How can a controversy about forms of deference (show of respect to the elite) in Java reveal tensions around colonial policies and the rise of nationalism? What was Vietnamese about the French colonial governor’s palace in Hanoi, and how did the Vietnamese design partially French rural houses? What can the circulation of jazz in Asia tell us about changing meanings of jazz, circuits of exchange, colonial culture, and its appropriation? How did scholarly societies’ collaboration across imperial boundaries influence colonial policies? Such questions point us to the evolving meanings of objects, ideas, and practices that can be interpreted and resituated in numerous ways. This interdisciplinary volume traces the multi-linear trajectories of the flow of decorative objects, architectural styles, photographs, sartorial practices, music, deference rituals, and ethnographic knowledge, in a trans-imperial framework within and beyond Southeast Asia and Europe. In exploring colonial culture, power relations, and circuits of exchange, this book highlights the interplay of diverse groups, and examines shared spaces and cultures that produced strategies of integration, adaptation and appropriation as well as resistance. Underlining a wide range of actors, their motivations, and interactions, this volume complicates the binary of the colonizer-colonized, and also treats cultural heritage as dynamic processes.
H. Hazel Hahn is professor of History at Seattle University. She is the author of Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumption in the Nineteenth Century and co-editor of Architecturalized Asia: Mapping a Continent through History, which was selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title of 2014.