta's waterways is more complex, suggesting that colonial projects were to some extent embedded within an existing infrastructure. This problematises the rhetorical concept of Progress within a colonial context and its value as a metaphor to understand human changes to the landscape.

Colliding Discourses: Western Land Laws and Native Customary Rights in North Borneo, 1881-1918 (pp97-126)
Amity Doolittle (Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.)
A comparison of European tobacco plantations and native shifting cultivation in North Borneo between 1881 and 1928 illustrates the discursive and political strategies through which colonial administrators justified intervention into native land matters and articulated their vision of 'appropriate' land management. The discourse of rational law, scientific agriculture and commercialisation provided the tools of colonial power that pushed native people and their customary laws into an increasingly peripheral position in relationship to the centralising state.

The Gendered Biopolitics of Marriage and Immigration: A Study of Pre-1949 Chinese Immigrants in Thailand (pp127-151)
Bao Jiemin (The University of Nevada at Las Vegas.)
This first attempt to include women in the pre-1949 history of Chinese immigration to Thailand examines the dialectical relationship between immigration and marital practices through a gender lens. It is argued that labour immigration is not simply an economic endeavour, but rather a complex process of cultural production in which Thai and Chinese regimes compete to produce gendered citizens.

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