New Releases from UH Press: Part One
The Blood of the People: Revolution and the End of Traditional Rule in Northern Sumatra, 2nd edition
In northern Sumatra, as in Malaya, colonial rule embraced an extravagant array of sultans, rajas, datuks and uleebalangs. In Malaya the traditional Malay elite served as a barrier to evolutionary change and survived the transition to independence, but in Sumatra a wave of violence and killing wiped out the traditional elite in 1945-46. Anthony Reid’s The Blood of the People, now available in a new edition, explores the circumstances of Sumatra’s sharp break with the past during what has been labelled its “social revolution.”
Traditionalism and the Ascendancy of the Malay Ruling Class in Colonial Malaya
Donna J. Amoroso
In this original and perceptive study Donna J. Amoroso argues that the Malay elites’ preeminent position after the Second World War had much to do with how British colonialism reshaped old idioms and rituals – helping to (re)invent a tradition. In doing so she illuminates the ways that traditionalism reordered the Malay political world, the nature of the state and the political economy of leadership.
Tamils and the Haunting of Justice: History and Recognition in Malaysia’s Plantations
Andrew C. Willford
Tamils and the Haunting of Justice addresses critical issues in the study of race and ethnicity. It is a study of how notions of justice, as imagined by an aggrieved minority, complicate legal demarcations of ethnic difference in post colonial states. It shows how, through a variety of strategies, Tamils try to access justice beyond the law—sometimes by using the law, and sometimes by turning to religious symbols and rituals in the murky space between law and justice.
Saving Buddhism: The Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma
Saving Buddhism explores the dissonance between the goals of the colonial state and the Buddhist worldview that animated Burmese Buddhism at the turn of the twentieth century. It contributes to ongoing studies of colonialism, nation, and identity in Southeast Asian studies by working to denaturalize nationalist histories. The layers of Buddhist history that emerge challenge us to see multiple modes of identity in colonial modernity and offer insights into the instabilities of categories we too often take for granted.
Lost Territories: Thailands History of National Height Shane Strate
It is a cherished belief among Thai people that their country was never colonized. Yet politicians, scholars, and other media figures chronically inveigh against Western colonialism and the imperialist theft of Thai territory. The Lost Territories explores this conundrum by examining two important and contrasting strands of Thai historiography: the well-known Royal-Nationalist ideology, which celebrates Thailand’s long history of uninterrupted independence; and what the author terms “National Humiliation discourse,” its mirror image.
Embodied Nation: Sport, Masculinity, and the Making of Modern Laos
Embodied Nation takes readers on a brisk ride through more than a century of Lao history, from a nineteenth-century game of tikhi—an indigenous game resembling field hockey—to the country’s unprecedented outpouring of nationalist sentiment when hosting the 2009 Southeast Asian Games. More than an “imagined community” or “geobody,” he shows that Laos was also a “body at work,” making substantive theoretical contributions not only to Southeast Asian studies and history, but to the study of the physical culture, nationalism, masculinity, and modernity in all modern societies.