New voices from Southeast Asian women: A review essay.
Victorious wives: The disguised heroine in 19th-century Malay Syair MULAIKA HIJJAS Singapore/Kuala Lumpur: NUS Press/Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2011. Pp. 324, Appendices, Notes, Bibliography, Index.
Realizing the dream of R.A. Kartini: Her sisters' letters from colonial Java Edited and translated by JOOST COTE Athens, OH/Leiden: Ohio University Press/KITLV Press, 2008. Pp. 396, Appendix, Plates, Notes, Glossary, Bibliography, Index.
Historians may have come late to the study of women and gender in Southeast Asia, but when these three books are placed along a historiographical spectrum one can only be impressed at how far the field has moved in approach and methodology. Exploiting previously untapped sources that emanate from very different sites--a Dutch East India Company courtroom, the women's quarters of a Malay palace, the privacy of a Javanese home--the authors open up new avenues by which to explore the complexity of Southeast Asia's gender history. Though the contexts are very different, the movement through time (Wives, slaves and concubines is set in the late eighteenth century, Victorious wives in the nineteenth, and Realizing the dream in the twentieth) provides an opportunity to gauge shifts in representations of 'femaleness', attitudes towards gender roles, and women's responses to change.
Given the often turbulent passage towards independence, it is natural that the evolution of modern nation-states has been a major theme in Southeast Asian historiography. Because the study of gender in Southeast Asia has evolved in tandem with prevailing academic preoccupations, it is also understandable that the first attempts to accord women a 'significant' history were concerned with their space in the national story. Encarnacion Alzona's The Filipino woman (1934) begins with the arrival of the Spanish in Cebu in 1565, but, as an educated activist, her main goal was to assert Filipina entitlement to the same voting rights as men. (1) A similar preoccupation with the state's gender regime is evident 25 years later in Cora Vreede-de Stuers' groundbreaking L'emancipation de la femme indonesienne. Emphasising that Indonesian women should become the 'partners' of men, Vreede-de Stuers took as her starting point the year 1900, which she believed inaugurated both nationalism and the women's movement. (2) Before that, apparently, women had no history.
While the history of nationhood in Southeast Asia still wields a heavy hand, a range of recent publications have helped to construct a more nuanced and female-conscious past. (3) Drawing on previously ignored or overlooked sources, they have identified new spaces in which the history of women and gender can be fruitfully explored. As Eric ]ones demonstrates in his study of late-eighteenth-century Batavia, one such space is the courtroom and its population of 'ordinary' people. As defendants, plaintiffs and witnesses in both civil and criminal cases, their recorded statements provide details of lives that rarely entered the purview of power-holders. Pioneers in the new 'social history' who opened up the possibilities of such documents--testimonies, affidavits, interrogations, confessions--also demonstrated the value they held for historicising gender relationships. Carlo Ginzburg's 1966 exploitation of material arising from the inquisition of alleged witches in northeastern Italy was the harbinger of an ever-expanding corpus of works on witchcraft trials in pre-twentieth-century Europe and America that use gender as their fulcrum. (4) Although women are often seen as victimised by legal procedures, scholars working in societies as far apart as Italy, France, China and Mexico have demonstrated that female defendants may have been disadvantaged by stereotypes and prejudices, but that many were able to use the law courts to their own advantage. Existing documents supply often startling evidence of the ways in which non-elite women, accused of sometimes serious crimes, were nonetheless able to respond to judges, justify their actions to their families, and negotiate with public authorities. (5)
An appreciation of Wives, slaves and concubines also requires an understanding of the Southeast Asian historiographic context in regard to women and the law. While relatively few pre-nineteenth-century court records have survived, colonial interest in customary law led to the publication of numerous indigenous legal texts and generated numerous studies, some of which drew attention to the position of women. (6) This interest has continued into modern times, with one of the most impressive compilations being the L6 Code of Vietnam. Indeed, it has even been claimed that the Burmese compilations of legal and ethical codes, the Dhammathat, may be 'our only source on gender relations in pre-colonial Burma'. (7) Yet relatively few scholars have tried to see how the law was actually applied and how judicial procedures affected common people, especially in criminal matters. In some cases it is likely that this material is simply awaiting examination, since Tamara Loos refers to 'thousands' of archived trial records in nineteenth-century Siam. Her examination of cases considered by the Dika, the Supreme Appeals court, provides concrete illustrations of the impact of legal change, especially in relation to gender and class. (8) Studies using legal records from colonial and religious courts in Singapore and Malaya also show that gender-sensitive research is certainly possible here for the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (9) For the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, however, legal documentation produced by the Dutch East India Company (VOC, Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) is probably the richest source for social history. In his study of Cirebon between 1680 and 1792, Mason Hoadley used several court cases to examine the influence of Dutch law and administrative structures on indigenous legal institutions. (10) Judicial hearings and notary records supplied many of the most interesting insights in Hendrik Niemeijer's magisterial study of seventeenth-century Batavia. (11) In Melaka, another Dutch-controlled centre, Radin Fernando drew on murder investigations conducted under the auspices of the Court of Justice to construct ten 'stories' that provide fresh insights into the social life of a busy port town. More particularly, he argues, the sense of verisimilitude conveyed by courtroom statements (including hesitation, conjecture, and fabrication) '[gives] the feeling of listening to someone across the passage of time'. (12)
Jones approaches the late-eighteenth-century records of Batavia's Schepenbank, the Court of Aldermen, from a similar standpoint. His study is based on the belief that 'courtroom drama' can provide 'a population that was previously nameless and faceless' with its own narrative by illuminating the lives of 'little' people, and particularly women (p. 91). (13) From the outset he stresses that two different legal systems operated in Dutch Batavia. The Council of Justice had jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases concerning VOC officials, employees, their wives (often local Eurasians) and their household members. Judicial responsibility for Batavia residents who were not connected with the Company, including free Asians, Europeans and slaves, was assigned to the Schepenbank, established in 1620 and disbanded in 1809. Its members (variously seven to nine, who could be free citizens as well as VOC officials) were appointed annually by the Council of the Indies, and there was no requirement for specific legal training.
Schepenbank responsibilities covered a range of activities, from supervising the administration of local markets to oversight of midwives, but the focus of Wives, slaves and concubines is the administration of law in regard to runaway slaves. The first three chapters survey the existing literature in order to establish the commercial and legal context in which the Schepenbank operated, and the role of gender within this wider framework. Though this overview is undoubtedly useful, specialists will be more interested in the detailed case studies drawn from Schepenbank records covering (with some extended gaps), the years from 1775-93 and now housed in the Dutch National Archives in The Hague. The majority of the fugitive slaves who figure in these documents were accused of crimes against their owners, from whom they had stolen or in a few instances, physically attacked. The perception of slaves as property and the legal division between 'slave' and 'free' meant that owners were almost always privileged in any legal decisions. A slave accused of stealing from a master or mistress was invariably treated severely, since domestic theft was considered far worse than ordinary theft; even attempted suicide by a desperate slave was regarded as robbing the owner of his property (pp. 123, 136). Violence obviously merited far worse punishments, especially in the case of the death of the victim. Only very rarely was any consideration given to the treatment that might have provoked a slave to run away or to attack his or her owner.
The testimonies and confessions (often obtained through harsh interrogation and torture) of women like Danie from Sumbawa, Sitie from Makassar, Tjindra from Bali and Esperanca from Bugis provide humanised, disturbing, but informative details of cruelty and abuse, especially by mistresses towards their female slaves. The risks of living among Batavia's underclass are no better illustrated than in the unsolved murder of a twelve-year-old girl, Tompel, the slave of a Chinese woman, in 1791. Enticed by adults, Tompel was persuaded to steal her mistress's jewellery box. A few days later she was found in a canal with a noose tied tightly around her neck. The murderer (who had presumably stolen the jewellery as well) was never apprehended, but two of Tompel's accomplices were executed and the others flogged, branded and condemned to hard labour for fifty years (pp. 98-102). Though appalling to modern eyes, this form of 'severe correction' and the belief that harsh punishment would act as a deterrent to crime was a feature of eighteenth-century Europe, and it was many years before reforming ideas took effect. (14) Far from the metropole, courts in Dutch Asia routinely imposed punishments such as flogging, public exposure, and forced labour. Yet even here we can detect some gender differences. Because female slaves were more likely to abscond rather than attack an owner, they normally received lighter punishments, although a life of toil on public works probably meant an early death (p. 139).
As Nigel Worden has reminded us in the case of South Africa, fear of retribution, and especially of extreme pain, was a major means of controlling Batavia's growing slave population. (15) In Southeast Asian studies this dimension of slave control has been understudied because the category of 'slaves' has typically incorporated debt-slaves, people who had mortgaged themselves and their labour in lieu of payment. As a number of studies have suggested, a debt-slave relationship with a master or mistress was similar to that of client and patron, and mutual obligations were often conceptualised in terms of kinship reciprocity. (16) For slaves brought before the Schepenbank, however, this was not the case. Expected to bring back 'coolie money' by working outside--peddling goods, selling food and at times purveying sex--in addition to their domestic duties, slaves became commodities. Despite their physical relationship with a male owner, even the slave-concubines who figure in Jones's book never saw themselves as part of a family, and animosity and suspicion often infused their dealings with other household members. Cruelty and abuse, particularly of female slaves, militated against the creation of kinship-type reciprocities, and any alliances among slaves who came from different parts of the archipelago were usually short-lived and opportunistic.
One should hasten to add, however, that the court documents do show another side to this bleak picture. Since they were able to work outside, slaves could hold back some of their earnings, obtain credit, and perhaps buy their own freedom. Those anxious to display status might rent fine clothes and even hire another slave to carry their belongings. Favoured by their owners, some women did very well, and there were men who were willing to go through the protracted process of freeing their female slaves in order to transact a legal marriage. Though Sitie of Makassar (whose interrogation extends over 2,500 words) was not so fortunate, for some time she lived with her master in a situation resembling that of a common-law wife, governing an entire household, wearing expensive clothes and jewellery, and accompanied on outings by her own small slave retinue. Her punishment for absconding (a severe beating, fifteen years hard labour and subsequent exile) is a telling comment on Dutch condemnation of slaves who sought to reject their status as fixed property.
In the interstices of these documents there are other details that throw light on attitudes and beliefs that determined individual actions. An abusive mestiza Chinese concubine causes her male slave to run amok; an Ambonese female slave runs away with her goldsmith lover; Sitie of Makassar defrauds Chinese businessmen using the credit of her 'Moor' master. In her testimony Sitie justified her conduct by claiming that she had fallen under the spell of a certain 'Kyai Dukun', to whom she had originally gone for help in curing a toothache. He had given her supernaturally-empowered texts to be worn on her stomach, promising that her 'husband' (i.e. her master) would thereby regard her absence leniently. In addition, she claimed that 'Kyai Dukun' had cast a spell over her, so that she was mysteriously attracted to him and had been seduced into running away (pp. 110-19). For such women the issue of rape and forced intercourse did not arise because their bodies were 'property'; against the repeated violence by female (often Chinese mestiza) owners who were the primary supervisors of domestic slaves one must therefore place the unrecorded cases of sexual violence and humiliation implicitly embedded in the life of any female slave. References from the period frequently refer to mistreatment of native women by Chinese and European men, and the posed nineteenth-century images Jones has included convey a disturbing sense of the objectified voyeurism with which many were regarded. (17)
The violence that forms a dominant theme in Wives, slaves and concubines is a reminder that court trials are not really about 'ordinary' Asian men and women (pp. 3, 23). In the case of Siam, Tamara Loos notes that only special cases reached the Dika, and although they help to access the lives of criminals, the lower classes, and women, the details may have limited application to Siamese society more broadly. (18) As Jones himself notes (p. 25), there are innumerable stories that are forever lost, since the successful runaway will not appear in court records. And, one might add, many slaves were unable or unwilling to face the danger and uncertainty of absconding. References to owner frustration with slaves who stayed out late or failed to pay attention to their tasks suggests a form of passive and deliberate but low-level recalcitrance that was for many the only viable response to ill-treatment (pp. 128, 137). Nor were the VOC courtrooms the only site of judgements that affected women; cases concerning 'runaway wives', for instance, have survived from Batavia's Chinese Council, although we have no information about minor disputes that were settled by the leadership of Batavia's different ethnic groups. (19) Even the records available, as Jones points out, must be treated with caution, since confessions were often extracted through torture or were fabricated to present the accused in a more favourable light.
In assessing the material presented in these documents, we need to remember that the courtroom itself functioned as a showroom in which all participants were to some extent actors. Jones refers to the 'dramas' that were played out, and the idea of treating trials as theatre is well established in the literature. (20) Mary Kilcline Cody's recent study of the 1911 trial of Mrs Proudlock (the only British woman accused of murder in British Malaya) provides a fascinating example of the staging of court procedures and the performances of both defendant and witnesses. (21) The court records that ]ones used are drained of the emotions that slaves must have experienced as their confessions were recorded, but the narratives he has provided do give a sense that these individuals were fighting to avoid torture, years of physical punishment and in some cases, execution. A woman accused of maltreating her human 'property' might therefore deliberately present herself as a slave rather than a concubine in order to gain court sympathy, or a male slave could claim non-involvement in a crime by contending that he remained loyal to his Chinese mistress, who was in financial difficulties. In deflecting interrogation, Sitie from Makassar undoubtedly hoped that accusing Kyai Dukun of witchcraft would cast doubt on his declarations of innocence (pp. 101, 118, 135).
While recognising the new material this study makes available, some caveats are in order. Given the extent of VOC material from the seventeenth century, much of which is still unexplored, one could question whether the sources presented here 'comprise some of the oldest and it seems most extensive narrative sources from men and women in early modern Southeast Asia' (p. 4). Although Wives, slaves and concubines certainly opens up new ways of thinking about gender relations in the mixed ethnic societies that developed in so many Asian cities, the information offered does not really provide answers to 'the beginnings of the modern economic world system' (p. 5). Nor can the emergence of an urban underclass in Dutch-ruled Batavia be seen as simply a colonial creation (p. 6). The commodification of human labour, the view of slaves as property and cultural approval of brutal punishment as a means of subjugation were common features of the early modern world. (22) Long after Britain had abolished slavery in its own territories, colonial authorities in Malaya returned two female slaves who had fled from the Perak ruler's residence. The punishment these fugitives received went unrecorded, but the previous year a son of the Selangor sultan had reportedly drowned two recaptured slave women as an example to others. (23)
This reference, taken from an earlier article by Mulaika Hijjas, forms an appropriate transition to a consideration of Victorious wives: The disguised heroine in 19th -century Malay syair. The material used is very different from trial documents, but it can also be regarded as theatre, for the genre of Malay poetry known as syair was primarily intended as a public performance. Though the origin is debated, and though a written form is known only from the late sixteenth century, the oral-aural environment in which syair developed is unmistakable. (24) Sung or chanted, the four-line stanza using the rhyme scheme aaaa drew on a standard repertoire of word endings (-nya, -kan, -ta, -ian, -ang, etc.) that facilitated extemporaneous composition, Their popularity was also a function of their versatility, since the subject matter could incorporate virtually any subject--religious instruction, dynastic histories, accounts of significant events, romantic stories, allegorical parodies. (25) Whether the purpose was educational or entertaining or a combination of both, Malay life offered innumerable occasions at which syair could be recited. Because interpolations and additions were very easy, and because they were often expected to provide entertainment for several hours, syair sometimes reached epic-like lengths (the published version of Syair Siti Zubaidah is well over five hundred pages).
Until the nineteenth century syair circulation was limited because copying a manuscript was slow and expensive, but from 1828 the establishment of lithograph presses in Batavia, Singapore and elsewhere provided a cheap form of duplication. (26) Ian Proudfoot calculated that syair were the most popular works produced by Malay publishing houses, a fact that observers noted even at the time. (27) In 1896 R.I. Wilkinson, later Director of Education in British Malaya, presented a lecture to the Straits Philosophical Society in which he commented that 'the books sold in the Singapore bazaars are mostly "shairs"'. Costing as little as three cents a copy, they commanded 'a considerable circulation' and were shipped to Sumatra and various parts of the Peninsula. With some perception, Wilkinson remarked that the importance of syair had been overlooked, and that they should 'claim our first attention because of the public interest'. (28)
This opinion was not necessarily shared by other members of the Philosophical Society. Responding to Wilkinson's lecture, Otto Blagden probably expressed the view of many colleagues when he asserted that 'very few of the shaers are readable ... to the Western mind they are an intolerable bore'. (29) Over the last hundred years academic attitudes have certainly shifted, but although many syair manuscripts have been transcribed, often by students completing degrees in departments of Indonesian and Malay studies, translations and annotations are relatively few. Historians have always been more comfortable using prose hikayat (which can similarly cover a range of topics), especially when these are supported by additional (normally European) material. Admittedly, poetry is more difficult than prose to render into another language, but apart from those that deal with 'real' events--the Syair Perang Mengkasar is a prime example--historians have found syair difficult to use. (30) Romantic syair, like those which form the focus of Victorious wives, have been dismissed as trivial compositions of little literary merit and thus undeserving of attention. Despite the early recognition of Malay love of allegory and verbal play, particularly in relation to hidden meanings implicit in stories involving animal, bird and flower characters, (31) the sophisticated manner in which syair could serve as metaphors for events otherwise difficult to discuss openly has only recently been seriously explored. Taking one poet's comment that the 'outer skin and content are different from each other' seriously, Henk Maier and Gijs Koster have shown how Syair ikan terubuk, where the protagonists comprise various species of fish, can be interpreted as a satire on a war in 1761 between two Siak princes. (32) In a similar vein, the Syair Raja Tedung dan Raja Katak (Poem of the Cobra King and the Frog King) parodies the way in which Malay rulers accommodated the demands of Bugis adventurers in the first half of the eighteenth century. (33)
By introducing gender into these more sophisticated readings, Mulaika's elegantly written book has brought the discussion of syair to an entirely new level. Excellent translations, including an appendix of long excerpts, provide solid support for her interpretation and I have little doubt that Victorious wives will become a standard citation in any discussion of Malay literature. In many respects the six syair on which her discussions are based (Syair Siti Zuhrah, Syair Sultan Yahya, Syair Siti Zubaidah, Syair Sultan Abdul Muluk, Syair Siti Dhawiyyah, Syair Saudagar Bodoh) share much in common, most particularly the fact that these invariably beautiful heroines disguise themselves as men. Assuming a new persona, they captain ships, embark on travels to foreign lands, survive all manner of tribulations, achieve victory in battle (often with the aid of magical items), become great kings, wise scholars and successful traders. Possessed of intelligence, discernment, and religious piety, they successfully deal with palace intrigue, the antagonism of stepmothers and the rivalry of other women. Yet despite their mastery of innumerable dangers and obstacles, despite their intellectual and spiritual prowess which enable them to perform amazing tasks, they all return to become submissive and dutiful wives. In other words, though they challenge the prevailing gender order that affirms male superiority, they ultimately accept it.
In exploring these poems, four of which can be confidently ascribed to women, Mulaika does not attempt to draw connections to historical events, and is not adopting a triumphalist tone of 'women were here too!'. Rather, she approaches the syair as 'complex literary texts', affording a glimpse into the fictive world of the culture that produced them (p. 11). Studying the romantic syair genre, she argues, not only provides a unique opportunity to explore the 'inner life and imaginative possibilities' available to composers and consumers in the nineteenth-century Malay world, but offers some understanding of women's preoccupations and concerns.
The great strength of Victorious wives is its foundation in a wide reading of secondary literature and a deep familiarity with the many syair that have survived through nineteenth-century publications. Despite the British creation of 'Malayistics' and their appropriation of Malay literature, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 had assigned the Riau-Lingga archipelago, the heart of the old Johor kingdom, to the Dutch sphere of influence and allowed for its incorporation into the Netherlands East Indies. Here the Dutch amassed a very large collection of Malay manuscripts. (34) At least four of the six syair Mulaika has chosen for closer examination emanated from the small island of Penyengat, a short boat-ride from the Dutch administrative capital of Tanjung Pinang on Riau itself.
Penyengat is probably best known because of the religious and literary influence of its most famous son, the scholar Raja Ali Haji (1808-70), but in recent years our knowledge of the wider environment has substantially expanded. (35) In particular, the women of Penyengat, all descended from intermarriage between prestigious Bugis migrants and Johor Malay royalty, are known to have been actively involved in the production of manuscripts, particularly syair. However, Mulaika argues that although Bugis women are known for their literary connections, Penyengat was probably not exceptional. A useful appendix of female authors and copyists demonstrates (p. 181) that texts by and for women could be found all over the Malay world. Women wrote letters, acted as teachers, owned texts, commissioned, composed and copied manuscripts, and operated in a textually-aware world that was encouraged by Islamic attention to reading and recitation (pp. 37-47). As Mulaika says, this environment appears to be markedly different from that in Bali, where Helen Creese concluded that Balinese kakawin were written by men, that any tradition of women's writing appears to be 'irretrievably' lost, and that the kakawin view of women is essentially male. (36)
What Bali and the Malay areas do have in common is the fact that romantic texts were largely addressed to a female audience, a fact that should come as no surprise to scholars of Asian literature. Polygamous marriages and large domestic establishments led to a preponderance of women in elite households, and their limited access to the outside world encouraged and even necessitated a female orientation to most activities. In Islamic societies among the best-documented accounts of this gendered environment come from large and powerful courts, like that of the Ottomans or the Mughals, but closer to home there are other references to court entertainment where women of necessity took the roles of men. (37) A VOC envoy in Banjarmasin in 1756, for instance, was entertained with a 'comedie' about 'wars and love affairs' in which the richly dressed and bejewelled characters were all played by leading court women, including the wife of the Crown Prince. (38) Such occasions reflect a long tradition of women taking the part of men in dance drama, no doubt encouraged by texts like the immensely popular Panji tales where disguise (by both men and women) builds on yet more disguise and where the plot often hangs on mistaken identity. Reputedly introduced by Malay maids into the Thai court in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, the Panji cycle was transposed into texts expressly for performance by the Lakon Nai, the court dance-drama performed by women (p. 51). (39)
Women who took on a male role and dressed as men, like the pirate Ratu Mas, the formidable widow of Raja Haji of Riau (d. 1784), or female guards from the Javanese court who wore full male battle dress, can certainly be located in Southeast Asian sources. (40) The romantic syair from Penyengat, however, should not be approached as a representation of reality. Because they were chanted aloud by specialists, they are better imagined in terms of a theatrical performance. (41) Raja All Haji himself believed that a syair could only be fully appreciated when it was accompanied by music, with melodious reading akin to singing. (42) The power of the human voice to generate emotion (pp. 70-1) is probably most graphically rendered in the great Malay epic, Hikayat Hang Tuah, which describes the extraordinary paralinguistic power exercised by Hang Tuah's companion, Hang Jebat, as he reads a story to the Melaka ruler and the palace women. (43) The growing field of sensory history is a reminder that scholars world-wide have devalued the vocal aspects of history. As Francis Bacon (1561-1626) put it, hearing 'striketh the spirits more immediately than the other senses'. (44) The advance of literacy and the advent of print by no means destroyed the ballad tradition in early modern Europe; on the contrary, because reading and singing aloud from books and pamphlets was still commonplace, it helped bridge the gap between those skilled in reading and those who were not. Ballads, like syair, were still 'a form of journalism', an entertaining and accessible way of recording the past. (45)
As Mulaika so skilfully demonstrates, the emotions induced by performing a text and the actual task of writing are virtually inseparable. Indeed, a syair attributed to an exiled ruler of Palembang even tells his audience that 'To sit brooding is unbearable/Ink and paper are the place to utter one's feelings'. (46) In the same mode, Victorious wives shows that the reciter/writer is herself involved in the emotional turmoil (rawan) that infuses the 'heart-rending experience' of copying or composing. In the words of Daeng Wuh, author of Syair Sultan Yahya, 'the handwriting is terribly bad/But do not speak ill of it, noble youths/For much weighed on my mind/Standing and sitting at a loss/For my heart is unsettled/Enduring myriad torments ...' (pp. 85-6). One can also speculate that in places such as Riau the apprehension, even trepidation, of sitting down to write would have been sharpened because paper had to be imported and was always in short supply. (47)
When we turn to the syair themselves, we find that it is precisely these feelings of rawan that romantic heroines had to control, especially in their relationships with their families and with suitors and prospective husbands. They may be heartsick because of ill-treatment or false accusations, or face the discomfiture of a sexually compromising situation when in disguise, but although copious weeping is acceptable (heroines tend to cry a lot in syairs) more emotional displays of grief, anger, desire, jealousy, even joy, should be held in check. The heroine's repressed feelings should be articulated on her behalf by lesser women, such as attendants or nursemaids. In a specific focus on the Syair Siti Zuhrah and Syair Sultan Yahya (chap. 3) this control of emotion takes centre stage as the audience hears how heroines deal with difficult relationships, often with family members, in their path towards marriage. Their restraint, even in the face of improper advances and groundless allegations, helps restore order and bring events to an acceptable conclusion. This self-possession is in marked contrast to the behaviour of the male protagonists, whose uncontrolled emotions, frequently manifested in desire for a 'man' (i.e. a disguised princess), is fundamentally destabilising. The message is clear; exemplary women are those who successfully conceal their 'inner turmoil', regardless of the testing situations in which they are placed and the challenges posed to them by their relations with men.
Chapter 4 turns to a focused discussion of the Syair Sultan Abdul Muluk and Syair Siti Zubaidah, which are deployed to show how questions of gender identity become accentuated when disguised heroines enter domains associated with 'maleness', particularly the battlefield, a domain where men who fail to take up arms are persistently seen as woman-like. But the audience is forewarned that the heroines of these syair will perform 'male-like' deeds of great daring. In the Syair Sultan Abdul Muluk, for instance, the birth of Siti Rafiah, like that of legendary heroes, is signalled by heavy rains (pp. 111, 122). Compared to a 'valiant man', her behaviour is the complete obverse of the female-fertility-nurture association. Not only does she kill an innocent palace maid to counterfeit her own suicide, she has no compunction about murdering seven sleeping hunters. These actions are all taken in her long and laudable search for her husband; another heroine, Siti Zubaidah, similarly becomes a 'man' so that she can travel to China and do battle to rescue her husband from his captors, seven beautiful Chinese princesses. Like Siti Rafiah, Siti Zubaidah's marital fidelity and her submission to God are demonstrated by personal sacrifices such as her willingness to lay aside her maternal obligations and abandon her child in the forest. In keeping with the ideal of premarital chastity and marital fidelity, both heroines are prepared to accept a position as a co-wife, and their loyalty, piety and submission to fate, even when a husband is unfaithful, earns them the status of consort. It is worth noting, however, that the motif of the marriage bed as a battlefield, so common in Javanese and Balinese literature, receives only passing references in Riau syair, even though one character tells his adversaries, the Chinese princesses, 'We ought to fight beneath the mosquito net/our krises and spears coaxes and caresses' (p. 131). (48) Presumably because of Islamic influences, the composer excuses herself from providing further details of sexual engagements, 'The story will not be elaborated/for it's too difficult to find rhymes' (pp. 131-3). A heroine may yearn for her beloved, but desire (nafsu) belongs only to lesser women and outsiders like the Chinese princesses. Momentarily challenged, the gender order returns to a settled state where ultimately the proper role for any woman is marriage and faithful wifehood.
Yet there are undercurrents, for in the final two syair (Syair Siti Dhalwiyyah and Syair Saudagar Bodoh) Mulaika tracks a different theme. The two heroines, Siti Dhawiyyah and Siti Zianah, are not princesses, but daughters of merchants, and for them marriage becomes a problem, since one husband is a philanderer and the other simply foolish. Entangled in difficult situations with other women or simply financially embarrassed, these men are depicted as less able than their more pious, astute and pragmatic wives, who ultimately rescue their husbands from disaster. The implicit message (reminiscent of episodes in Java's Serat Centini) is that men have 'no monopoly on intelligence' (akal), whether in the marketplace or the acquisition of religious knowledge. (49) It is often women who help men attain akal, and the fact that Siti Dhawiyyah and Siti Zianah remain in their own homes and are presented as the only wife may represent a subtle acknowledgement of their superior intelligence. There are, however, words of caution. Female knowledge should not be directed towards the possession of wealth and material objects, or towards gaining access to love potions that exercise power over men. Hafsah, who seduces the hero through her mastery of spells and magic, is even executed, while other greedy and materialistic women receive due punishment through drowning or exposure (pp. 144, 148, 154, 165). The only akal of value is that which strengthens one's religious understanding or is of use in daily existence, and both wives maintain their loyalty to erring or incompetent husbands (even one, like Saudagar Bodoh, who was previously married and divorced 101 times before his union with Siti Zainah!).
In the twentieth century syair were still printed and copied, making a successful transition into popular Malay theatre and providing plots for a number of successful films. (50) Nevertheless, Mulaika ends her book on a pessimistic note, for syair are rarely given serious attention in modern Malaysia. In 1926 Za'ba, regarded as the unassailable authority on Malay literature, remarked that 'fairy tales and fantasies are unacceptable to the minds of the people in this age' (p. 174). Like Raja Ali Haji, he believed that literary production should be directed towards education and moral benefit, not pleasure. Although the contemporary expansion of inexpensive, romantic novels in Indonesia and Malaysia may be derided by literary specialists, they deal with issues faced by Muslim women in contemporary society--polygamy, arranged marriages, single motherhood, family relationships, affairs of the heart. As with the nineteenth-century syair, the efflorescence of this genre attests a demand for stories that not only entertain, but speak to the preoccupations, concerns, and above all, the emotions of their audiences. (51)
In turning to the third book in this review, we move from court records and literary representations of female experiences to a unique archive of personal letters by women themselves, in this case the four sisters of the Indonesian national heroine, Raden Kartini (1879-1904): Roekmini (1880-1951), Kartinah (1883-?), Kardinah (1881-1971) and Soematri (1888-1963). This corpus, including the originals of letters from Kartini, was presented to the Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in 1986 by the descendants of Jacques Abendanon (Director of Native Education, Religion and Industry, 1900-05), whose wife, the Spanish-born Rosita Abendanon-Mandri, was the primary recipient. Joost Cote's publication of Kartini's unexpurgated letters to her friend and mentor, Rosita, as well as to her pen-friend, the Dutch activist Stella Zeehandelaar, has been an important contribution to the field, especially for those interested in the complex interaction between tradition, modernity, nationalism and gender. (52) It is sometimes forgotten, however, that Kartini was one of eleven children (five daughters and six sons), among whom Roekmini and Kartinah were full sisters, born of the official consort, while the mother of Kartini, Kardinah and Soematri was the daughter of a local Kyai. Of their five brothers the sisters were closest to Raden Mas Sosro Kartono (1877-1951).
This volume, documenting correspondence mainly between Rosita and Kartini's sisters (as well as a few letters from husbands and several to other recipients) stretches from 1901 to 1951. It may be the final step in bringing together all that we know of this extraordinary group of young Javanese women. Although there are gaps in the correspondence, and it remains one-sided (since letters from Rosita have not survived), it will be a treasure trove for research in a wide number of fields. Probably only those who have themselves undertaken translation and editing of a large text can appreciate the time that Cote has invested in preparing these letters for publication, particularly in compiling the meticulous footnotes that draw connections, explain events, and identify names and places. The introduction to the book, a free-standing essay in itself, provides details on matters such as the family background, the relationship between the sisters, the recipients of the letters, and the political environment, including early expressions of Javanese nationalism. Cote points to some of the themes that draw the letters together, such as ideas about progress, education, travel and modernity, and each body of letters is preceded by a short overview of the writer's life.
Cote also addresses the issue of letters as a historical source (of which, incidentally, future historians will be largely deprived because of the advent of email and other forms of electronic communication). All the sisters wrote excellent Dutch, and their letters consistently demonstrate their extremely warm relationship with Rosita, who quickly moved from 'Mevrouw' to a maternal 'Moedertje'. Her home in the Netherlands became a gathering place for Indonesian students, for whom she and her husband were often a source of financial support. For several years a particular recipient of their generosity was the widowed Roekmini and her children. The most striking feature of the letters is probably the outpouring of emotion (Cote speaks of 'intensity', p. 18) which is at times so palpable that they read like a personal diary. As we know, the initial publication of Kartini's letters, Door duisternis tot licht (From darkness to light) in 1911 was carefully edited, with some of the more critical and personal comments omitted. Annie Glaser, who was employed as teacher for the two elder sisters, in fact refused to allow publication of their correspondence (p. 323). There is no indication that the sisters ever thought that their own letters might appear in print, but they were aware that their communications were not necessarily private. Husbands sometimes read letters, and those to Rosita often conveyed messages to be passed on to the influential Jacques Abendanon in hopes of advancing their own plans or the careers of their menfolk. It is hardly necessary to point out that letter-writing writing is always a matter of self-representation and thus a type of performance. For instance, Roekmini's brave comments to Rosita contrast with her frank admission to another Indonesian activist, Etty Wawo Runto from Minahassa, that her school had attracted little support and received scant encouragement. Letters from Kartinah and Soematri to their Dutch friend Lien van den Berge-Kelder in Padang (pp. 235, 250, 260) assume a more casual and 'chatty' tone. Soematri's confessions of her secret romance with her husband-to-be and the exchange of gossip about mutual acquaintances are quite different from the more sober and increasingly thoughtful nature of her correspondence with Rosita. Yet even at their frankest, some questions, like sexual relationships, are never addressed, so that marriage is presented primarily as a meeting of minds and common interests.
The rich detail these letters provide may lead readers to forget that they were often accompanied by gifts which could be as meaningful as the written word. For the four sisters the objects and pictures sent by Rosita became deeply evocative sites of memory. A fan, a postcard of Niagara Falls, a 'very precious water jug'--the exchange of pictures and objects, like letters, became part of a complex chain of remembered interaction that (as Soematri remarked in 1936), meant that the link between her family and their Moerdertje 'can never be washed away, but will be passed on to their children as a talisman' (p. 299). In these exchanges the visuality of photographs (several included here were obtained from the Abendanon family) played a special role. Of course, both senders and receivers understood that at one level photographs were staged and in that sense a pale reflection of the true self. Commenting on one of the most well-known pictures of herself with Roekmini and Kardinah, the sisterly 'cloverleaf, Kartini thus remarked: 'How do you like our photograph--is it not frightfully conceited? There we are showing ourselves as Regent's daughters. You had not thought, had you that your friends could be so prim--or be such proud little things'. (53) Nonetheless, frequent references not merely to photographs, but to the emotions attached to them, reveal the power of a technology which we now take completely for granted. Roekmini thus offers to send Rosita a medallion containing a photograph of Kartini 'like the one I always wear' (p. 102). On her writing table 'where I spend so many days' is a 'group photo' of Rosita, her husband and their sons (Rosita's step-sons) in front of their house 'which I look at so often' (p. 111). Kartinah and Soematri yearn for such a 'precious souvenir', and when one arrives, says Kartinah 'it has made me so happy ... I am fondly gazing into your eyes that seem to be telling me something' (p. 245).
Although the volume includes years of correspondence from all four sisters, the most complete archive is from Roekmini, who was the closest in age and spirit to Kartini. Marrying relatively late at the age of 28, she was able (unlike Kardinah and Kartini) to choose her own husband, a relatively low-level civil servant. Through well over a hundred pages of letters that date from 1901 to 1921, we are witness to her loyalty to the ideals she and Kartini had shared, her commitment to working for girls' education, her engagement with women's affairs, her belief in Java's future, but above all, her strength in the face of adversity, disappointment and bereavement--widowhood, financial difficulties, the deaths of her two daughters, problems with her stepson. Now publicly available, these letters should elevate the little-known Roekmini to a significant place in the early Indonesian women's movement, expressed even in her feminisation of the fate that left her alone after the weddings of Kardinah and Kartini. 'Reality,' she wrote, 'was wise, since She only meant to show us what life had in store for us by giving us the illusion of being free agents' (p. 90).
It is therefore appropriate that Cote has chosen Roekmini's letters to open the 'narrative' (repeating a few previously published letters) at a critical point in 1901, when the 'cloverleaf was broken because of Kardinah's arranged marriage. Over a hundred years later, we can still feel Roekmini's horror at this development: 'they have pushed her to the extremity ... my heart is breaking ... they have murdered our souls' (pp. 56-7). Kartini and Roekmini recover, and make plans to go to Europe to study, and when this is frustrated by colonial disapproval and parental opposition, they reorient themselves to Batavia. Again, these plans are brought to naught in 1903 when Kartini complies with the wishes of her parents, and herself agrees to marry a man of their choice. While the outpourings of Kartini on the subject of arranged marriage are well-known, here we are introduced to the reactions of her closest companions. For Roekmini, 'The cross which our darling must carry is heavy,' and on the wedding day 'we looked deeply into each other's eyes ... recognized ... our farewell to the past' (pp. 72-9). Needless to say, the unexpected death of Kartini was agonising for all the sisters, but it seems that the correspondence with Rosita allowed them to express their feelings in a way that was not possible with their own mothers. Roekmini herself says they must maintain appearances, and this control of emotion, so reminiscent of Mulaika's heroines, is especially evident in Kardinah's acceptance of her marriage as a filial duty. 'How hard it is to walk over the ruins of what were once my beautiful ideals with my head held calmly and proudly erect ... I pretend to everyone that he was my choice' (p. 189).
Throughout the letters there are certain recurring themes, the foremost of which, as the title suggests, concerns the shared goal of 'realizing the dream of Kartini', the promotion of female education. Roekmini's 1929 report, announcing 'the first women's congress' the year before, is a testimony to her continuing involvement. The school she had opened with Kartini in lepara eventually foundered because of financial difficulties, but she remained closely connected with initiatives to establish schools for native girls. After a gap of several years it may have been the receipt of Door duisternis tot licht that lay behind Kardinah's resumption of correspondence with Rosita and her announcement that she would establish a vocational school for girls in Tegal. Eventually opened in 1916, 'Wismo Pranowo' (the house that expands the vision) provided Dutch and Malay language training, but used Javanese as the medium of instruction, was community-supported, and was limited to females, unlike the coeducational native schools. It was thus rather different from, for instance, the European-sponsored Kartini Fund school in Semarang. The following year Kardinah could write that 'girls' schools are now starting to spring up like toadstools' and the establishment of institutions for the training of native female teachers was seen as a great step forward (p. 209). Two decades later the expansion of women's education seemed quite remarkable. Soematri, recalling Rosita's first visit to Jepara, when she herself was only twelve, wrote, 'it is unbelievable how much has been achieved in such a short time. We now already have our female doctors, our lawyers. People no longer question whether they should send their daughters to school' (p. 299).
In their pursuit of Kartini's dream, the sisters relied heavily on the encouragement and assistance of other liberal individuals, both Javanese and European. They formed strong bonds with a circle of Dutch-educated 'native girlfriends', including the Pakualaman princess of Yogyakarta, and with like-minded European women. Probably more importantly, they received significant assistance from several influential Dutch men, especially Jacques Abendanon. It also seems that their husbands were generally supportive, although Kartinah's letters to Rosita ceased after her marriage, and Soematri's husband went so far as to predict that 'it will be tens of years even before our female teachers will be ready to teach even our girls' (p. 280). But at the same time the letters point to real opposition, not only from sceptical colonial officials, but to powerful Javanese men, like their uncle, the Regent of Demak. While less vehement than Kartini's condemnation, the sisters still deplored male indifference to their campaign. In Kartinah's words, 'The situation in the Netherlands Indies regarding the education of our girls remains miserable ... Who would dare to suggest that Javanese women do not feel the need for more knowledge and new skills? ... Yet among our most highly educated male countrymen there are still some who continue to dare to hold to this view' (pp. 140, 225, 251-2).
There were other aspects of Kartini's dream that continued to receive her sisters' attention, such as support for Javanese handicrafts, but their early involvement in nationalist activities is of particular interest. The 'Call to Young Java' of 1908 (signed by Roekmini, Kartinah and Soematri), their initial involvement with Budi Utomo--'May it be a support for us in many ways!' (p. 225)--and the belief that 'we Javanese' must take the helm in the road to 'progress' place them firmly within the framework of the national story. Yet it is evident that any vision of 'our nation' beyond Java itself remained vague. The Women's Union of 1928 was headed by Javanese, and although Roekmini corresponded with the Minahassan educator Etty Wawo Runto, and Kardinah's school had connections with Aceh and Lampung, educated women beyond Java apparently remained outside their circle, like 'that girl' (actually the Ambonese Leentje Jacomina Tehupeiory), who went to the Netherlands to study pharmacy. On one occasion Soematri explicitly tells her friend Lien that although she might be amenable to her husband's posting in Padang or Bali. 'I very much hope that we will never have to go to the Outer Islands' (p. 41). Despite Cora Vreede-de Stuers perception of 'the unity of Indonesian women', the sisters seemed unaware of the modernist Muslim schools educating girls as well as boys that had been developed in Padang as early as 1909, or even in Bali from the 1920s. (54) What concerned them most was Java.
By the 1930s, when the correspondence essentially ends, we have moved into a new era, so that the life of Soematri was very different from that of her elder sister Roekmini. In 1932 the younger woman thus wrote, 'Much has changed in Java, the surroundings, and everything which together actually we call the world.' Twenty years later Kardinah similarly spoke of a 'new world' in which the younger generation must find their way (pp. 296, 213). But despite the far-reaching changes that the sisters had personally witnessed, one constant theme, from the very first letter to the last, is their concern about relationships with the male members of their family. Kartini and Kardinah agreed to arranged marriages to comply with the wishes of their beloved father; Roekmini's hopes of a career in a bank or as a teacher are blocked by her uncle, the Regent of Demak; Kartinah would have liked training in needlework, but dared not mention it to her parents; after Kartini's death the sisters were unable to forge any relationship with her son because of opposition from her husband and his family; the son himself showed no signs of inheriting his mother's talents; Soedjono, the widowed Roekmini's underachieving stepson, was a financial and emotional burden; the sisters worried about promotion possibilities for their civil-service husbands, minor figures in a larger colonial machine that often overlooked talented Javanese. But the great disappointment was the failure of their brother Sosro Kartono to achieve academic and political advancement in the Netherlands, despite his impressive beginnings in Java. Though Cote sees him as a victim of modernity, Kartini expressed the frustration and anxiety all the sisters felt at these lost opportunities: 'He was my best, most loyal friend, my adviser and my guide--he didn't study, he lived it up ... he has been in Holland for four years and he has still not achieved anything.' (55) In the end, it was the bonds between women that held the family together, no better captured than in Soematri's description of their vacation together in Salatiga in 1935: 'Roekmini, Kardinah, Kartinah and I, just like the old days, looking for the comfort of our own family and home, together also with our two mothers' (pp. 297-8).
In the introduction to the English edition of The Indonesian woman, Cora Vreede-de Stuers specifically noted that she had not tried to place her discussion in a comparative framework, despite her own interest in other Muslim-majority societies. (56) Over fifty years later, notwithstanding the considerable academic and institutional investment in 'Southeast Asian' studies, practical issues of language acquisition, access to research material and a legacy of nation-based historiography have militated against the comparative endeavour. Even when a regional perspective is adopted, the boundaries created by area or country concentration often impede potentially rewarding comparisons with societies that underwent similar experiences. The 'rapid growth' of world history is thus a significant development, raising questions regarding methodology, approach and future prospects that should be of particular interest to Southeast Asianists. (57) Gender is only beginning to make inroads into world history, but the books reviewed in this essay suggest topics that are ripe for comparative treatment. (58) For example, in 'Dutch Asia', the sub-title of Wives, slaves and concubines, Jones invites (though does not pursue) a consideration of how VOC law functioned in different Asian environments. While Batavia's obvious point of comparison would be other cities in the Malay-Indonesian archipelago, such as Ambon, Makassar and Melaka, it may well be useful to look further afield. (59) A recent study of Kerala, for instance, has pointed to ways in which local litigants with no VOC connections exploited the Company's legal system to resolve their own personal or commercial disputes. (60) The similarities and differences in the position of slaves can also be illuminating. In Dutch South Africa escape and punishment was a feature of slave life but, unlike Batavia, the principal requirement was male field labourers rather than domestic servants. Although the situation in Batavia casts doubt on the idea that women exercised an ameliorating influence, one eighteenth-century observer attributed the pervasive Cape violence to the fact that there were so few female slaves. (61) In both places, however, a slave who challenged his or her status as property incurred horrific penalties, pointing to the slowness with which changes taking place in the Netherlands penetrated the colonial environment. In 1793 the Batavia Schepenbank condemned the slave Tjambang (convicted of attacking his mistress) to have his right hand amputated, to be bound to a cross, and finally decapitated; his head, body and hand would be put on display and left 'as prey to the birds'. (62) This appalling punishment was essentially the same as that meted out over seventy years earlier to a Cape slave who inflicted a mortal wound on his master. (63)
One benefit of reading the details of 'ordinary lives' is that a casual comment can trigger questions that might have wider implications. In one letter, for instance, Soematri remarks that 'Roekmini [then 24 years old] had some teeth extracted.' (64) Should this be of any historical interest? Perhaps so. Medical history is certainly a flourishing arena in which to explore global responses to epidemics and introduced pathogens, and the fourth HOMSEA (History of Medicine in Southeast Asia) conference in Solo in 2012 demonstrated the interest this field has attracted. (65) But while life-threatening diseases such as smallpox, malaria and cholera have attracted considerable attention, we might do well to give thought to more mundane and probably more common problems, such as dental health. (66) Throughout history, toothache is often cited as an example of extreme pain, 'thou hell o' a' diseases' as Robert Burns put it, and for Soematri the enjoyment of the Sinterklaas biscuits sent by Rosita was overshadowed by the fear that toothache might result. (67) It is worth remembering that a school to train Indonesian dentists did not open until 1928, many years after the equivalent medical institution. The contrast between Sitie Makassar, who believed that the medicine rubbed on her stomach could relieve the pain of toothache, and Rosita, whose new dentist would hopefully save her from 'more suffering', raises intriguing possibilities for studying the transition from 'magic' to modern dentistry. (68) In passing, one might mention that even teeth can have a gendered dimension, for they could also serve to signal the aesthetic shifts that modernity induced. Whereas the blackened teeth of the romantic heroine gleamed 'like the wings of a bumble bee', by the twentieth century this practice (which reputedly helped reduce the incidence of dental caries) was rare among Malay women. Indeed, it was precisely 'female' issues like the appearance of teeth that could bring the tension between tradition and modernity into the open. 'We became so furious,' wrote Kartini, 'when they wanted to file down [Kardinah's] teeth.' The latter adamantly refused to comply, declaring that she had 'no intention of biting anyone'. (69)
Practices related to 'Javanese' or 'Malay' tradition, so intertwined with issues of modernity, inevitably set self-identification against some 'other', notably the Chinese. Unlike many other topics that focus on Southeast Asia, the historiography of the overseas Chinese has a long heritage of comparative thinking (although the Chinese experience in Southeast Asia is rarely juxtaposed with other Pacific Rim countries). Nonetheless, even this well-established subject can benefit by a gendered perspective. A striking feature of the court cases from Batavia, for example, is that so many slaves were fleeing from the violence of their mestiza Chinese owners. We should nonetheless remember that these women were often themselves daughters of slave mothers, bought to provide domestic labour and sexual services. They were often treated with great cruelty by their Chinese husbands, and an English observer in seventeenth-century Banten remarked that it was 'an ordinary thing for the Chinese to beat their wives'. In 1824 a Chinese judge in Batavia told a runaway daughter that she could hardly object when she was beaten by her parents, since this was 'quite normal in human relations'. (70) The harsh treatment of slaves by mestiza Chinese thus reflects a context where brutality was common, and where females in 'Chinese' households may have been especially victimised, not only by husbands and fathers, but by the authorities as well. (71)
By the nineteenth century, when the women on Penyengat were composing their syair, slavery had been abolished in Dutch colonies, although it effectively continued in the form of forced prostitution and purchased labourers. Meanwhile, the Chinese presence had grown exponentially, and Riau's economy was almost totally in Chinese hands, a fact which certainly aroused some resentment among Malay traders. The altercation between a Chinese and a Malay merchant described in Syair Siti Zubaidah may not have been uncommon. (72) Popular entertainment, however, was indifferent to the animosities that might stem from competition in the marketplace. A newly installed Sultan of Riau (who lived on the island of Lingga) was entertained by a 'Chinese wayang' and Chinese audiences similarly enjoyed Malay syair performances. Chinese women were known to be particularly fond of syair; indeed, in 1884 a well-known Chinese writer and publisher composed a new version of the popular Syair Sultan Abdul Muluk, renaming it after the heroine and highlighting her actions in ways that may have been specifically directed towards women's concerns. (73) Siti Zubaidah was another favourite with Chinese audiences, despite (or perhaps because of) the battle with the Chinese princesses. (74) Though they do not dress as men, the Chinese female warriors are in many respects indistinguishable from the disguised Malay heroines, for they too are beautiful and skilled in warfare, and the reasons they engage in battle (to avenge an uncle's death) resemble the motivations of their Malay counterparts.
While these similarities may reflect the peranakan culture that developed from Malay-Chinese interaction, differences in religion and traditions meant that a growing sense of Malay identity evolved in sometimes tense conversations with the Chinese 'other'. It is hardly surprising that the battle between Siti Zubaidah and the Chinese princesses is represented as a holy war against 'cursed' infidels, who are eventually defeated and accept Islam. (75) By contrast, mention of Islam is markedly absent in the letters from Kartini's sisters, apart from events that mark the Muslim calendar, such as the fasting month. Soematri Kardinah says, in fact that she is still searching for a place of religious refuge--'I do not have a belief'. (76) Yet animosity towards the Chinese who 'get everything', more marked than in Kartini's correspondence, prefigures the sharpening of ethnic divisions. 'Is it not dreadful and irritating,' writes Kardinah, 'that we indigenous people are so put down while the Chinese, the foreigner, is raised above everyone?' (77)
Although the experience of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia has been well-studied, we know much less about the experiences of Southeast Asians who journeyed abroad, as envoys, as traders, as pilgrims, as mercenaries. While a recent study has referred to the 'explosion' of international travel from the fifteenth century, here too we find a gendered dimension. (78) Apart from a marriage to a foreign prince, women only rarely moved beyond familiar sites, and the pilgrimages to Mecca undertaken by leading Mughal women in the sixteenth century were certainly not typical. With expansion of the global traffic in slaves over the next two hundred years, the forced relocation of women becomes widespread, and the names of the Batavia slaves who figure in Wives, slaves and concubines indicate that they too have 'travelled'--from Bali, Sulawesi, Sumbawa, Timor, Ambon and even farther afield, from Bengal. As James Warren has shown, the transactions through which these human commodities were bought and sold ultimately resulted in new forms of self-identity--the acquisition of a new name, a new language, new skills, often a new religion. (79) For elite Malay women travel to distant places was viewed as a primary way of attaining 'knowledge', but although shorter boat trips to neighbouring areas were quite common, long journeys to distant places remained a male prerogative. The window and the telescope (a common prop in nineteenth-century Malay writings) are symbols for a world that for women is of necessity viewed from afar. Yet for the composers and audiences of the syair, this world could still be fantasised through the adventures of the disguised heroine as fabled realms like China, Persia, Arabia and Hindustan became familiar backdrops to stories where women defend their honour, overcome their enemies, deepen their spiritual knowledge, and gain experience in practical affairs.
In a rather different way Roekmini and her sisters also travelled vicariously through reading the accounts of others, and Rosita's letters describing her visits to exotic destinations like Japan and the United States thus 'opened up a new world'. (80) Though the sisters were certainly able to travel within Java, accounts from abroad made them acutely aware of their exclusion from experiences enjoyed by others and of the constraints imposed by their social position. Both Roekmini and Kartini referred to themselves as 'birds in a cage', seeing the unattainable Europe as a place where they could be 'completely free'. Their home in Jepara remains an 'isolated spot' to which it is difficult to return 'when you know that there, outside, there is so much life, so much action'. (81) The perceived failure of some Javanese men to take advantage of their experiences abroad has curious parallels with the Riau syair, in which we also find men who are unsuccessful in acquiring the knowledge that should result from adventures in foreign lands. 'We can hardly believe it,' wrote Soematri, 'that our boys should forget that they are actually our pioneers, that upon their shoulders rests the task of sweeping aside a powerful prejudice.' (82)
The vehemence of Soematri's reaction, the rawan so often invoked in the Malay syair, the 'despondence' that impelled a fugitive slave to violence--is it possible for historians of Southeast Asia to engage with colleagues now opening up a new field dealing with the history of emotions? The idea that happiness, sadness, anger and fear may be less universal than once thought raises provocative questions about cultural specificity, leading to the idea of distinct 'systems of feeling' that expect, encourage, tolerate and deplore certain 'modes of emotional expression'. (83) This in turn prompts one to ask whether slaves in Batavia or women in Riau or elite Javanese could also constitute an 'emotional community' connected by shared notions of what feelings of joy or grief actually signified. The argument that we need to problematise terms for 'emotion' is particularly relevant when so many sources on which Southeast Asian historians rely are translations and sometimes translations of translations. What did a female slave from Ambon or Buton actually say to the court scribe when we are told she 'fell in love'? What, in fact, did 'love' mean for such women in eighteenth-century Batavia? How 'disconsolate' or 'despondent' or 'disheartened' would a slave be before he or she ran away or attacked an owner? Were feelings and motivations in fact imputed to women by European men, 'strangers in black gowns', as in the colonial East Indies? (84) To what extent did audiences identify with the feelings of happiness or sadness, frustration or hope experienced by the romantic heroines of Malay syair? And how do we deal with that slippery term, 'sakit hati' (sick at heart), used in so many different situations? Students of emotion have been urged to look more carefully at figures of speech: when Malay women heard marriage compared to a cage where a beautiful bird would be treasured, did they experience the same feelings of entrapment expressed by Kartini and Roekmini when they likened their lives to that of a caged bird? (85)
In considering these three books, Sara Ahmed's assertion that 'emotions cannot be separated from bodily sensations' has particular resonance. (86) Like the Malay women who feel physically overwhelmed as they begin to write, Roekmini's fingers trembled as she puts pen to paper. Touching, smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting--all had the power to arouse powerful feelings. (87) For slaves who had undergone punishment in Dutch Asia the very sight of a rattan whip or a metal shackle could recall not only the sensations of physical pain, but the associated anger, humiliation and resentment. For Roekmini a sarong and kebaya from Rosita, and a lock of her hair could become a substitute for the beloved 'moedertje': 'I am eagerly looking forward to receiving your clothes. I want to press my face on them.' (88) Sound, especially the human voice, commanded special attention. Halted at the very moment of flight, the slave Danie spoke of the 'fear' when she heard her mistress call, but this can only convey a pale sense of the dread she must have felt, knowing the punishments meted out to runaways. Like the female listeners, believed to be so susceptible to a seductive performance, the characters in Malay syair also respond to the allure of the human voice, which is not merely heard, but can be visually imagined. As the Raja of Hindustan croons lullabies to Zubaidah's abandoned son, 'The sound was unspeakably lovely/Like a bee visiting flowers.' (89) Roekmini yearns for a gramophone, 'that wonderful invention', so that she could hear again Rosita's voice and thus be 'reinvigorated'. When she looks at mementos of flowers sent from Japan she can imagine a 'sweet women' whose voice 'tells me of your love'. (90)
As a final comment, it is worth noting the close connections between the histories of gender and emotion, for as all three books demonstrate, the deepest female feelings often derive from their conflicted ties to men, precisely because these relationships so often reverse the expected ideal. (91) A lover may vow his fidelity, but is beguiled by other women; a male protector may become an exploiter; sexual intercourse may be unsatisfying, unwelcome or abusive; husbands, fathers and brothers can be indifferent and unkind. For the composer of at least one syair the reason for the male tendency to disappoint was simple: 'Among men the custom is ever thus'. (92) The female predilection for expressive language may have been deplored by men like Raja All Haji (even Cote speaks of 'cloying' and 'gushing' sentiment), but the sources that record such feelings could be a doorway for understanding whether 'emotional communities' existed in Southeast Asia and if so, how they were constituted.
The great goal of the comparative endeavour is to engage academic projects in outward-oriented conversations that move beyond the confines of particular locales. Though historians of Southeast Asia have been late to make gender a particular focus of study, the research reviewed here highlights the progress that has been made since the time when the most urgent task was simply locating women in historical sources that privileged the doings of men. Each of these books will take its own place in a trajectory of scholarship because in different ways they have brought to light previously unheard voices and placed them in a historical and cultural context. More importantly, perhaps, the three books are drawn together not merely because they focus on women, but because they raise possibilities for involvement in interdisciplinary interactions that look beyond individual Southeast Asian societies and beyond the region itself. There is no doubt that 'Southeast Asian studies' will remain a defensible field, but gender history will surely benefit by the current expectation that regional specialists will actively engage with colleagues working in other world areas.
(1) Encarnacion Alzona, The Filipino woman: Her social, economic, and political status, 1565-1933 (Manila: University of the Philippines Press, 1934).
(2) Cora Vreede-de Stuers, L'emancipation de la femme indonesienne (Paris: Mouton, 1959); published in English as The Indonesian woman: Struggles and achievements (Paris/The Hague: Mouton, 1960), p. 16.
(3) See, for example, Trudy Jacobsen, Lost goddesses: The denial of female power in Cambodian history (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008); Vina Lanzona, Amazons of the Huk rebellion: Gender, sex and revolution in the Philippines (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009); Chie Ikeya, Refiguring women, colonialism, and modernity in Burma (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2011); Jessica Harriden, The authority of influence: Women and power in Burmese history (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2012); Mina Roces, Women's movements and the Filipina, 1986-2008 (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2012).
(4) Carlo Ginzburg, I benandanti: Stregoneria e culti agrari tra cinquecento e seicento (Turin: Einaudi, 1972), published in English as The Night battles: Witchcraft and agrarian cults in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, trans. John Tedeschi and Anne Tedeschi (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983). See also The witchcraft reader, ed. Darren Oldridge (London: Routledge, 2002), especially sections five, seven and eight.
(5) Natalie Zemon Davis, Fiction in the archives: Pardon tales and their tellers in sixteenth-century France (Stanford, NJ: Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 77-110; Elizabeth S. Cohen, 'No longer virgins: Self-representation by young women in late Renaissance Rome', in Refiguring woman: Perspectives on gender and the Italian Renaissance, ed. Marilyn Migiel and Juliana Schiesari (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 169-91; Susan Kellogg, 'From parallel and equivalent to separate but unequal: Tenocha Mexica women, 1500-1700' and Lisa Mary Sousa, 'Women and crime in colonial Oaxaca: Evidence of complementary gender roles in Mixtec and Zapotec societies', in Indian women of early Mexico, ed. Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood and Robert Haskett (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), pp. 123-44, 199-217; Janet M. Theiss, Disgraceful matters: The politics of chastity in eighteenth-century China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004).
(6) For example, Pierre Lusteguy, La femme annamite du Tonkin dans l'institution des biens culturels (Huong-hoa): Etude sur une enquete recente (Paris: Librarie Nizet et Bastard, 1935), pp. 73-94.
(7) Nguyen Ngoc Huy and Ta Van Tai, with the cooperation of Tran Van Liem, The Le code: Law in traditional Vietnam. A comparative Sino-Vietnamese legal study with historical juridical analysis and annotations, 3 vols (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1987); Andrew Huxley, 'The importance of the Dhammathats in Burmese law and culture', Journal of Burma Studies, 1, 1 (1997): 3.
(8) Tamara L. Loos, Subject Siam: Family, law and colonial modernity in Thailand (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006), p. 25. See also Syed Muhd Khairudin, 'Bringing the accused back in: Court records as sources for Southeast Asian history', forthcoming.
(9) Mahani Musa, 'Official state records: A minefield for studying pre-1957 Malay women', Sari: Jurnal Alam dan Tamadun Melayu, 26 (2008): 171-88; Mahani Musa, 'Johor Malay women and social issues, 1930s-1950s', paper presented to the 22nd International Association of Historians of Asia conference, Solo, Indonesia, July 2012; Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied, 'Micro-history and the study of minorities: Working-class Sikhs in Singapore and Malaya', Social History, 36:1 (2011): 22-35.
(10) Mason C. Hoadley, Selective judicial competence: The Cirebon-Priangan legal administration, 1680-1792 (Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1994), p. 98.
(11) Hendrik E. Niemeijer, Batavia: een koloniale samenleving in de zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam: Balans, 2005).
(12) Radin Fernando, Murder most foul: A panorama of social life in Melaka from the 1780s to the 1820s (Kuala Lumpur: MBRAS, 2006), p. xxv.
(13) I earlier reviewed this book in International Journal of Asian Studies, 8, 2 (2011): 233-6.
(14) Pieter Spierenburg, with a preface by Elisabeth Lissenberg, The prison experience: Disciplinary institutions and their inmates in early modern Europe (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007).
(15) Nigel Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 106.
(16) See Kerry Ward, 'Slavery in Southeast Asia, 1420-1804', in The Cambridge world history of slavery: Vol. 3, AD 1420-AD 1804, ed. David Eltis, Keith Bradley, Paul Cartledge and Stanley L. Engerman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 163-85.
(17) Barbara Watson Andaya, 'From temporary wife to prostitute: Sexuality and economic change in early modern Southeast Asia', Journal of Women's History, 9, 4 (Feb. 1998): 11-34.
(18) Loos, Subject Siam, p. 26.
(19) Leonard Blusse and Menghong Chen, The archives of the Kong Koan of Batavia (Leiden: Brill, 2003).
(20) Edward Muir and Guido Ruggiero, 'Introduction: The crime of history', History from crime: Selections from Quaderni Storici, ed. Edward Muir and Guido Ruggiero, trans. Corrada Biazzo Curry, Margaret A. Gallucci and Mary M. Gallucci (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), pp. ix, xiv. See also Steven H. Goldberg and Tracy Wakers McCormack, The first trial: Where do I sit? What do I say? In a nutshell, 2nd ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 2009).
(21) Mary Kilcline Cody, 'The trial of Mrs. Proudlock: Law, government and society in British Malaya, 1911', Ph.D. diss., Australian National University, Canberra, 2012.
(22) See, for example, Barend J. ter Haar, 'Rethinking "violence" in Chinese culture', in Meanings of violence: A cross cultural perspective, ed. Goran Aijmer and Jon Abbink (Oxford: Berg, 2000), pp. 123-40.
(23) Cited in Mulaika Hijjas, 'The nursemaid's tale: Representations of the inang in Syair Sultan Mahmud and Syair Siti Zuhrah', Indonesia and the Malay World, 33, 97 (2005): 266.
(24) Syed Mohamad Naguib Al-Attas, The origin of the Malay sha'ir (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1968); A. Teeuw, 'The Malay shair: Problems of origin and tradition', Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 122, 4 (1966): 429-46; Amin Sweeney, 'Some observations on the Malay sha'ir', Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 4, 1 (1971): 52-70. On the oral-aural heritage, see particularly G.L. Koster, Roaming through seductive gardens: Readings in Malay narrative (Leiden: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde Press [KITLV], 1997), pp. 15-23.
(25) For an overview, see Siti Hawa Hj. Salleh, Malay literature of the 19th century (Kuala Lumpur: Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia, 2010). Originally published as Kesusasteraan Melayu abad kesembilan belas (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1997).
(26) Jan van der Putten, 'Printing in Riau: Two steps toward modernity', Bijdragen tot de Taal-Land- en Volkenkunde, 153, 4 (1997): 717-36; Ian Proudfoot, 'A nineteenth-century Malay bookseller's catalogue', Kekal Abadi (Kuala Lumpur], 6, 4 (1987): 1-11.
(27) Ian Proudfoot, Early Malay printed books (Kuala Lumpur: Universiti Malaya, 1993), p. 29.
(28) R.J. Wilkinson, 'The poetry of the Malays', in Noctes orientales, being a selection of essays read before the Straits Philosophical Society between the years 1893 and 1910, ed. H.N. Ridley (Singapore: Kelly and Walsh, 1913), p. 87.
(29) O. Blagden, 'Criticism', in Noctes orientales, pp. 98-101.
(30) Entji' Amin, Sjair Perang Mengkasar: The rhymed chronicle of the Macassar War, ed. and trans, by C. Skinner (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1963). Favoured for historical consideration are other syair that deal with warfare because these are datable and can often be correlated with European accounts. For instance, The Battle for Junk Ceylon: The Syair Sultan Maulana. Text, translation and notes, ed. C. Skinner (Dordrecht: Foris, for the KITLV, 1985); Syair Perang Siak: A court poem presenting the state policy of a Minangkabau Malay royal family in exile, ed. Donald 1. Goudie, Philip Lee Thomas and Tenas Effendy (Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1989); Nikmah A. Sunardjo, Sulistiati and Mulyani S. Yeni, Analisis struktur dan nilai budaya syair bertema sejarah: Syair Sultan Mahmud di Lingga, Syair Perang Banjarmasin, dan Syair Raja Siak (Jakarta: Department of National Education, 2001); Ben Murtagh, 'Syair Perang Inggeris di Betawi: A Malay account of the British invasion of Java of 1811', Indonesia and the Malay World, 30, 86 (2002): 27-36.
(31) H.O. Overbeck, 'Malay animal and flower shaers', Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 12, 2 (1934): 108-48.
(32) G.L. Koster, 'Stranded in a foreign land: Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin's Syair Nuri, Indonesia Circle, 24, 68 (1996): 26; H.M.J Maier and G.L. Koster, 'A fishy story: Exercises in reading the Syair ikan terubuk', in Cultural contact and textual interpretation: Papers from the Fourth European Colloquium on Malay and Indonesian Studies, held in Leiden in 1983, ed. C.D. Grijns and S.O. Robson (Dordrecht: Foris, 1986), pp. 204-18.
(33) G.L. Koster, 'A nineteenth-century political lampoon: The poem of the Cobra-King and the Frog-King', in New perspectives in Malaysian studies, ed. Mohd. Hazim Shah, lomo K.S. and Phua Kai Lit (Bangi: Malaysian Social Science Association, 2002), pp. 32-53.
(34) H.M.J. Maier, In the center of authority: The Malay Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1988), 21ff.
(35) Studies by Virginia Matheson Hooker and Jan van der Putten are particularly important. See, for instance, Virginia Matheson Hooker, 'Questions arising from a nineteenth-century Riau syair', RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 17 (1983): 1-61 and 'Strategies of Survival: The Malay royal court of Lingga-Riau', Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 17, 1 (1986): 6-38; Jan van der Putten, His word is the truth: Haji Ibrahim's letters and other writings (Leiden: CNWS, 2001); Di dalam berkekalan persahabatan. 'In everlasting friendship': Letters from Raja All Haji, ed. Jan van der Putten and Al Azhar (Leiden: Dept. of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, University of Leiden, 1995); 'Printing in Riau': 717-36.
(36) Helen Creese, Women of the kakawin world: Marriage and sexuality in the Indic courts of Java and Bali (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), p. 39.
(37) See, for example, Leslie P. Pierce, The imperial harem: Women and sovereignty in the Ottoman empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 141; Ruby Lal, Domesticity and power in the early Mughal world (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 45, 126-7.
(38) Johannes Andries Paravicini, "Eerbiedigst rapport [...] over de zaken en belangen van Timor, Rotty, Solor, Sacoe, Sumba en Borneo', Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 8 (1862): 229-39.
(39) Cambridge guide to theatre, ed. Martin Banham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 1076.
(40) Barbara Watson Andaya, 'Adapting to political and economic change: Palembang in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries', in The last stand of Asian autonomies: Responses to modernity in the diverse states of Southeast Asia and Korea, 1750-1900, ed. Anthony Reid (Macmillan: London and Basingstoke, 1997), p. 204; Peter Carey, The power of prophecy: Prince Dipanagara and the end of an old order in Java, 1785-1855 (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007), p. 629.
(41) Julian Millie, Bidasari: Jewel of Malay Muslim culture (Leiden: KITV Press, 2004), p. 238.
(42) Van der Putten and M Azhar, Di dalam berkekalan persahabatan, p. 39.
(43) Hikayat Hang Tuah, ed. Kassim Ahmad (Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1971), pp. 291-2; Henk Maier, We are playing relatives: A survey of Malay writing (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2004), p. 35.
(44) See further D.R. Woolf, 'Speech, text and time: The sense of hearing and the sense of the past in Renaissance England', Albion, 18, 2 (1986): 159-93.
(45) Natalie Zemon Davis, Society and culture in early modern France: Eight essays (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 189-226; David Cressy, Literacy and the social order: Reading and writing in Tudor and Stuart England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 14-21, 51.
(46) Koster, 'Stranded in a foreign land', p. 26.
(47) Van der Putten and Al Azhar, Di dalam berkekalan persahabatan, pp. 76-7, 180.
(48) Creese, Women of the kakawin world, pp. 175-6, 186-7; Adrian Vickers, Journeys of desire: A study of the Balinese text Malat (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2005), pp. 161-3.
(49) Ann Kumar, 'Imagining women in Javanese religion: Goddesses, ascetes, queens, consorts, wives', in Other pasts: Women, gender and history in early modern Southeast Asia, ed. Barbara Watson Andaya (Honolulu: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i, 2001), pp. 87-104.
(50) Hijjas, Victorious wives, pp. 175-6.
(51) Shakila Abdul Manan, 'Flirting with romance: The production and consumption of Malay chick lit in majority-Muslim Malaysia', presented at the Euroseas Conference, School of Global Studies, Gothenburg, Sweden, 26-28 Aug. 2010; Nor Ismah, 'The new generation of women writers from the pesantren tradition in Indonesia', Explorations: A Graduate Student Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 11, 1 (2011): 105-18.
(52) Letters from Kartini: An Indonesian feminist, 1900-1904, ed. and trans. Joost Cote (Melbourne: Hyland House and Monash Asia Institute, 1992); On feminism and nationalism: Kartini's letters to Stella Zeehandelaar (Clayton: Monash Asia Institute, 2005).
(53) Cote, Letters from Kartini, p. 81.
(54) Jeffrey Hadler, Muslims and matriarchs: Cultural resilience in Indonesia through jihad and colonialism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008), p. 160; Lyn Parker, 'Domestic science and the modern Balinese woman', in Love, sex and power: Women in Southeast Asia, ed. Sue Blackburn (Clayton: Monash Asia Institute, 2001), pp. 57-74.
(55) Cote, Letters from Kartini, p. 60.
(56) Vreede-de Stuers, The Indonesian woman, p. 15; Cora Vreede-de Stuers, Parda: A study of Muslim women's life in northern India (Van Gorcum: Assen, 1968).
(57) Patrick O'Brien, 'Historiographical traditions and modern imperatives for the restoration of global history', Journal of Global History, 1 (2006): 3-39; Heather Sutherland, 'The problematic authority of (world) history', Journal of World History, 18, 4 (2007): 491-522.
(58) Merry E. Wiesner, 'World history and the history of women, gender and sexuality', Journal of" World History, 18, 1 (2007): 53-67.
(59) Gerrit J. Knaap, 'Slavery and the Dutch in Southeast Asia', in Fifty years later: Antislavery, capitalism and modernity in the Dutch orbit, ed. Gert Oostindie (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1995), pp. 193-206.
(60) Anjana Singh, Fort Cochin in Kerala, 1750-1830: The social condition of a Dutch community in an Indian milieu (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 132-6.
(61) Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa, p. 133.
(62) Jones, Realizing the dream, p. 143.
(63) Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa, p. 106; Robert Ross, Cape of torments: Slavery and resistance in South Africa (London: Routledge, 1983), pp. 34-5.
(64) Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 245.
(65) Death and disease in Southeast Asia: Explorations in social, medical and demographic history, ed. Norman G. Owen (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1987); Laurence Monnais and Harold J. Cook, Global movements, local concerns: Medicine and health in Southeast Asia (Singapore: NUS Press, 2012).
(66) Donald R. Hopkins, The greatest killer: Smallpox in history (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (2002);) Myron J. Echenburg, Africa in the time of cholera: A history of pandemics from 1817 to the present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
(67) Robert Burns, 'Address to the toothache', in The poems and songs of Robert Burns (Cosimo: New York, 2009), pp. 251-2; Cote Realizing the dream, p. 242.
(68) Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 301; Jones, Wives, slaves and concubines, p. 100.
(69) Hijjas, Victorious wives, p. 192; Cote, Letters from Kartini, p. 171.
(70) Purchas his pilgrimes, vol. 2, ed. Samuel Purchas (Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, 1905 ), p. 471; Blusse and Chen, The archives of the Kong Koan, p. 34.
(71) For instance, in 1671 the VOC factor in Palembang reported a case where the widow of a Chinese man, a former slave originally from Batavia, had been tortured in order to compel her to disclose the location of her husband's wealth. Her hands had been thrust into boiling oil, he said, and her head was squeezed between two planks, so that with horribly swollen features and protruding eyes she no longer appeared human. Andaya, 'From temporary wife to prostitute': 11.
(72) Syair Siti Zubaidah perang China: Perspectifsejarah [Sitti Zubaidah and the Chinese war: A historical perspective], ed. Abdul Rahman al-Ahmadi (Kuala Lumpur: Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, 1994), pp. 81-91.
(73) Monique Zaini-Lajoubert, 'Le Syair Cerita Siti Akbari de Lie Kim Hok (1884), Un avatar du Syair Abdul Muluk (1846)', Archipel, 48 (1994): 118-19; G. L. Koster, 'Making it new in 1884: Lie Kim Hok's Syair Siti Akbari', Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 154, 1 (1998): 95-115; Claudine Salmon, 'Chinese women writers in Indonesia and their views of female emancipation', in Women and literature in China, ed. Anna Gerstlacher et al. (Bochum: Studienverlag Brockmeyer, 1985), pp. 479-81.
(74) Proudfoot, Early Malay printed books, p. 22.
(75) Hijjas, Victorious wives, p. 117.
(76) Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 268.
(77) Ibid., p. 193.
(78) Stephen S. Gosch and Peter N. Stearns, Premodern travel in world history (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 3, 161ff; Lal, Domesticity and power, pp. 210-12.
(79) James Francis Warren, Iranun and Balangingi: Globalization, maritime raiding and the birth of ethnicity (Singapore: NUS Press, 2002), pp. 40, 307, 341.
(80) Cote, Realizing the dream, pp. 114.
(81) Cote, Letters from Kartini, pp. 31,431; Cote, Realizing the dream, pp. 114, 119, 228, 248.
(82) Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 255.
(83) Barbara H. Rosenwein, 'Problems and methods in the history of emotions', Passions in Context, 1, 1 (2010): 1-33, http://passionsincontext.de/uploads/media/01_Rosenwein.pdfi Peter Burke, 'Is there a cultural history of the emotions?', in Representing emotions: New connections in the histories of art, music and medicine, ed. Penelope Gouk and Helen Hills (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp. 35-47.
(84) Jones, Wives, slaves and concubines, pp. 102, 104, 107, 132, 133, 135; Tineke Hellwig, Women and Malay voices: Undercurrent murmurings in Indonesia's colonial past (New York Peter Lang, 2012), p. 184.
(85) Rosenwein, 'Problems and methods', p. 18; ludith Djamour, Malay kingship and marriage in Singapore (London: Athlone Press, 1965), p. 74; Cote, Letters from Kartini, pp. 31, 249; Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 119.
(86) Sara Ahmed, The cultural politics of emotion (New York: Routledge, 2004), pp. 12-14.
(87) Mark M. Smith, Sensing the past: Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching in history (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008).
(88) Cote, Realizing the dream, p. 111.
(89) Hijjas, Victorious wives, p. 240.
(90) G.L. Koster, 'The soothing works of the seducer and their dubious fruits: Interpreting the Syair Buah-Buahan', in A man of Indonesian letters: Essays in honour of Professor A. Teeuw, ed. C.M.S. Hellwig and S.O. Robson (Dordrecht: Foris, 1986), p. 81; Cote, Realizing the dream, pp. 110, 114.
(91) On this connection, see further Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, The work of the heart: Young women and emotion, 1780-1830 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007), pp. 2-3.
(92) Hijjas, Victorious wives, p. 250.
Barbara Watson Andaya is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai'i. Correspondence in connection with this paper should be addressed to: email@example.com.
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|Title Annotation:||'Wives, Slaves and Concubines: A History of the Female Underclass in Dutch Asia,' 'Victorious Wives: The Disguised Heroine in 19th-Century Malay Syair' and 'Realizing the Dream of R.A. Kartini: Her Sisters' Letters from Colonial Java'|
|Author:||Andaya, Barbara Watson|
|Publication:||Journal of Southeast Asian Studies|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2013|
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