Race Manifest: Colonial Administration And Racialisation In Nusantara
Editor: Nur Dayana Mohamed Ariffin
Publisher: UM Press
Race is conceptualized in this book as a binding entity to which colonial interests and modus operandi were formed, as an idea of human differences that were scientifically validated and socially acceptable—at least for those with power. The approach to identify and perpetuate racial types, or racialization has undermined self-identities and collective histories in Nusantara. The region was at one point a geographical and cultural unit that celebrated the individualities of local kingdoms and their traditions but was also recognized as having threads of continuities in language and culture, politics and trade but this has fallen under the shadow of new knowledge and administration of various Western imperial rule. Arguing that racial identities in Nusantara were made through altercating contacts between internal and external agencies, this book presents the complexities between imperial exchanges—Spanish, Dutch, British, American, German—and the contrasting currents of the region’s past. Among the key questions that this book attempts to answer are: how did “science” give new elements to reconsider multifarious and overlapping Nusantara identities? What were the encounters between rigid classifications and fluid interactions between imperial administrators, researchers, and local peoples? Did these lines of differences evolve over time? This book traces themes in the history of racialization in Nusantara through colonial sciences, racism, and displacement of self during the long centuries of subjugation in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Imperial powers had long stood on the grounds of race to promote and justify colonialism, but interactions between them created a new understanding of ‘race’ in Nusantara, a place of imagined and loose unity.
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