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In: Imagology
In: Imagology
A Comparative Study of Four National Literary Traditions
Author: Jean Kommers
This literary analysis of the representation of ‘Gypsies’ in juvenile literature is unique in its comparative scope, as well as in the special attention to rare pre-1850 narratives, the period in which juvenile literature developed as a specific genre. Most studies on the subject are about one national literary tradition or confined to a limited period. In this study Dutch, English, French and German texts are analysed and discussed with reference to main academic publications on the subject. Emphasis is on the rich variation in narrative presentations, rather than on an inventory of images or prejudices. An important topic is the fundamental difference between early English and German narratives. Important because of the wide dissemination of German stories.

Abstract

Attempts to assess the results of colonial anthropology in Indonesia faced some problems, which, until recently, have not been dealt with properly. Therefore, in a newly published comprehensive history of anthropology in the Netherlands, several studies focused on the character, rather than on the substance of colonial anthropology. In the case of Dutch colonial representations of Indonesia, 'colonial anthropology' appears to be an assemblage of various disciplines that constituted a fragmented whole (Indologie; Dutch Indies Studies) from which today's Dutch academic anthropology emerged. However, projection of current conceptions of anthropology into the colonial past resulted in a tendency to neglect some major characteristics of early representations that are imperative for the interpretation of these representations. Besides, a rather limited familiarity amongst present-day anthropologists with the way in which Dutch colonial politics became immersed in international discourses resulted in misappraisal of an essential change in colonial knowledge: the shift from local to analytical representations, deeply affecting the portrayal of Indonesian cultures. In colonial knowledge production, emphasis moved from ethnographic particularism to essentialist conceptions like 'Knowledge of the Native'. This shift also had serious consequences for the academic position of ethnology amongst other colonial disciplines. Until recently, this misappraisal could escape notice because students of Dutch colonial anthropology were insufficiently aware of the effects on interpretation of the great variety of disciplinary discourses, so characteristic for Dutch colonial studies. Therefore, we will here concentrate on these effects and on the growing intertwinement of knowledge and politics which was directly related to the international orientation of colonial policy that became increasingly prominent after the mid-nineteenth century.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science