Call for Papers: Jurnal e-Utama

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A call for papers related to history, anthropology, heritage studies and other social sciences relating to Malays. This journal published by the Malay Language and Culture department of the National Institute of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University is calling for papers for the second issue to be published at the end of the year. The deadline for submissions is 30 July 2009 and details can be found here.

Jurnal e-Utama
Deadline 30 July 2009

E-Utama is an annual online peer reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of interdisciplinary, theoretical and review articles of high scholastic quality in Malay education, culture, language and literature. The purpose of the journal is to bring together scholars and researchers from all areas of Malay Studies to stimulate the exchange of ideas, opinions and critical inquiry between these groups. The journal is published by the Malay Language and Culture department of the National Institute of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University.

The articles published in this journal seek to showcase innovative scholarship in the area of Malay Studies. E-Utama aims to foster Malay research, but is not exclusively Malay, having an international authorship, readership and a collective of international peer reviewers. The editorial practice is to promote and include multi and interdisciplinary work and the journal accepts papers from a wide range of disciplinary areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Educational Pedagogy pertaining to the Malays, including, but not limited to: Philosophy, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Feminism, Media and Communication Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Policy and Management, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Literary Studies, Legal Studies, Social Theory, Law, Education, Theology, Multicultural Studies, Globalisation, Labour Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, Archaeology, Heritage Studies, Race Studies, Science and Technology, Development Studies.

The basis for accepting papers for publication is the agreement among three reviewers (via a double-blind review process) that they show relevance, compelling justification for study, subject mastery and originality in any of the major sub-areas of Malay Studies.

Submission details can be found here.

Southeast Asia's Common Roots

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Southeast Asia is the crossroads to a number of human migrations, the largest of which must have been the Austronesian migration. Somewhere between 8,000 to 6,000 years ago, the Austronesians migrated from Southeast China or Taiwan, down the Philippine islands before splitting east to Polynesia and West to Southeast Asia. Based on linguistic and archaeological evidence, the Austronesians are though to be the precursors to modern Polynesians and Malays. This travel piece from Malaysia’s Star visits what may be one of the homelands of the Austronesians – Tanshishan, in Southeast China.

Common roots
The Star, 24 September 2008
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Museum Break: Antique weapons stolen from Melaka museum

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A number of priceless antique weapons were stolen from the Malaysian Historic and Ethnography Museum in Malacca, Malaysia over the weekend, chalking up a loss amounting to “millions of ringgit”.

photo credit: Marshall Astor – Food Pornographer

  • Antique keris and pistols stolen from museum (The Star, 16 March 2008)
  • Priceless Malaysian museum artifacts stolen (The Nation, 16 March 2008)
  • Malacca museum artefact theft is inside job: Police (New Straits Times, 16 March 2008)

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Negritos or Malays: Who are the original inhabitants of the Philippines?


When I was younger, I remember reading in a Filipino children’s book that the Filipinos were made up of a migratory Malay population. I didn’t think much of it then until this article came up which challenges the notion of the indigenous Filipino.

Who are the indigenous?
The Philippine Inquirer, 12 February 2008
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Differing concepts of "Malay"-ness


26 October 2007 (Jakarta Post) – I mentioned in the previous post about the Negara Kertagama about how Malaysia and Indonesia are embroiled in a dispute over the a traditional song, and I just wanted to highlight this editorial in the Jakarta Post which might shed light on our non-Southeast Asian readers who might not be familiar with the politics of the region. The term “Malay” does not mean the same thing in Malaysia and Indonesia!

This difference in the definition of Malay, while essentially a political one, has profound consequences in exploring the archaeology of the different Malay peoples in the region. I hope this editorial might add a little nuanced understanding in how current politics affects archaeology.

Malaysia, Indonesia out of tune
Ong Hock Chuan

Neighboring and serumpun (from the same root) countries Malaysia and Indonesia have been out of step with each other lately over the traditional song Rasa Sayang.

The song and dance over Rasa Sayang began when the Malaysian government used it as a jingle to promote the country’s tourism.

Indonesians were aghast that a homespun Ambonese song had been appropriated by its neighbor. Some legislators called for the Malaysian government to be sued in the international court for stealing an Indonesian song.

Malaysia reacted by saying that the song was as much theirs as Indonesia’s since the song came from the Malay Archipelago. And since Malaysia’s culture is dominantly Malay, they had a right to use it.

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Public Lecture: "Malay Ethnic Identity: Unravelling the Historical from the Discursive"

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On face value, this looks like a lecture dealing with the politics of identity and ethnicity, but the historical approach that Prof Andaya is taking particularly through the history of the Malayu that have their origins in Srivijayan Sumatra should be quite interesting from an archaeological perspective. Courtesy of the Singapore Heritage Email List

Malay Ethnic Identity: Unravelling the Historical from the Discursive by Prof Leonard Andaya
15 November 2007
1700 hrs
National University of Singapore Bukit Timah Campus, 469 Bukit Timah Road, Blk B, Level 3, Auditorium
Organised by Asia Research Institute, East Asian Institute, Faculty of Law, Institute of South Asian Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

In recent years there has been a considerable number of works devoted to analyzing “Malay” identity. Such discussion often begins with the Malaysian Constitutional determination of who can legally claim to be a Malay. The more informed will cite social science theories on ethnicity and identity to emphasize the power relationships involved in the determination of any ethnic identity. Any discussion of Malay ethnic identity, therefore, often begins in the nineteenth century with the attempt by colonial authorities to identify, classify, and hence control. While governments changed over the years, the relationship between power and classification hence control was maintained. But is this the whole story of Malay ethnic identity? In this paper I attempt to demonstrate that the ethnic group called “Malayu” can be traced to the early history of the archipelago. By adopting a historical approach extending deep into the past, it is possible to see how the discursive identity associated with power relationships operated on one level, while another level existed in the marketplace. Practical economic and social factors at the ordinary level of people’s lives helped to sustain ethnic identities that did not always coincide with the government’s prescriptions. It is this dual perception that helps to ameliorate some of the harshness that at times pervades government ethnic rhetoric.

About the Speaker:
Professor Andaya received a BA in History from Yale University, and an MA and PhD in Southeast Asian history at Cornell University. He has held positions at the University of Malaya, the Australian National University, the University of Auckland, and the University of Hawaii, where he has been professor of Southeast Asian history since 1993.

His area of research specialization is Malaysia and Indonesia in the early modern period (c. 1500-c. 1800). Among his publications are The History of Johor (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1975), A History of Malaysia (with Barbara Watson Andaya) (London: Macmillan, 1981), The Heritage of Arung Palakka: A History of South Sulawesi in the 17th Century (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982), and The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993). A second edition of A History of Malaysia was published in December, 2000. His latest book is called, Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka, and will be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in March, 2008.

He was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to conduct research in Indonesia and The Netherlands in 2008 for a book on the history of eastern Indonesia in the early modern period.