Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies

Wartime imaginings of an archipelagic community

B2 Hemsley, University Park
Thursday 16th November 2017 (16:00-17:30)
For more information, please contact Mandy Felton

The Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies and Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia (COTCA) Project is pleased to host Dr Sandra Khor Manickam, Erasmus University, NL on 16  on 'Wartime imaginings of an archipelagic community: Fajar Asia and the quest for peninsula Malayan and Indonesian Unity'.

Talk abstract

During a brief period in the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia, Malaya, including Singapore, was administratively placed with Sumatra under Japan’s 25th Army. From 28 March 1942 to April 1943, the two territories that had been separated by British and Dutch colonial rule since the mid-nineteenth century were considered one territory. This talk explores how Malay intellectuals, through articles written in the magazine Fajar Asia, took advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to strive for a Malaya-Sumatra and Malaya-Indonesia community.

The talk will analyse the various wartime imaginings of a joint archipelagic community within the pages of Fajar Asia and highlight tensions within this project which resulted in an impasse as to how such a unity should or could be achieved.The rhetoric of a Malaya-Indonesia community in Fajar Asia will also be compared to the contents of Indonesia-centric magazine, Minami.

Speaker biography

Dr Sandra Khor Manickam (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1978) is Lecturer in History at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. She is also Managing Editor of the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS) under editor Paul Kratoska. Prior to coming to the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she worked as Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian History at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and Junior Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany. She obtained her PhD in History from the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra and her MA in History from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Her areas of research focus on the history of colonialism in Malaya and Southeast Asia generally, the changing ideas of race in history and anthropology, and the history of the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia. Her book, Taming the Wild: Aborigines and Racial Knowledge in Colonial Malaya, was published in 2015 by NUS Press under the ASAA Southeast Asian Publication Series.

All are welcome. 

Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies

School of Politics and International Relations
Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 82 83087