GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books and Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 10:46 05/28/2007
Journal Abstracts #281: May 28, 2007

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Journal Name: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies: June 2007, Volume 38, Issue 2

Print ISSN:0022-4634 Online ISSN:1474-0680


Islam, Empire and Makassarese historiography in the reign of Sultan Ala'uddin (1593-1639) (pp197-214)
William Cummings (Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of south Florida)
During the reign of Sultan Ala'uddin (r. 1593-1639), the Makassarese of Gowa and Talloq initiated a new form of historical writing known as lontaraq bilang. This article argues that this genre represents an Islamic form of historical writing that simultaneously integrated distant places and events within the structure of Makassarese history and Makassarese people and practices within the umma and the structure of Islamic history. Examining this islamisation of history writing yields new insight into premodern Makassarese notions of empire, social change, and religious identity. Lontaraq bilang are an important source of insight into how Makassarese grappled with what it meant to be Muslim and how processes of islamisation were transforming (or should ideally transform) their society.

Fugitive women: Slavery and social change in early modern Southeast Asia (pp215-245)
Eric A. Jones (Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Northern Illinois University)
Female slaves in VOC-controlled Southeast Asia did not fare well under a legal code which erected a firm partition between free and slave status. This codification imposed a rigid dichotomy for what had been fluid, abstract conceptions of social hierarchy, in effect silting up the flow of underclass mobility. At the same time, conventional relationships between master and slave shifted in the context of a changing economic climate. This article closely narrates the lives of several eighteenth-century female slaves who, left with increasingly fewer options in this new order, resorted to running away.

Burmese bells and Chinese eroticism: Southeast Asia's cultural influence on China (pp247-273)
Sun Laichen (Assistant Professor at California State University, Fullerton)
By utilising a large number of historical and literary sources in Chinese and European languages, this article discusses the spread of Burmese bells (penis inserts) to China between the late sixteenth and early twenty-first centuries, a topic that has hitherto been understudied. It details the social factors behind each phase of transmission, the Chinese adaptation of a Southeast Asian practice, and physical description of Burmese bells. The research provides a new perspective to Southeast Asian-Chinese interactions and stresses the Southeast Asian cultural influence on Chinese society and sexual behaviour. It also argues that aphrodisiacs, like other commodities, have a legitimate place in Asian history.

The Cultivation System (1830-1870) and its private entrepreneurs on colonial Java (pp275-291)
Ulbe Bosma (Senior Research Fellow at International Institute of Social History)
Ever since the interregnum from 1811 to 1816 of Lieutenant Governor General Stamford Raffles, British trading interests had been firmly established in colonial Indonesia. The implementation of the Cultivation System in 1830 on Java by the Dutch colonial government was an attempt to bring this potentially rich colony under Dutch economic control, but it is usually considered a departure from the principles of economic liberalism and a phase during which private entrepreneurs were barred from the emerging plantation economy. However, on the basis of census data and immigration records, and with reference to recent literature on the development of the nineteenth-century sugar industry, this article argues that British trading houses present on Java in the early nineteenth century continued to play an important role in the development of the production there of tropical goods, and that the emerging plantation economy attracted a modest influx of technicians and employees from various European nations. This article proposes to consider the Cultivation System and private enterprise not as mutually exclusive, but as complementary in making the cane sugar industry of Java the second largest in the world after that of Cuba.

A Commissioner calls: Alexander Paterson and colonial Burma's prisons (pp293-308)
Ian Brown (Professor of the Economic History of South East Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London)
In 1925, Alexander Paterson, a Commissioner for Prisons in England and Wales, arrived in Rangoon to advise the local government on gaol conditions in Burma. This paper explores why the Burma prison administration invited Paterson, examines his findings and proposals - that included the suggestion that no convict should spend more than two years in gaol - and considers the fate of his recommendations. Paterson's visit and views are set in the social and political contexts of British rule in Burma at that time.

Contending views and conflicts over land In Vietnam's Red River Delta (pp309-334)
Nguyen Van Suu (Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi)
This study offers an approach about the nature of peasants and the reasons for their political actions. It examines the views of different parties towards the question on how land should be owned, managed, used, by whom, for whose benefits, and uncovers as well as explains the resulting conflicts over land rights in the Red River Delta since decollectivisation. It postulates that the contending views among parties over decision-making, distribution, and holding of land rights, create dynamics for conflicts, which take place under the form of public resistance, in a number of communities.

Purchasing power and pagodas: The Sīma monastic boundary and consumer politics in Cambodia (pp335-354)
Alexandra Kent (Researcher working at The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen)
Cambodia is now in the midst of reconstruction after decades of organised violence and socio-cultural disruption. This paper explores how rural Cambodians are trying to recreate order in their local worlds and it questions what impact the recent deluge of consumer values, delivered through a post-socialist political filter, is having on these efforts.

Austronesians in linguistic disguise: Fataluku cultural fusion in East Timor (pp355-375)
Andrew McWilliam (Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University)
This paper explores the relationship between language and cultural practice in the Fataluku language community of East Timor. A Papuan language and member of what is referred to as the Trans New Guinea Phylum (TNGP) of languages, Fataluku society nevertheless exhibits many cultural ideas and practices suggesting a long period of engagement and accommodation to Austronesian cosmopolitanism. The idea that Fataluku speakers are 'Austronesians in disguise' points to the significance of cultural hybridity on the Austronesian boundary.

(This journal is available online:
Posted with permission from the publisher.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications