Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

Demography and Discontent: Geographic and Census-Based Approaches to Southeast Asian History

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Mahogany, First Floor

This panel highlights the interaction, real or perceived, between demographic and spatial characteristics of populations and historical episodes of discontent in Southeast Asia. The first paper explores the role of religious conversion and the development of millenarian movements as a form of protest against the change in agricultural areas in the North Sumatran uplands in the 19th Century. The second paper examines the intersection between the colonial census and tax collection, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, patterns of social organization and power in Timor Leste during the first half of the 20th Century. The third paper seeks to understand the reasons of why “race” replaced religion as a key variable for the classification of the population between the 1921 and 1931 censuses in Burma. The fourth paper uses demographic methods to provide a comprehensive characterization of the killings of 1965-66 in Central Java, Indonesia. All four papers highlight the importance of interactions of people and place in shaping discontent and responses to it. In some cases, these responses involved the peaceful re-shaping of identity through census categories or religious affiliation. In other cases, these responses were tragically violent. 

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Faizah Zakaria

Yale University, United States

Presentation(s):

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Erin McAuliffe

University of Michigan, United States

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Send Email for Douglas Kammen

Send Email for Siddharth Chandra

Send Email for Douglas Kammen

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