Edited by Roxana Waterson
Southeast Asian Lives draws on the memory of individuals in various parts of the region to offer a wide-ranging theoretical reflection on the importance of life history as a viable method for historical and cultural interpretations.”
Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
“(T)he articles in (Southeast Asian Lives) offer valuable glimpses into Southeast Asian history and raise issues that will be of interest to practitioners of history and anthropology more generally.”
The Journal of Asian Studies
As news accounts report almost daily, the social, political, and economic atmosphere of Southeast Asia makes it one of the most dynamic and quickly developing regions of the world. Southeast Asian Lives: Personal Narratives and Historical Experience presents extraordinary life stories of ordinary people in a rapidly changing Southeast Asia.
The narratives provide illustration of the richness of life histories by revealing what it was like to live through the wrenching social changes that have accompanied successive political transformations in Southeast Asia, from the period of European colonialism, through the wartime occupation of Southeast Asia by the Japanese, to the emergence of new nation states. By pushing the boundaries of analysis of individual narratives, the authors, all anthropologists, demonstrate what a rich source such accounts can be for an anthropology that seeks to do justice to personal experience.
Southeast Asian Lives: Personal Narratives and Historical Experience will be of cross-disciplinary interest and importance to researchers in the fields of literature, history, anthropology, and sociology working on biography, autobiography, personal narratives, and oral history.
Roxana Waterson is an associate professor in the department of sociology at the National University of Singapore. More info →
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Sol Plaatje is one of South Africa’s most important political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress, a leading spokesman for black opinion throughout his life, and the author of three well-known books: Mafeking Diary, Native Life in South Africa, and his historical novel, Mhudi. These books are not Plaatje’s only claim to fame.
Whether history or anthropology is the most fundamental social science remains still a controversial and undecided issue. For a proper understanding of this instructive controversy, the presuppositions of these two disciplines need to be critically and philosophically reviewed. Otherwise the true perspective of the controversy remains undisclosed and therefore unintelligible.
At a watershed moment in the scholarly approach to the history of this important region, New Terrains in Southeast Asian History captures the richness and diversity of historical discourse among Southeast Asian scholars. Through the perspectives of scholars who live and work within the region, the book offers readers a rare opportunity to enter into the world of Southeast Asian historiography.
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