Modern Times in Southeast Asia, 1920s-1970s


This book reveals how everyday experiences of being ‘modern’ (c. 1920s-70s) indexed continuity and change in the transition from colonialism to independence and after in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the contributors to this interdisciplinary volume recover modern times at the intersection of public and private domains, encompassing sex, religion, art, film, literature and urban space. The authors examine the conditions and representations of modernity, as shaped by elites and the governed, by actors, artists, novelists and non-fiction writers. Plural encounters in cities, through spiritual communities, art, high and popular culture saw Southeast Asians fashioning modern times in dialogue with global capitalism, consumer culture and second-wave feminism.
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Biographical Note

Susie Protschky is Senior Lecturer in History at Monash University, editor of Photography, Modernity and the Governed in Late-Colonial Indonesia (Amsterdam University Press, 2015), and author of Photographic Subjects: Monarchy, Photography and the Dutch East Indies (Manchester University Press, forthcoming).

Tom van den Berge is Senior Researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in Leiden. He is the author of H.J. van Mook, 1894-1965: Een vrij en gelukkig Indonesië (THOTH, 2014).


Scholars of Southeast Asia, modernity, and twentieth-century history; academic libraries, specialists and postgraduate students.


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