Colonial Experiences and 
Their Legacies in Southeast Asia
An NEH Summer Institute ~ June 10 - July 5, 2019 ~ Honolulu, Hawai‘i ~ Hosted by Asian Studies Development Program

Colonialism Experiences and
Their Legacies in Southeast Asia
                                                                                     An NEH Summer Institute ~ June 10 to July 5, 2019 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hosted by Asian Studies Development Program

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Week Three: Independence: Postcolonial Hopes and Disappointments

The third week of the program will address rise of independence movements and the complex trajectories that were taken from colony to nation across the region. While many Southeast Asians looked with favor on Japan’s regional ambitions as an Asian “neighbor” and anticipated independence as a route to greater equality and a shared prosperity, the realities of establishing national governments after generations of subjection to colonial powers were a volatile mix of hopes and disappointments. And, without the overarching umbrella of colonial control, the resentments that found their roots in colonial policies resurfaced in the form of ethno-nationalism, especially the animosity towards Indians and Chinese.

Barbara Andaya (University of Hawaiʻi) begins the week with an overview of independence movements during and after World War Two. Ardeth Thawnghmung (University of Massachusetts, Lowell) will follow with sessions on the national experiments with democracy that were conducted in Burma and Indonesia, and more specifically on how current ethnic division and strife in Myanmar are historical legacies of British colonialism. On Wednesday afternoon, George Dutton (University of California, Los Angeles) turns to French Indochina and how the experience of Vietnam intellectuals studying in Europe helped to launch a powerful, communist anti-colonial movement. Finally, Patricio Abinales (University of Hawaiʻi) will address the practice of internal colonization” in the Philippines as part of the region-wide phenomenon of “strong man” rule by leaders like Presidents Marcos and Suharto.

van Pakoe Boewono X Susuhunan van Solo en
resident Willem de Vogel Soerakarta
Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons &