History of Asia 534: Indonesian Histories, Oral Traditions, and Archives

Laurie J. Sears

SLN: 15048

W 1:30-3:20pm

Explores the inscription of Indonesian histories and stories. Focuses on oral traditions, oral testimonies, and archives. Investigates how oral and written testimonies enter historical archives. Explores theoretical work on literary and performance traditions as they relate to nationalism and Islam in Indonesia.

Jean Gelman Taylor, THE SOCIAL WORLD OF BATAVIA Pramoedya Ananta Toer, HOUSE OF GLASS James Rush, OPIUM TO JAVA Ann Stoler, ALONG THE ARCHIVAL GRAIN (PRINCETON 2010) Dipesh Chakrabarty, PROVINCIALIZING EUROPE (2nd Ed. Princeton 2009) Mary Margaret Steedly, Rifle Reports Rudolph Mrazek, A CERTAIN AGE Laurie Sears, SHADOWS OF EMPIRE

Student learning goals

  • Become familiar with important secondary sources on Indonesian history.
  • Learn about traditional and non-traditional archives.
  • Learn to think critically about Indonesian sources.
  • Learn about different methodologies for oral and written sources.
  • Learn the differences among oral, written, and performance traditions in Indonesian history.

Class will be based on student discussion of readings. No preparation is necessary. Familiarity with Indonesia is helpful.

Class assignments and grading

Three short papers, 2-3 pages, and one longer one, 20 pages, that can be an expansion of one of the short papers. Grades are assigned by evidence of critical reading of assigned books and essays. Grades are based on both written work and class participation.