Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(52) Being ‘Malay’ in the World: Belonging across Diasporas

3/23/2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Maryland Suite B, Lobby Level

Since at least the 1990s, the idea of a Malay-Indonesian world has gained increasing political currency, with efforts to identify and promote a global Malay diaspora from the likes of Malay nationalists on the peninsula, and more recent efforts to build a Global Indonesian Diaspora Network (est. 2012). But what are the deeper histories of Malay-Indonesian overseas communities? And what has it meant to be “Malay” outside of Southeast Asia? This panel addresses such questions through the lens of “belonging,” in the context of three geographically dispersed communities: the Malays of Sri Lanka, the Fatani Malay community based in Mecca and the so-called “Cape Malays” of South Africa. Collectively these papers discuss both the external challenges and internal dynamics facing self-identifying global “Malay” communities. They also raise important questions about “Asian” identities and experiences across borders and time periods. Focusing on the Sri Lankan Malays, Ronit Ricci examines how narrative traditions helped to frame and give meaning to experiences of exile in the colonial period. Also focused on narrative, Saarah Jappie explores how Cape Malays have invoked collective origin narratives to claim territory and status as a minority community in southern Africa, over the longue duree. Muhammad Arafat Bin Mohamad further extends the discussion of minority experiences by examining the Mecca-based Fatani Malays as an outsider alien, transcultural community in the face of nationalist economic efforts in Saudi Arabia.

 

Presentations:

Saarah Jappie

Princeton University, New Jersey

Presentation(s):

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Ronit Ricci

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Not Applicable, Israel

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Ronit Ricci

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Not Applicable, Israel

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Muhammad Arafat Bin Mohamad

National University of Singapore, Not Applicable, Singapore

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Syed Muhammad Khairuddin Aljuneid

Georgetown University

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Charles Hallisey

Harvard University, Massachusetts

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