Politics on the Page: Southeast Asian Representation(s) in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Print Media


Single Panel


Session 8
Wed 16:00-17:30 REC A2.04



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Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Southeast Asians became subjects of increasing attention in print media both within and outside the region. Southeast Asia itself was home to vibrant overlapping print cultures with both colonial and vernacular origins, which as the groundbreaking work of Benedict Anderson has demonstrated, played a critical role in defining the identities of the dizzying array of communities that call the region home. But more than that, Southeast Asians also came to be defined by reportage outside the region as imperial powers with an interest in the region—both directly and indirectly—sought to understand its peoples.
This panel explores the ways in which Southeast Asians defined themselves and were defined by others within the pages of nineteenth- and twentieth-century newspapers and magazines. More specifically, the three papers investigate a diverse range of case studies ranging from hybridised overseas Chinese communities seeking to articulate particular ideas about nationalism and belonging to Southeast Asian war brides of Australian servicemen to Filipino bodies between American and Japanese efforts to police them through public health messaging. They are ultimately unified in their desire to generate new insights into the ways in which the identities of the people of Southeast Asia were shaped and reshaped in print.
In the interest of mentorship and professional development, this panel is composed primarily of early-career scholars at different stages of experience and would be interested in recruiting others to join the panel. There is a preference for other early-career scholars to join but we would also be happy to include mid-career and senior scholars willing to mentor and support the panel members with less academic experience.