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Knowing Southeast Asian Subjects

Edited by Laurie J. Sears

Publication Year: 2007

Published by: University of Washington Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

The authors of the essays gathered here have traveled between Southeast Asia and the United States for several decades. Celia Lowe sailed her boat into the Timor Sea on her first visit to the region in the 1980s. Ariel Heryanto came from Indonesia to study in the United States in the early 1980s. ...

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Introduction: Knowledges That Travel in Southeast Asian Area Studies

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pp. 3-32

By examining various claims to knowledge and the disciplinary discourses that structure the practices of area studies, the essays gathered here respond to Rabinow’s challenge to address the work of “understanding.” The contributors formulate complex epistemological questions, including: How does the rising preponderance of scholarship from the region ...

Part I: Southeast Asian Subjects

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1. Postcolonial Identities, Feminist Criticism, and Southeast Asian Studies

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pp. 35-74

Harry D. Harootunian speaks above of the missed opportunity for area studies to take up Edward Said’s challenge to investigate the ways in which knowledge of Asia has been shaped by colonial and imperial projects. I discuss this insight by focusing on the slow rise of American scholarship on Southeast Asian literatures ...

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2. Can There Be Southeast Asians in Southeast Asian Studies?

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pp. 75-108

Much has been written in English on the Western origins of Southeast Asian studies and the constructedness of the object of this field of study. The 1984 essay by the American political scientist Donald Emmerson is one of the earliest and best deconstructive accounts on this history.1 ...

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3. Recognizing Scholarly Subjects: Collaboration, Area Studies, and the Politics of Nature

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pp. 109-136

The project of rethinking Southeast Asian area studies has engaged the historical emergence, logical coherence (and lack thereof), institutional structures, and conceptual orientations in scholarship on Southeast Asia. Our desire to rethink the nature of “areas” is a response to interventions from postcolonial studies, ...

Part II: Collaborations, Collections, Disciplines

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4. Southeast Asian Studies in the United States and Southeast Asia: Missing Links

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pp. 139-171

Over the past half-century, American influences on the Southeast Asian academy, and particularly the field of Southeast Asian studies, have been substantial. Although Anthony Reid and Maria Serena Diokno have recently argued that Southeast Asia itself has long been the site of academic and popular attempts to study and represent the region, ...

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5. Disciplining Knowledge: Representing Resources for Southeast Asian Studies in the Libraries of the U.S. Academy

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pp. 172-204

In response to an invitation to write a provocative discussion paper on the question of international collaborative preservation of cultural heritages of Southeast Asia, Jennifer Lindsay, formerly program officer for the Ford Foundation in Jakarta, wrote a short story. The story, entitled “The Keepers,” written for a conference at Chiang Mai University in 2000, ...

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6. Political Science, the Anxiety of Interdisciplinary Engagement, and Southeast Asian Studies

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pp. 205-242

Perhaps in no other discipline is the legitimacy of area studies more openly contested than in political science. The recent debates in the United States, reaching their climax in the late 1990s, present the latest round in a conflict over the role of area studies that has its origins in the social science transformations of the early post–World War II period. ...


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pp. 243-268

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Notes on Contributors

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pp. 269

Carlo Bonura is Luce Assistant Professor of Islamic Societies at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington. His scholarly work focuses on southern Thailand and Malaysia. ...


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pp. 270-283

E-ISBN-13: 9780295804255
E-ISBN-10: 0295804254
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295986838
Print-ISBN-10: 0295986832

Publication Year: 2007