Organized Panel Session
Men were long assumed to be the universal agents and subjects of history, their position taken as the default historiographic perspective. Scholars of gender and sexuality have shown how this perspective has failed to consider the relational webs within which men as social beings are entangled. These relationships extend beyond the dyadic masculine-feminine formulation; indeed, the papers in this panel explore further complicating power-relations evinced in the colonial histories of Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. We ask how normative masculinities were constructed, reinforced, or resisted. That is, how did the practices of normative masculinity shift and change (or indeed continue) throughout the various colonial encounters across island Asia?
Prianti analyzes Indonesian men's lifestyle magazines from the mid-1970s onwards to understand how Dutch colonial narratives of modernization influenced the hierarchization of gender in postcolonial Indonesia. Ishikawa takes the shifts and continuities of Chinese parental and spousal rights and obligations that appeared in the Japanese colonial courts in Taiwan, to reveal the juridical gendering of the Japanese empire. Miller demonstrates how the religious dimensions of Ambonese masculinity in colonial Indonesia were valorized by the Dutch state and then subsequently refigured during the Japanese occupation. Fernandez compares white and 'native' boyhood in the American Philippines to challenge the dichotomous ascription of masculinity to the white colonizer and effeminacy to the colonized. Through these, we aim to enrich the history of gender in Asia by placing these normative masculinities under the same analytic scrutiny already long current in studies of women and femininity.