Literature Program

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

UB Humanities Institute presents

Jennifer Gaynor

Scholars at Hallwalls: "Submerged Genealogy: a Cultural History of Capture & Its Effacement in Island Southeast Asia"

Jennifer Gaynor
Assistant Professor

Southeast Asia's maritime history, deeply enmeshed with colonialism, also extends behond its temporal reach, both preceding European interest and following movements for national independence.  In this long history of maritime endeavors, the region's coastal people were sometimes captors and sometimes captives.  This project aims to examine and contextualize the taking of one woman from her coastal village of Sama "sea people" in 1950's Indonesia by members of an Islamist rebellion.  While contemporaneous archival documents frame the repercussions of her abduction in nationalist terms, narratives about Sama "history" from coastal localities scattered across the archipelago help illuminate other frames of significance for this incident.  While the project thus speaks to histories of captures, subordination, and translocation, it also foregrounds the analytical relevance of cultural production by those most invested in how this past is retold, and attends to the ways historical and narrative context affect the representation of practices such as capture.