Shadows of Empire: Colonial Discourse and Javanese Tales / Edition 1

Shadows of Empire: Colonial Discourse and Javanese Tales / Edition 1

by Laurie J. Sears
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822316978

ISBN-13: 9780822316978

Pub. Date: 03/20/1996

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Shadows of Empire explores Javanese shadow theater as a staging area for negotiations between colonial power and indigenous traditions. Charting the shifting boundaries between myth and history in Javanese Mahabharata and Ramayana tales, Laurie J. Sears reveals what happens when these stories move from village performances and palace manuscripts into colonial texts…  See more details below

Overview

Shadows of Empire explores Javanese shadow theater as a staging area for negotiations between colonial power and indigenous traditions. Charting the shifting boundaries between myth and history in Javanese Mahabharata and Ramayana tales, Laurie J. Sears reveals what happens when these stories move from village performances and palace manuscripts into colonial texts and nationalist journals and, most recently, comic books and novels. Historical, anthropological, and literary in its method and insight, this work offers a dramatic reassessment of both Javanese literary/theatrical production and Dutch scholarship on Southeast Asia.

Though Javanese shadow theater (wayang) has existed for hundreds of years, our knowledge of its history, performance practice, and role in Javanese society only begins with Dutch documentation and interpretation in the nineteenth century. Analyzing the Mahabharata and Ramayana tales in relation to court poetry, Islamic faith, Dutch scholarship, and nationalist journals, Sears shows how the shadow theater as we know it today must be understood as a hybrid of Javanese and Dutch ideas and interests, inseparable from a particular colonial moment. In doing so, she contributes to a re-envisioning of European histories that acknowledges the influence of Asian, African, and New World cultures on European thought-and to a rewriting of colonial and postcolonial Javanese histories that questions the boundaries and content of history and story, myth and allegory, colonialism and culture.

Shadows of Empire will appeal not only to specialists in Javanese culture and historians of Indonesia, but also to a wide range of scholars in the areas of performance and literature, anthropology, Southeast Asian studies, and postcolonial studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822316978
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
03/20/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.08(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Note on Spelling and Translations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Histories, Mythologies, and Javanese Tales1
1Hearing Islamic Voices in "Hindu-Javanese" Tales34
2Colonial Discourse and Javanese Shadow Theatre75
3Failed Narratives of the Nation or the New "Essence" of Java?121
4Javanese Storytellers, Colonial Categories, Mahabharata Tales170
5Revolutionary Rhetoric and Postcolonial Performance Domains214
6Fictions, Images, and Allegories266
Selected Glossary303
Selected Bibliography311
Index335

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