Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

1 - Creole Kingdoms: Slave Gathering Warfare and Cultural Exchange in Burma, Thailand, and Manipur, 18th – 19th C

Saturday, July 7
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Casuarina, Lower Ground Floor

A cultural history of slavery is by necessity a study of transregional and transcultural networks and interactions. This is because the history of a ‘location’ settled by slaves is conjoined to a history of the ‘dislocation’ created by enslavement and forced migration. These insights emerge from creolization theory, an analytical toolbox pioneered by Caribbean intellectuals who view enslaved people as a nexus point for cultural exchange and transformation. Creolization theory promotes research on slavery that focuses on cultural entanglements between slaves and non-slaves and is entwined with the study of the slaves’ natal homeland and the historical conditions of their capture and relocation. My research applies the insights and research strategies emerging from creolization theory to the study of pre-colonial systems of slavery in mainland Southeast Asia. Slave-gathering warfare was an endemic feature of Southeast Asian statecraft in the pre-colonial era. In this lightly populated region, capturing people was more important than seizing new lands. Armies laid siege to rival urban centers and carried thousands of people into captivity, among them artisans, religious officials, performers, and musicians. My focus is on skilled war captives and I trace the complex forces of dialogical exchange generated as captives both transformed the society that enslaved them, and were themselves transformed by the crucible of slavery and life in a new land. Ultimately, my research reveals the otherwise subaltern category of slaves and war captives to be potent agents in the cultural history of the Southeast Asia region

Bryce Beemer

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Republic of Korea

Presentation(s):

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1 - Creole Kingdoms: Slave Gathering Warfare and Cultural Exchange in Burma, Thailand, and Manipur, 18th – 19th C



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Send Email for Creole Kingdoms: Slave Gathering Warfare and Cultural Exchange in Burma, Thailand, and Manipur, 18th – 19th C