"Arabs in Nineteenth Century Java: Cultural Diversity, Race and the Colonial State"
Date: Thursday, April 17, 2003 15:00 - 17:00
Venue: Room C307, 3rd Floor, Common Building, The Center
for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University
By Dr.Sumit K. Mandal, CSEAS Visiting Fellow
This paper discusses the social history of Arab communities in
Java during the enormous transformations brought about by nineteenth century
Dutch imperialism. In less than one hundred years, colonial rule put in place
racialized policies and ideas that had lasting implications. These introductions,
nevertheless, did not eliminate longstanding forms of cultural diversity. The
advance of 'race' with nineteenth century European imperialism is well known.
Its substantive implications for social history, especially in the case of
Indonesia and Southeast Asia, has been less widely studied. Dutch colonialists
believed Islam and Arabs to be inseparable, and the mix a potential threat
to their rule. They were watchful of Arab communities as a result. Who and
what constituted 'Arab' was nevertheless always contested.