LEONARD ANDAYA: Well, thank you very much, Kyla, for a very warm introduction. We're very pleased that you were able to get something from our writings. This is always a worry for those of us who work in the early period, that no one else, except maybe a dozen of our friends, would read our books or articles. So it's nice to know that there are a few others who are interested in what we do.
We'd also like to thank the Golay Committee for inviting both of us here. We've done things together. We've done things separately. But it's always nice to be recognized together. And we hope that our presentation tonight will also show you the way that we work together when we have major projects, such as writing a regional history or even a national history.
And finally, I'd like to thank all of our wonderful friends from way back. I remember the first time I came to Cornell to do my PhD, was in 1966. It's almost 50 years ago. And it's nice to see that the people that we knew then, there are still some of us around. And it's been wonderful to see you all here, and I look forward to being able to catch up on the 50 years that have passed.
So today, what I will be doing, is I'll begin the talk, and Barbara will end it. But we've talked through the talk itself, what we wanted to cover. And so we will talk for about an hour. And then we'll have a question-and-answer period for about a half hour.
So let's begin with look at the regional and the local histories. And one of these we found, when looking through the list of Golay speakers in the past, that there was a simple interest in historiography of Southeast Asia. And so we felt that this was something that we could talk about, from our very recent experience of completing The History of Early Modern Southeast Asia, as well as the third edition of A History of Malaysia.
Now, there are certain things that we have always tried to do in both of these histories. One is to ignore the current or contemporary political boundaries. Even though we were writing A History of Malaysia, we tried-- wherever it was feasible-- to talk about the area in terms of meaningful units.
And so we didn't hold the political boundaries as a place where we stopped. And I was reminded by what Barbara was looking at, a project once, where she said, if you look at the general Malaysian branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, you'd think that there were special spiders only in Johor, or special birds only in Pahang. Because people wrote about birds of Johor or animals in Pahang. People tended to focus on a specific area in which they were based.
So we tried to avoid this. And this was possible mainly because many of the places that we talked about did not have boundaries in the early period. And so it was possible then to move, for example, into the southern Thailand or across the straights into Indonesia, or even into the Indonesian Kalimantan, for example.
Now, one of the things that has really stimulated the kind of inquiries that we have in our writing is something that all OW Wolters, our mentor, always told us. And what he said is that the aim of history is to look at what is happening in a comparative respect. So what is happening in Southeast Asia is one region, one area. But you cannot study that area in isolation.
What you have to do is to link it to what is also happening elsewhere. nevertheless, he said you cannot make generalizations unless you do the work. So you've got to create the building blocks. So he always encouraged us to work in local history. I think one his favorite sayings was-- do not pick flowers from other peoples' gardens. And so we're hoping that we haven't done that too often, and that we've done our own planting, and been able to, then, use some of our own research in order to write the histories that we have.
So we've tried in both the national history, as well as the regional history, to try to address larger questions. And this has been particularly interesting with regard to the early modern history of Southeast Asia. Maybe because what we discovered is that while there are all these features that characterize modern Southeast Asia, many of them were also found elsewhere in the early modern world.
And we talk about that. And Barbara will talk about that a little more, later in this lecture. So these are some of the concerns that govern our way of the thinking about these histories.
So if you look at both of these projects, we have tried to look at the past without being bound by contemporary critical boundaries. But another thing that we were very aware of, as a result of our own research, is to try to move away from focusing only on the major political centers in Southeast Asia. There is a danger that, because the sources are very plentiful for major centers, that one forgets about others on the periphery, or those who have fewer written sources.
So you will find in both our History of Malaysia, as well as in our History of Modern Southeast Asia, more inclusion of groups such as mountain or the sea peoples, or the Sama-Bajau-- sea peoples as well-- or the [INAUDIBLE], the forest people, and those who live in the fields. We've tried to incorporate a number of studies in the hill areas, also basing some of our observations on Jim Scott's work, but also on a number of works written by the Germans-- [? Grabowski ?], for example. Which has given us a lot more to think about in terms of the hill groups.
So we've tried to think about different ways in which the history of Southeast Asia was organized. You think, simply, in terms of kinds. But there are different types of politics, types of organizations that were already significant in the early modern period.
Now, the thing that drew the study of Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia together was trade. I don't think one can overestimate the importance of trade to Southeast Asia, as well as to Malaysia. And one of the reasons, of course, is the location of Southeast Asia.
And one of these I tend to want to teach about Southeast Asia, is to point out the Southeast Asia forms almost a point of blockage, really, between the civilizations in East Asia, and civilizations in West Asia and Europe. That in the past, the only way that one could move between these two major areas of civilization was through Southeast Asia. And the area that was most known in the early period-- probably the 16th or 17th century-- was the straits of Malacca. And so it was the movement of trade, and the response of the local people to trade, that have been a major factor in our thinking about Southeast Asia.
Let me just turn now to Malaysia, and look at writing Malaysia for the third time. We thought we'd never go that far. The first one was hard enough and it was exhausting enough. And we thought we'd never do it again. But we were convinced or cajoled, into doing the other two.
One of the ways in which we could justify writing an issue of Malaysia-- and when we first wrote it we were very young. We just had recently got our PhDs, because the first edition was in 1981. But the way we justified it, and one of the reasons why we were asked to do it by Mr. Wang Gangwu, is because he explained, many people could write the history of Malaysia, for the modern period, from 1970 on. But very few could write it from the perspective and earlier period.
And so this is what we decided we could do. We could give more information, a little different perspective on the history, if we began much earlier. So you'll see, in our history, we being, really, very early. And there's a very substantial section of our book on the pre-19th-century period.
The other thing that we felt that we could contribute was the fact that if you read many of the histories of Malaysia, Borneo is, oftentimes, left out or added as an afterthought. So what we tried to do was to show how [INAUDIBLE] to Borneo states of Malaysia were part of the evolution, the development, of Malaysian history. And so we think we've done that.
Now, one of the things, also, we thought about when we wrote the history, was what is the point of this whole history that we are writing? Because oftentimes we find histories that have a whole lot of projects, or a whole lot of description of events, a whole lot of people, and it just begins and ends. So we decided from very early on that we needed a focus. So what we decided the focus would be would be history of the people who were occupying that region for a very long period of time.
In the past, they were called Malays. But what we have tried to show-- as in my book talked about this whole idea of ethnicity and identity-- is always shifting. So we're tyring to be aware of the shifting ideas of ethnicity and identity to demonstrate-- particularly in this last edition, which will be appearing next year-- that the Malays who are Malays today were actually not the Malays who were there in an earlier period.
So what we've done now, then, is to write a history where we were focusing on the peoples who were living around the Straits of Malacca. Whom we call Malays. But these Malays were not simply the Malays of the peninsula. There were Malays who were living also on the east coast of Sumatra, as well as in the southwest areas of Borneo.
So one of my latest research-- and I think maybe I'll write an article-- is looking at the Malay groups along the Southwest border area, along the [INAUDIBLE] river. And there you find the interesting differences with the Malays along the straights of Malacca. And so this is the point that we wanted to make as well, that things do change, and that one has to be sensitive to the shifts and changes of meanings of ethnicities over the centuries, that this has become much clearer now, in our third edition.
So if you look at the organization of our work, we've used a chronological framework, mainly because we intended it as a textbook. And we found that from years of teaching, that if you teach a course thematically, people don't have anything to hold onto. They can't distinguish between what might have happened in the very early period and what was happening today, because they don't have that kind of chronology.
So we thought we'd use a chronology rather than a thematic division. However, we would pick up themes, which we would point out to the readers. And one of the other things that we are aware of is the fact that so many of the histories follow a framework where they're using the centuries because it's so much easier.
We tried to say, why don't we think in terms of what was significant in the areas that we're working on, and use that as a guide to where the divisions should lie? And interestingly enough, if you look at the main divisions where we've think watersheds happening in Malaysia just today actually coincided with a lot of the said division by centuries. 1511, 1699, 1824, 1909-- people might not be aware of-- this is when the Northern Malays states were taken by the British from Thailand, and made part of British Malaya.
And 2003 is a more modern day that we chose, because it was the end of Mahathir as Prime Minister of Malaysia, after 22 years, the longest-serving Prime Minister. And it was during his tenure of office that so many changes occurred. So we felt that this would be an important natural division. And also, we began each chapter with a discussion of the sources. Because what we felt, reading other issues of Malaysia, that we didn't have a sense of the difficulty, and why?
For example, the questions we had were why did they do this? Why did they do that? It's very easy to ask these questions if you don't know what are some of the difficulties that are faced by historians because of either the lack of sources, or some other kind of problem.
So we began each chapter with a discussion of the kind of sources that we used in order to reconstruct the history of these areas. And I think this has been helpful. Some of our students have always commented on the fact that it helped them realize that they couldn't ask the kind of questions, sometimes, that they ask of the early modern period, mainly because there were no answers. If you are relying on sources which don't really have a beginning and end, and they're just pieces that you link together and try to make sense of, then it's very difficult to have a very close coherent narrative from the beginning to the end.
And also, we have tried, then, to make each of the editions relevant for a time when the book appeared. So we highlighted certain thing. For example, the second edition, we realized that we had very little on the environment. But by the second edition in 1999, the environmental issue was very strong.
So we tried to highlight this more. And we did that with Islam as well. And in this third edition, we found that Islamisation of Malaysia is a very, very crucial question now, in the history. And so we have, again, focused on Islam even more so than we did in the past.
And because of the kind of problems that have risen as a result of Mahathir's governance, we have also focused on human rights, the problems of human rights in Malaysia, and the rise of a large number of activist groups, in response to some of the methods used by the government. And so you see, in the third edition, an emergence of a much stronger civil society than was there before, but are very necessary counter to the strong Islamisation that is occurring today.
So as I point in this organization, we try to deal with this type of problem. So what is change? I just wanted to show the book. And this yellow book, for those of you who don't know, the Malaysia one, we asked do you have a second edition? Oh no, we don't have a second edition. We have the [INAUDIBLE]?
Wow, [INAUDIBLE]. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, oftentimes they use it in the [INAUDIBLE], in Indonesia, to talk about the holy books. [INAUDIBLE], written in these yellow ages and though well, maybe our book has reached that status by now. Or it's entirely about the cover, which is in a yellow book.
And in the second one, we tried to find, also, a cover that would fit what we were trying to do, which was that you had some of the traditional elements within society against the backdrop of, also, colonialism. So here we have a mosque and a former administrative center for the judiciary.
And then in the third one-- this is what we suggested as a book cover. We're not sure if they're going to take it. I took it from the light rail, as we were going by there.
And what it was is a modern mosque, but in the back is development. And one of the themes of our third edition is also developmentalism-- how because of the success of development and the economy in Malaysia, it has made people much more tolerant of some of the very oppressive acts undertaken by the government. Because they're afraid to change the government for fear of losing the type of progress that they made in Malaysia.
And so in the first edition, we're young, and we're very optimistic. It was just in the middle of the new economic policy which was an affirmative action policy. And when we first went to Malaysia in the early '70s, we were struck by the fact that there was so little Malays spoken, that in Kuala Lumpur you could hear Chinese and English, and Indian dialects and so forth, Indian languages, but not Malay. And so when they talked about affirmative action, we felt that this was good. And we saw some of the early results of the New Economic Policy.
And so we were very positive. And they were already talking about the new Malaysia that would emerge at the end of the New Economic Policy in 1990, after 20 years. Now, the second was written in 1999.
So the NEP, the New Economic Policy, had come and gone. And they still had not achieved that in Malaysia. And there were problems that had risen in the second half of the NEP, which made us a little bit more wary.
And it was also the period when Mahathir had come to power, in 1981. And he was already undertaking acts that were undermining civil society. And so we were a lot less sanguine in the second edition.
Now, the third edition, things have really changed. We spent the summer last year in Malaysia. And we are far less positive about what is going on. And what we see now-- and we added an afterword in the third edition, because we don't think we'll live long enough to write the fourth edition. So this is our last word on the subject-- we are a lot more tentative about the future of this multicultural country.
And what we're looking at now is an increased Islamisation, which is coming about, even though within the Constitution itself, it states very clearly, that Islam is the official religion, but other religions can be practiced openly and in harmony. So there are some very difficult things that are happening at the moment, which we feel needs to be addressed.
So what we're hoping is that this third edition is going to be read by some. My wife always says-- [INAUDIBLE] problems of course-- is that when you go to the bookstore and you see stacks and stacks of your second edition still unsold, one wonders whether anybody's reading it. But we're hoping that this will be a book that some of these people can use in order to challenge some of the statements made by people in the country, as well as the government, about their own history, which oftentimes are not based on factual material, but because of religious and political reasons.
And so we believe that things have been changing. But there is a glimmer of hope, in the sense that there is a growing middle class across the ethnic divide. And we've seen some positive sides in the last two elections, in 2008 and 2013, and a genuine two-party system which may arise.
And so we are hoping that perhaps this rising middle class might be open to change what is going on in Malaysia. So I think I've taken enough time. So I'll just [INAUDIBLE] for Barbara.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Thank you all again, for coming. And I am going to talk about the second project we've just finished-- and this little bit is the cover-- The History of Early Modern Southeast Asia. Let me turn this thing on. Can you all hear me?
Sometimes-- well, many times, in fact-- we've thought, why have we agreed to do this? It's not easy. It took us a long time. But we persevered because we felt that it was very important for Southeast Asia. And in a sense, we always do missions, that you're kind of persuading the rest of the world that the place you've spent 50 years studying is worth it.
And so we wanted to write something that would matter, that would make a difference. And we wanted to write a history that would be interesting to people who knew a lot already. And there are many people in this room, who-- most of you-- fall into that category.
That students could read it, that specialists could read it as well. We wanted to write a book-- as Leonard said before-- that would move beyond the major centers, that would incorporate the people for that history, for their voices. They do have a history. It's just not easily recovered, especially in [INAUDIBLE]. And finally, we felt that there was a new field developing. Most of you who are looking at job applications and advertisements for positions will see words like world history or global history appearing. This is a relatively new field. And Southeast Asia has to be part of it.
So we want to write a book that could be used by people in Slippery Rock College, or wherever it is, who are trying to do a World History course. Of course, we have two major issues. One of them was [INAUDIBLE].
Now, all of us have encountered the great debate about Southeast Asia. I'm not going to bore you with that now. But we begin the book with the assumption that there is someplace that we've called Southeast Asia, even though the term itself is problematic. It's dubious. Its origins are dubious.
But there is a place that we feel we can call Southeast Asia. Given that, however, there is a huge difference-- historiographically and historically-- between the experience of island areas and the mainland. You have to be very careful about generalizing. And we've tried to take that on board very much in this book.
And as Leonard said before, particularly because of all this training-- and I feel, coming back here after such a long time, because he was here last time we came back, in '91-- his intellectual presence is very much with us. And he always talked about sub-regions. You have to think about sub-regions in the area.
And so we've approached the book in terms of sub-regions. We've called them zones. We've taken that word from our colleague, Victor Lieberman, who looked at the mainland Southeast Asia in those terms.
So just to give you a sense of this is how we've drawn up those zones-- and you're going to see that they don't all correlate with contemporary political boundaries. Perhaps the most obvious one is the northern archipelagos. But I'll talk a little bit about this later.
One of the strengths of the book is, I think, that in this book-- probably for the first time-- the eastern archipelago gets the attention it deserves. It's been a very difficult area, this area from [INAUDIBLE] through to the [INAUDIBLE]. It's been a very difficult place to deal with because there were very few large kingdoms.
And Leonard is working on that now. His next book will be a history of this area. But this an area where it functioned as a unit, but without the governance of what, some would say, [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE], [INAUDIBLE]. But basically, it functioned without the dominance of large ports in large areas.
So we accepted that it was Southeast Asia, with different coverage, different areas. But the second problem is the whole question of "early modern." What is modern? What's early? It's a very problematic term.
But we saw the period between what you might call the classical states and the "Colonial Period," with Thailand. That's a period. So you can call it Period X. But early modern is increasingly accepted. It was first expressed in the 1920s, adopted in America first, then particularly in Europe.
But now you see histories of early modern Japan, history of early modern China, often used without a lot of thought about what early modern actually means. And we tried to think very seriously about, is there a period that you can call, for want of a better term, early modern in Southeast Asia? And we came to the conclusion that yes, there was.
And we saw, in that period-- and we didn't go to the sources with a kind of agenda. We didn't go thinking, this was a feature of the early modern period. We're going to find it here. No.
In a sense, the sources-- well, what about medieval scholars, friends, [INAUDIBLE]. The sources, whisper them to you. And they do. You've got to just listen carefully. And sometimes they shout at you. Of course, one of the big shouts was the strengthening of global connections. And perhaps that's most clearly exemplified in the early modern period, with the Galleon trade, the last global link that linked Manila to Acapulco.
And that encircled, then, the globe. And there are many examples you can list of these new global connections. Of course, we know about Chinese Indians, and Europeans coming to Southeast Asia. Southeast Asians themselves we also prevalent, going to places, go to the [INAUDIBLE], going to the [INAUDIBLE].
And one of my favorite examples is the two envoys from [INAUDIBLE] who went to London in the 1680s, and they went to Windsor Castle. They were given a knighthood. And then, as a special treat, they were taken to The Globe, to see Shakespeare's The Tempest. I'm just wondering what they thought of it, when they saw that play.
So global connections are strengthened. There are local responses to new trading opportunities. We can think, for example, of the response of the Vietnamese and Thai ceramics to the [INAUDIBLE], that they entered into that opening in the trading world.
We can see [INAUDIBLE] responses to changes in the Chinese cuisine when [INAUDIBLE] or [INAUDIBLE] because a valued item in the Chinese diet. And they extended their links into northern Australia, in search of that particular valued item. In fact, it's usually taken from the 18th century. But in fact, they've now found some rock carvings in northern Australia that suggest that [INAUDIBLE], or some [INAUDIBLE], some groups were mentioned there as early as the 17th century.
The increase penetration of the world religions-- particularly, of course, Islam and Christianity-- but also the spread of Buddhism, the [INAUDIBLE] of Confucian ideas introduced and localized in so many different ways. And this is a topic that interests me particularly. But even elements like the Walking Buddha in [INAUDIBLE], something which you don't find anywhere else, this attention to specifics the way people understood their area, the rethinking of the landscape in terms of sacred spots-- did the Buddha himself walk here?
Or this particular place was where an image of Madonna was found. And so this makes it a very special place. So that the landscape becomes reconfigured, often, in terms of how people rethink their relationship to the cosmos, to their own origins.
And in this period too, we also see knowledge transferred. And its not always at all one way. There's been a lot of attention to weaponry, to ammunition, to how that was transferred, from European to local Southeast Asians.
But we know a lot about how Southeast Asians were reconstructing weaponry to suit their own needs, to deal with humidity, to deal with particular situations. The area in which the knowledge transferred from Southeast Asians to Europeans, most of that, of course, is in medical and botanical knowledge. Of course, we all know about [INAUDIBLE] and his wife, a local woman, who was an informant. But Christina Scott has done a tremendous amount of work on botanical transfers in the 18th century.
And it's very clear that there was a tremendous amount of information then relayed from Southeast Asia and the Asians themselves. And one of the most dramatic areas of change in this period is demographic. So of course, the figures for the Philippines are best. Because they have parish records.
So we can see-- as [INAUDIBLE] has shown-- that actually, in the late 16th and 17th century, there was a real decline in population because of smallpox, because of epidemics that only began to rise again in the 18th century. But we can also see other kinds of mobility. Mobility as voluntary, as people moved on the basis of trade or harbours.
They want to go there. They're looking for jobs. But there's also a much us darker side of mobility.
There's massive increase in slavery-- massive. And the European records are particularly useful here, because they tell you how many numbers of people were brought from present-day [INAUDIBLE], for example, or from [INAUDIBLE]. They can give you some figures of how many thousands of people were forcibly moved from one place to another. War captives, who were transferred from one place to another.
And these bring, in a sense, an aspect of Southeast Asia history that I think Francis Bradley has talked about, that has been cruelty. There's a lot of cruelty around, too, that's involved with this mobility of people and this forced movement.
But also, the movement means the development of hybrid groups, like the so-called black Portuguese-- the mixed Portuguese-local marriages, the [INAUDIBLE] groups. There are groups of people who move between two cultures add a value because they fit into two cultures.
So only really in the late 18th, 19th century, that the so-called "half-caste", as the British called it. We start seeing in the records, send me no more "half-castes", a Europeanization perception that these people are somehow less trustworthy. But that was not the case in the period that we are talking about.
So just to give you a sense-- as Leonard went through the organization of A History of Malaysia-- we spent quite a lot of time thinking about how we would organize it. The first chapter is about geography. And absolutely essential to our understanding of this period is the importance of geography as part of this history.
It's not just a background chapter and then you can move on and forget about it. It has to be there all the time. And it's very easy important for people to understand not just about temperatures and climates, but the kind of products and woods that were so important to trade.
And chapter two gives some background. We felt that you can't just jump in where we chose to draw the line for the early modern period, which was about '14, '13, around about that time. But then in the subsequent chapters-- three, four, five, six and seven-- we divided them chronologically.
We have an Australian production that tries to give the world stage what's happening in the world right now. And we try adding the global beats that influence Southeast Asia. Then we have a larger section on the general features, what we see as the general features of the period that we are discussing.
And the chronology is largely century oriented. But as Leonard said, we'll try to choose dates that are meaningful regionally, as far as we can. That section, on the general features-- I'll show you an example in a minute-- is called [INAUDIBLE], a detailed discussion of the history of each zone, and a concluding overview.
So you just wanted to teach about Thailand, the central mainland, you could just go through the book and read those sections, if you wanted to. So just a reminder of where it is. So for example, this is from Chapter 5, so that we have an introductory section, the beginning, talking about what was happening in the sentencing 17th century worldwide, with the closure of Japanese trade, for example.
We introduce the new and old atlas, an old atlas, the Chinese Indians, the new atlas, the Dutch and the British. And we'll talk about slavery and the nobility of humor labor, changes to the physical environment. Because one of the features of the early modern period is physical changes to the environment.
And you can see that particularly in eastern Indonesia, where the sandalwood just disappears. But also elsewhere, the massive destruction of deer in mainland Southeast Asia, especially after Taiwan was [INAUDIBLE] out. So the changes to the physical environment were a very substantial feature.
Even the Dutch, themselves, were noting the teak in eastern Java was disappearing. And they tried to call a halt to the destruction of these trees, without much success. Local rulers also tried to respond to try to protect their environment. Again, with limited success.
And we've divided the chapters in terms of island and mainland because, as I said before, we were very conscience. There were differences. And those differences do become evident. We often can bring them together in the conclusion. They become increasingly evident as time goes on.
When we look over this entire long period of time, around 400 years, what do we see? The features I've outlined to you earlier. But there's escalating global engagement. And if I just go back to this picture of the Lord of Tedobe in the 17th century, you can see that his jacket, here, is made in a Dutch style.
But textile experts tell me that this embroidery here is copied from fabrics that come from Persia. And it's been painted by an unknown Dutch artist. We were at the exhibition of Philippine gold in Asian society a couple of days ago, and this is very, very similar to the gold chains that were made in the Philippines, and worn by [INAUDIBLE] there.
So these global connections are very much a feature of this period. But although particularly in the mainland, we can see these centralizing tendencies, as states become more powerful. Their area of control becomes much larger.
Nonetheless, we can still see these networks of smaller independent parties throughout areas the way we can see the shadowy outlines of modern Thailand, or modern Myanmar. And within these networks, local loyalties remain very strong. So that, for example, even in 1857, the ruler of [INAUDIBLE] can say, I am the ruler of 85 different qualities. And something that's quite different from the perspective from Bangkok-- this sense of autonomy and independence is very strong.
And the early-19th century European observers often thought that [INAUDIBLE], was an independent country, because of that sense of independence and autonomy. But as the 18th century advances, as the turn of the century comes, the early 19th century, we can see that the room for the local agencies, the room to maneuver is steadily decreasing. It's becoming steadily smaller as European imperialism, European territorialism gains hold.
And the most egregious example of that, probably-- to turn back to Leonard's mention of the Malacca strait-- is the Anglo-Dutch agreement of 1824, which divided the Malacca straits, which had previously operated, really, as a lake-- connecting east coast Sumatra and the [INAUDIBLE]-- divided that and thus, formed the basis for the modern boundary between Indonesia and Malaysia. And the bewilderment that many Malays took when they knew of that is no better than they, that in the words of the [INAUDIBLE] said, we do not understand the dispensation of [? 'owt, ?] that has allowed this to happen, parting brother from brother, father from son, and friend from friend.
And in many of the sources that we looked at for this period, we could see a sense of puzzlement, bewilderment, at the kind of changes that were occurring. There was still confidence that had not been undermined completely. But there is very much a sense that change was on the way. And in that sense, we feel, that the early modern period was coming to an end.
So just as a final comment, I mentioned before about the sources whispering to me. And we've always told our students, you can't go to the sources with an agenda. Now, you can't say, this is my hypothesis. I'm going to find the information that supports that. Because you will-- probably. You have got to go to your sources with an open mind.
But it was quite interesting, and in fact, in many ways, amazing to us that when we felt that we had located what made early modern Southeast Asia different, the features we located were very similar to what other historians, working on other parts of the world had located there as well. So we felt pleased about that.
And it strengthened our feeling that a knowledge or a willingness to engage in comparative history is very important, even if it means sticking outside your comfort zone, even if you make mistakes, even if you say things that a specialist in some other area will say is not so, it still stimulates you to think, what are the differences? What are the similarities that these global connections and comparative histories are what are driving our feeling?
And above all, I think, in the 21st century, are historians now extraordinarily lucky. When we tell our students we remember the days before photocopy, you know, there's a lot of technological change that's taken place. And now there are so many sources available, online, through digitization, new research, new methodologies.
And so the study of Southeast Asia continues to be exciting, interesting. And the wonderful thing about it, I feel, you learn something new every day, that you didn't know before. And my very last slide-- I just saw these the other day. This is from an article by [INAUDIBLE], who some of you know, working on a [INAUDIBLE] botanist in the in the Philippines, in the 17th century.
But I thought the Tarsier, the Philippines Tarsier with the great big eyes? So this little really attracted this Jesuit Priest. So he drew a picture of it to send back to his friends and his colleagues in Britain. But I think he took some liberty here.
Because in this one, he shows a female Tarsier who's tied her baby to her stomach with some vines around her. I think his idea was to show the maternal care. You can make a lot of that picture.
This is from the British Library, from [INAUDIBLE] wonderful blog, that she put on this image, the calligraphic heading from the Sultan of Bone's diary-- wonderful diary-- and we're talking about global connections. It's quite clear, in that diary, that more and more people are making the [INAUDIBLE] in the late 18th century, because they're coming to ask for permission to go.
But he's made this image of a ship, or he describes the image of a ship using the Arabic phrase-- his word is a truth from his speech-- veracity. And again, it's a reminder, I think, of the importance of the seas, of the maritime connections that lead so much of this world together. So there are great possibilities for the next generation of scholars. There's much to be done. And I think we'll leave it there for now. But I think we have some time for questions?
SPEAKER 1: We have time for questions. Certainly.
SPEAKER 1: Now we'll have time for questions. And then after the questions, just go out and turn to your left and a little bit around. You'll find there will be a table set up and we will have the reception there. Questions first, and then the reception afterwards.
SPEAKER 2: I have one. When we all started, the way to view Southeast Asia was based on [INAUDIBLE], from a cosmological state. Then to have Walter's mandala state, then to have--
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Galaxy.
SPEAKER 2: The galactic state.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Galactic state.
SPEAKER 2: Now we have the Watson-Andaya [INAUDIBLE].
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: No, no, no.
SPEAKER 2: Can you address that a little bit, of how the zone is a better way of conceptualizing these days?
LEONARD ANDAYA: Yeah. Well, in a sense, of course, what [INAUDIBLE] and Wolters and [INAUDIBLE] were talking about is the organization of the community. And that still holds for us.
What we see is a large number of mandala policies-- if you want to use Wolters-- in this area. But we also see that within these large number of [INAUDIBLE], there are meaningful connections. And that's where we drew the zones. And we based it a lot on our own research, But. Also people working in the area.
For example, when you look at what we call the eastern mainland, we saw that there were quite a lot of connections between Vietnam, as well as southern China, or that the chum areas with some of the other areas around the region. So we incorporated that as a zone, but with the realization that these kinds of even-landed boundaries were not sufficient, that you've got the walls. You could talk in terms of the sea boundaries. Or you could talk in terms of these zones along the sea.
And that's the kind of thing, where we're talking about the meaningful connections. So the mandalas are still there. We're not creating anything new. We're just saying, yes, the mandalas are there. But in order to look at it in a bigger way, let's look at the meaningful connection.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: And I think this is a textbook [INAUDIBLE]. So you have to have some kind of organization. Students are not just sitting there and throwing something at their mouths. So these boundaries, of course they're a little lacking.
We've tried to strengthen the interconnections between the boundaries as well. But it is partially a way of organizing the material, but around zones that we thought were meaningful, that they actually meant something. And if you take the western archipelago and the central archipelago, it's very clear in the sources that the "Malays"-- however you define them-- and the Javanese saw themselves as rivals. So it becomes a meaningful boundary, zone, to use.
SPEAKER 3: I wanted to also relate it to boundaries. When I think of early Southeast Asia, the first main portion, it seems to me, is the gradual movement of rice culture from mainland down into the rest of the Southeast Asia, which you don't [INAUDIBLE] now. But rice culture is replacing root crop/tree crop culture.
It's the rice replacing taro. And in order to grow rice, you have to cooperate. So the whole society changes once you move into a rice culture from a tree crop/root crop. And some of these people are still in tree crop type of culture. [INAUDIBLE]
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: We give a lot of attention to that, because we argue that once you start growing wet rice, that the society changes significantly. Because you can't plant the rice and buzz off. You've got to be there, monitoring the irrigation system. You've got to be part of a fixed population that's easy to tax, who is [INAUDIBLE] for armies and so forth.
But everything, the new crops, like corn, enables people to move into quite marginal areas. So it extends population beyond areas that were habitable previously. the rise of rice as a prestige food means that sago, which previously, in the 15th century, people along the east coast of Sumatra and [INAUDIBLE], ate sago as their main food.
SPEAKER 3: OK, rice then, forget it.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: So it's there. It's there. What we you going to say?
LEONARD ANDAYA: No, I was just going to say that, also 1/10 of Southeast Asia is rice eating. The areas that I've been doing research in the east, sago is the primary food. One of the things I always tell my students is that I remember my dad. When he couldn't have rice for food.
He always said, I don't feel right. You know, it's not filling. You go to eastern Indonesia, they say, oh, if you eat rice, you don't feel good. You have to have sago. So it's all what people are used to. And rice, they'll eat in special occasions and so forth. But they still prefer sago as a kind of a meal.
SPEAKER 1: Tamara had a question.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Oh.
TAMARA: I think it takes not just courage, but a lot of fear to be write a book like this. And first, how many pages is it? [INAUDIBLE]?
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: About--
SPEAKER 1: 400.
LEONARD ANDAYA: 400.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: 400, but that's including the bibliography, right?
LEONARD ANDAYA: Right.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Including the end. No, good further reading.
TAMARA: I have a two-part question, somewhat related to that. First, you have to exclude a lot.
LEONARD ANDAYA: Yeah.
TAMARA: So I wanted to talk about how you thought about what you would exclude. And second, you've both written about sexuality and gender, and I'm wondering how you integrate that into the early modern period. Because the other books about that period either bracket it or don't really include it. So I was wondering if you could speak to those issues.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: Well, we were very conscious that we needed to include something about gender and sexuality. So of course, in terms of liminality, in terms of transsexual or transgender religious figures, we do try to give attention to those. Of course, with the early modern period, as far as powerful women are concerned, we're very constrained by the sources.
But we do give a lot of attention to the idea of the state as a family writ large. So the use of kinship terms, in relation to the family. But we also note that leadership is often associated with physical prowess.
And that very often, en-privileges mean. So we don't want to force the issue. Because you know, you can't go with a rah-rah banner and say, I'm going to winkle out all the women that I can ever find. That would be work.
So when women appear naturally, and when concerns with gender and sexuality appear, naturally, they do very, very frequently, they are included. We have a wonderful feature from a [INAUDIBLE] book of trade in Malacca, in the 17th century. And that has a woman bartering with an Indian trader. because the point is that women control the marketplace, principally.
So I think it's there. Perhaps it's not sufficient to satisfy some people. But we're fairly confident that it was true enough to the sources, that the balance is right. And as far as the exclusion, yes, do you want that?
LEONARD ANDAYA: Yes. I think in early modern, it's a little bit easier than doing a 19th century. Because there isn't really that much. Where we found an interesting decision was in Thailand. You know a lot about Thailand. But it was because of the kind of writings by the Germans, where they're looking at their peripheral ties, states to the north.
And so we were focusing on, really, the [INAUDIBLE] Basin, and all these kingdoms that people usually focus on. Then all of the sudden, this information came out. And what their sources seemed to indicate is that these were powerful. These were transcending the southern China, the northern Burma, and all the Thailand areas. And there were big [INAUDIBLE], and very powerful, with multicultural communities.
And so this was one of the reasons why we wanted to incorporate it. Because we thought this would then give another view of the way that the ties were developing within the Southeast Asian region. Some of the areas, we had so little that we had to take whatever we could find. And so it was more trying to make sense of what was there, and try to kind of make a meaningful narrative without stretching it too much.
And so because I had worked with the sea peoples, and so forth, and one of my students has recently completed a thesis on the [INAUDIBLE], from the 17th century. And he indicated that enormous linkages that they had. In fact, they were the most important people within the [INAUDIBLE] kingdom and the [INAUDIBLE] kingdoms, which was powerful kingdoms, in the same way that the sea peoples were for the Malacca, the Malay kingdoms.
And so we try to make a point that what one had to do is to look at communities during the period in which they functioned. And we try to show, for example, that as the trade elements disappeared-- for example, sea products and forest products-- as this disappeared and became less important, then the importance of these groups declined. And then you get the views of the center, of looking down upon these people.
So this is the kind of thing where we try to. But you're right. It's always a difficult case, trying to decide what to leave in and what to leave out. But fortunately, there were enough good material that we [INAUDIBLE].
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: But I think when you're talking about what's included and what's excluded is the detail of the narrative. I mean, you could write. And people can-- and [INAUDIBLE] has-- write whole books about Java itself.
So how do you collapse that whole period into 20 pages, for example? So particularly in well-documented areas, it was question-- and you can always be folded on that- why didn't mention x or y, or z?
So it was more that, at that level, that we were trying to make decisions in the actual narrative, rather than the general features.
SPEAKER 1: Barbara tells me I knew it was [INAUDIBLE]. And the persistent hand in the back.
SPEAKER 4: I'd like to ask-- in the spirit of all Oliver Wolters, a comparative question. You've mentioned, towards the end, that you discovered that some of these defining historical features and processes in the region had similarities or residences with other regions of the globe. So I'm wondering, did you also find, nonetheless, anything unique about the character and dynamics of these features and processes, vise-a-vise other regions? Maybe in terms of trajectory or pace or scale, or intensity or configuration, or something? Or is it a similar story in the early modern era in Southeast Asia versus East Asia, South Asia, other parts of the world?
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: I think one of the differences, of course, is that in the features that we identify, we're not uniform. So it's not that every single society experienced growth of connections. And it's more integrated areas, then we did find that there were some features, for example, in Europe, the advance of literacy is very noticeable.
And perhaps you can find that. And that's considered to be one of the features in this period, in the European area. And you could say that to a limited extent, in some places in Southeast Asia. It doesn't mean that there's an absolute match.
So to make those kind of comparisons, what you need is somebody else. Somebody else to write a history, for example, of the early modern Spanish empire, or the early modern Latin America, say, or early modern Africa. As far as I know, that hasn't-- could you generalize across Africa? Probably not.
But you could write in terms of sub-regions, and may be able to reach some sort of-- at least for the northern African area. And that doesn't answer your question, but--
LEONARD ANDAYA: And in fact, it was one of the questions that stymied us also. We gave part of this talk in Holland. And there was the same question from a Chinese early modern historian. So when we've been thinking about this stuff, one of the points that we make in the book is the strength of localization.
It's a term that Wolters used as well, which is the way that Southeast Asians would take an outside idea and make it their own by adapting it and then adopting it. And so one of the things that I think is very unique to Southeast Asia is the fact that you don't have, I guess-- [INAUDIBLE] was talking about this kind of Latin culture or others will talk about Sanskritic culture, and so forth.
We didn't have that singular type of dominant philosophical over culture within the area. And so what I think Southeast Asia had far more than many other regions is a huge number of different kinds of cultures coming in at the same time. You've got Hinduism.
You had Buddhism. You had Christianity. And then you had very strong indigenous religions. And so I think, in a sense, Southeast Asians, their response to the global network, I think, is where Southeast Asia was different. And so you can find a large variation of responses of the same impetus coming from the outside.
So you can look at what is happening eastern Indonesia-- the way they looked at Christianity, for example-- and look at Buddhism in Thailand. You can see all the different kinds of ways in which they adapted. So I think in that case, Southeast Asia is unique. And that's why it's very hard to generalize, oftentimes, about that.
It's a good question. And I think it's something that we'll have to keep on thinking about. And hopefully others will help us. Why is Southeast Asia so different? And I think there, it's the method in which they went about localizing, which I think is very unique.
SPEAKER 5: Yeah, I have a question. Leonard mentioned early on about of Islamization in, my guess would be, the Malay Peninsula, maybe more than other parts of Malaysia, but I don't know-- Sumatra, Java-- and i wondered whether if I were a Muslim in Malaysia 50 years ago, or let's say-- I don't know how to put this question. This is hard. But what I'm trying to get at is does a not-particularly-salafi-leaning Muslim look upon the Salafis as more Muslim?
Are they ate somehow more Islamic? Which you can see this with very Orthodox Jews, that a more secular Jew would look upon those more Orthodox Jews as somehow more Jewish. Which, to me, is a really odd idea, what makes a person-- more or less-- what they already are. Is that something you've noticed?
LEONARD ANDAYA: Yes, of course, they do have Salafi groups in Malaysia as well as Indonesia. But they're considered to be a small group. And one of the things that's very striking about Islam-- we just came back from a conference in Jakarta, sponsored by the State University of Islam, where they talked about moderation as a model that Southeast Asia can provide for the rest of the Islamic world.
And one of the things that helps these groups-- and when I talk about Islamization in Malaysia, what I'm talking about is increasing Islamic ideas in government, in the judiciary, in the schools, and so forth and so on. But that Islamization is cutting out the Salafi groups. The more radical groups are being cut out and left out, because of the powerful movement of Islam in these areas.
So if you look at the schools, Islam is the official religion in Malaysia. But as I pointed out, it's not the state religion. And so what happens is that schools teach Islam as a matter of course.
And so what has happened is that as the society becomes more Muslim, it introduces more Islamic courses. But many of the Muslim parents want their kids to be prepared for the modern world. So you get secular courses alongside Muslim or Islamic courses. And this has been very successful.
And this is also happening in Indonesia. And so this is where the Islamization has occurred. Where it is very difficult, and where it is problematic in Malaysia, is that some of the ones who are pushing Islamization want Islamization to be followed by everybody in the society, whether you're a Muslim or not.
So that they're talking about how, for example, this close proximity of two sections. They would want that to be imposed not only on Muslims, but on non-Muslims as well. So if you're a Christian, you still cannot go walking hand in hand-- if you're a man or a woman-- in public.
So it's this kind of thing that is going on. That's only one small example. But that's kind of trend that's going on.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: And I think one of the most serious aspects is because the Sharia court system is now becoming more dominant, in some cases, than the secular court system. And this is particularly apparent in cases where, for example, in custody, which the Sharia courts previously dealt with.
But if you have a wife who's non-Muslim and a husband who's Muslim, what happens to the children in the case of divorce? Should that go the Sharia court? Or should it go to the secular court?
So these kinds of issues now, in the secular court, the judiciary was really, really very much undermined under Mahathir. So those kinds of issues, Malaysians are going to have to work these things out. But it's not so easy because if being Malay is to be Muslim, if you start criticising how Islam is interpreted, it's a very easy slide to be seen as criticizing Malays.
And then that becomes a very difficult issue. because it brings up race and ethnic issues as well. So there's no easy solution, I don't know. But the rise of civil society, hopefully, will see some solution in the future.
SPEAKER 1: One more question, Tom?
TOM: Just a question about sources in the given areas, and the proportion of European versus Southeast Asian sources, zone 4, could be a little better. I don't know the other zones so well. There's been discussion of the Bugis have more a historical sense of [INAUDIBLE] the Southeast Asians. Did you get into any of that, the indigenous senses of planet history and change?
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: We do have a section on that in Chapter 2, where we're talking about how one should accept a new religion or new belief system. It introduces you to a new calendar, a new holy day. And you may amalgamate those with your existing belief system. But the Bugis' habit of keeping diaries, of course, is very useful.
But it's also interesting that in their diaries, they kept European dates as well. So you don't know where did that interest-- was is it always there? Or was it encouraged because of their exposure, especially to Portuguese, if you in [INAUDIBLE].
So I think you're backing into a difficult corner if you start putting one group forward as "better" or "more acute," in some areas than others.
LEONARD ANDAYA: But of course, one of the problems, we don't know all the languages there are in Southeast Asia. So we don't know, for example, the Thai historians, in my head, would be riding in [INAUDIBLE]. Our only hope is that some of the [INAUDIBLE] or Thai [INAUDIBLE] were writing in English have incorporated some of the indigenous material.
This is what we hope, also, for the rest of Southeast Asia. So that the ones that we can read, we try to read as much as I can. But because our languages are limited, we do have to rely on the fact that English sources written about the area on the period, by scholars from that place or that area, or scholars from abroad who would work on that area, and hoping that many of them have also used their indigenous sources. And that's the only thing we could do. Because you're right. There's just so much.
BARBARA WATSON ANDAYA: We had to pick flowers, not [INAUDIBLE] people with guns.
LEONARD ANDAYA: So we did pick a lot of flowers while writing this book.
SPEAKER 1: Thank you so much.
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One of the themes in the Golay lecture series has concerned trends in historiography and the issues these raise for specialists in Southeast Asian studies, particularly for those historians who would like to see Southeast Asia better integrated into global studies. In their joint Golay lecture Nov. 13, 2015, Barbara Watson Andaya, professor and chair of Asian Studies at University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Leonard Andaya, professor of Southeast Asian history at University of Hawaii at Manoa, discuss how they've addressed these issues in their writing of a regional history of ‘early modern’ Southeast Asia and in their third revised edition of A History of Malaysia.