Journal Name: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies: February 2005, Volume 36, Issue 1
Print ISSN:0022-4634 Online ISSN:1476-0680
Traditions of Knowledge in Old Javanese Literature, c. 1000–1500 (pp1-27)
Kenneth R. Hall (Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.)
This article explores how Old Javanese texts, 'literary temples', can be used to help reconstruct the 'textual community' (rather than a hegemonic polity) that existed prior to Java's sixteenth-century Islamic conversions. Instead of the physical and economic might of an emerging elite, it focuses on a society's empowering acceptance and understanding of a common culture that is centered in a ritualized court. This ritualized court culture is not, however, just religiously inspired, but also develops out of Java's new generalized prosperity and the court's control over its public's access to material objects, which became the markers of social distinction.
Emporium in Imperio: Nanyang Networks and the Straits Chinese in Singapore, 1819–1914 (pp29-66)
Mark Ravinder Frost (Asia Research Institute and Dept. of History, National University of Singapore.)
Historical studies of the Chinese overseas, especially those focused on Southeast Asia, need to take into greater account the influence that Chinese born and permanently settled outside China exerted over the wider diasporic community. Moving away from a sojourner-dominated perspective, this article examines Nanyang commercial and cultural networks that were centred on Singapore and largely orchestrated by 'Straits Chinese'. It argues that these networks played a significant role in altering the self-perceptions of more recently arrived migrants in the region and even, for some, helped re-define Chinese identities.
Faith in School: Educational Policy Responses to Ethno-Religious Conflict in the Southern Philippines, 1935–1985 (pp67-86)
Jeffrey Ayala Milligan (The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University.)
The expansion of public education is often seen as an effective tool for the promotion of national identity and the mitigation of ethno-religious tensions in diverse post-colonial states. This essay questions such assumptions via an examination of successive Philippine governments' efforts to deploy educational policy as a response to chronic tensions between the nation's Christianised mainstream and a restive Muslim minority on the southern island of Mindanao. It suggests that the expansion of education to foster a cohesive national identity without careful reconsideration of the religious, cultural and political biases inherent in its content is likely to fail in achieving peaceful, cohesive relations between different ethno-religious communities in religiously diverse multicultural states.
Tunku Abdul Rahman and Malaya's Relations with Indonesia, 1957–1960 (pp87-109)
Joseph Chinyong Liow (The Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.)
Despite popular representations of Tunku Abdul Rahman as an avuncular political personality, he was also an astute policy practitioner. This was evident in how he, in pursuit of Malayan interests, calibrated Malaya's foreign policy posture towards Jakarta in a manner that not only displayed little appreciation of Indonesian sensitivities, but also undermined its political interest and status as the major power in Southeast Asia, thus contributing to bilateral tension.
Political Assassination by Other Means: Public Protest, Sorcery and Morality in Thailand (pp111-129)
Ananda Rajah (The Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.)
Since 1989 'rites of cursing', derived from Northern Thai folk-religious practices, have become common in public protests and demonstrations in Thailand. This essay argues that the employment of these practices and associated beliefs as aspects of civil society and contemporary nation-state making in the Thai context can only be understood in terms of the internal logic of sorcery and embedded conceptions of morality.
Identity, Media and the Margins: Radio in Pekanbaru, Riau (Indonesia) (pp131-151)
Suryadi (The Department of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, Leiden University, the Netherlands.)
Since the fall of Suharto's New Order government the number and variety of media available have grown at a remarkable rate in Indonesia. In the process these new media, particularly radio, have created new forums for expressing local identity. This article examines how various radio stations, and specific programmes, in Pekanbaru, Riau have provided a new conduit for marginalised ethnic, linguistic and social groups – particularly Riau Malays – to address issues of their identity in an increasingly globalised, and decentralised, Indonesia.
(This journal is available online: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/journals/journal_catalogue.asp?mnemonic=SEA)
Posted with permission from the publisher.