Manuscript Cultures and the Start of an Indigenous Printing Industry in Maritime Southeast Asia
SPEAKER: Dr. Jan van der Putten (University of Hamburg)
DATE + TIME: Wednesday, February 22, 6:00-7:30 pm
LOCATION: Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH), Building 37, American University of Beirut (AUB)
The development of manuscript cultures in insular Southeast Asia may be viewed as the vernacularisation of Indian and Arabic traditions. These traditions brought the scripts which over time developed into localised scripts, and prompted the creation of written traditions and book culture in a region that continued to be predominantly oral in its orientation. The region is vast and characterised by an enormous linguistic and cultural diversity of communities which in the premodern era were connected through religious and mercantile networks.
In this talk I will concisely introduce some of the most conspicuous manuscript traditions of the region and try to sketch the position of an indigenous book production starting in the second half of the 19th century. This budding printing industry developed in the shadow of the British and Dutch colonial authorities and was propelled by the relations Muslim communities maintained with the Middle East.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Jan van der Putten is Professor Austronesistik in the Department of Southeast Asia (Asien-Afrika-Institut) at the University of Hamburg where he teaches on Southeast Asian literatures and cultures. Traditional Malay writing is one of his main research areas and he is a member of the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg supervising a research project about the Changing Practices of the 19th-century Malay Manuscript Economy. He also ventures into other types and periods of Malay-language cultural traditions where he explores the meaning of traditional and popular Malay texts and how these texts are disseminated among peoples and exchanged between cultures.
Recent publications include ‘Dirty Dancing' and Malay anxieties: the changing context of Malay Ronggeng in the first half of the twentieth century’, ‘Going Against the Tide: The Politics of language Standardisation in Indonesia’, ‘Malaiische Erotika: Biedere Sexualethik in obszönen Versen’, and Translation in Asia. Theories, Practices, Histories (co-edited with Ronit Ricci, 2011).
Hala Auji, 2016-17 CAH Faculty Fellow & Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, Fine Arts and Art History, AUB
This event is hosted by AUB's Center for the Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History (FAAH), with additional support from the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies (CAMES)