A Ohio University Press Book
“The amazingly clever technique Hollander utilizes to recreate her family’s past lives—juxtaposing her relatives’ recollections with contemporaneous historical accounts—is one that should inspire any of us to delve deeper into our genealogies to bring our own forebears to life. This book is an extraordinary piece of research work.”
“Hollander’s story helps us think in more complex ways about the history of Dutch colonialism, and the multiple legacies of the colonial relationship. Yet rather than dwelling on this aspect, it offers an honest and complex portrayal of the personal and familial consequences of colonial politics and the legacies that linger on.”
Like a number of Netherlanders in the post–World War II era, Inez Hollander only gradually became aware of her family’s connections with its Dutch colonial past, including a Creole great-grandmother. For the most part, such personal stories have been, if not entirely silenced, at least only whispered about in Holland, where society has remained uncomfortable with many aspects of the country’s relationship with its colonial empire.
Unlike the majority of memoirs that are soaked in nostalgia for tempo dulu, Hollander’s story sets out to come to grips with her family’s past by weaving together personal records with historical and literary accounts of the period. She seeks not merely to locate and preserve family memories, but also to test them against a more disinterested historical record. Hers is a complicated and sometimes painful personal journey of realization, unusually mindful of the ways in which past memories and present considerations can be intermingled when we seek to understand a difficult past. Silenced Voices is an important contribution to the literature on how Dutch society has dealt with its recent colonial history.
Inez Hollander teaches in the Dutch Studies Program at UC Berkeley. Her publications include The Road from Pompey’s Head: The Life and Work of Hamilton Basso and a memoir, Awakening from the American Dream. More info →
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A staple of postwar academic writing, “nationalism” is a contentious and often unanalyzed abstraction. It is generally treated as something “imagined,” “fashioned,” and “disseminated,”as an idea located in the mind, in printed matter, on maps, in symbols such as flags and anthems, and in collective memory.
Millions of Chinese have left the mainland over the last two centuries in search of new beginnings. The majority went to Southeast Asia, and the single largest destination was the colony of the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia. Wherever the Chinese landed they prospered, but in Indonesia, even though some families made fortunes, they never felt they quite belonged.BitterSweet
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.
Indonesian Exports, Peasant Agriculture and the World Economy 1850–2000
Economic Structures in a Southeast Asian State
By Hiroyoshi Kano
The Indonesian economy, like the Indonesian nation state, took shape as part of the colonial transformation of the archipelago by the Dutch in the mid-nineteenth century. The agricultural sector of the economy provided food and labor to the export sector, which was firmly incorporated into the world economy through international trade. This economic pattern survived several shifts and persisted even after Indonesia became independent in the mid-twentieth century.Hiroyoshi
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