Remco Raben is senior researcher in Asian history at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation in Amsterdam and teaches history at Utrecht University.
Listed in: Asian Studies · History · Southeast Asian Studies · International History · Asian History
International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Book Prize
Shortlist Social Sciences
Being “Dutch” in the Indies portrays Dutch colonial territories in Asia not as mere societies under foreign occupation but rather as a “Creole empire.” In telling the story of the Creole empire, the authors draw on government archives, newspapers, and literary works as well as genealogical studies that follow the fortunes of individual families over several generations. They also critically analyze theories relating to culturally and racially mixed communities.
“This is a book that will give pleasure to many readers, while correcting popular stereotypes and entrenched scholarly assumptions. It can be highly recommended to anyone interested in colonial social history, or wider questions of cultural exchange.”
International History Review
Southeast Asia summons images of tropical forests and mountains, islands and seas, and a multitude of languages, cultures, and religions. Yet the area has never formed a unified political vision nor has it developed cultural unity. Academics have defined Southeast Asia over the years as what is left over after subtracting Australia, the South Pacific islands, China and India.
“Questions about the identity of Southeast Asia are implicitly questions about whether Southeast Asia is or can be a nation writ large. For people who live in the region, the answer is ‘no.’ The concept of Southeast Asia evolved from the need of Europe, America and Japan to deal collectively with a set of territories and peoples that felt no particular identification with one another.”
Locating Southeast Asia