Appropriating Kartini: Colonial, National and Transnational Memories of an Indonesian Icon

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Paperback: $39.00
ISBN-13: 9789814843911
Published: January 2020

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208 pages
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  • About the Book
  • “This collection of essays demonstrates vividly how and why the life and writings of Kartini spark different meanings to different people across different continents and times for a wide range of reasons. Truly engaging and enlightening.”—Professor Dr Ariel Heryanto, Herb Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia at Monash University, and author of Identity and Pleasure: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture

    “An icon of colonial Indonesia and a postcolonial intellectual avant la lettre, Kartini straddles the subtle terrain between feminism, politics and memory. This beautifully crafted volume goes beyond the analysis of Kartini’s contested legacy as a national figure. It instead engages in an original way with Kartini as a highly remediated transnational celebrity, who has become a 'floating signifier'. This volume’s timely contribution is to reposition Kartini’s life, legacy and afterlife within the intersectional dynamics of gender, race, class, religion and sexuality that so shaped the origin, interpretation and impact of the 'Javanese princess' across time and space.”—Professor Dr Sandra Ponzanesi, Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and author of The Postcolonial Cultural Industry: Icons, Markets, Mythologies

    “This rich collection of essays on the appropriation of Indonesian national heroine and international feminist icon Kartini provides an incisive insight into the multiple ways her brilliant letters have been read, interpreted and used. Progressive colonial administrators, anti-colonial nationalists, socialist feminists and conservative feminists during the military dictatorship of President Suharto alike appropriated her life and work to further their own divergent causes. I hope this anthology stimulates the (re) reading of the inspiring and still highly relevant words of this gifted, complex, rebellious Javanese woman, who died in childbirth at such a young age.”—Professor Dr Saskia E. Wieringa, Professor of Gender and Women’s Same-sex Relations Cross-culturally, University of Amsterdam, author of Sexual Politics in Indonesia, and co-founder of the Kartini Asia Network

  • About the Author(s)
    • Paul Bijl, Editor

      Paul Bijl teaches comparative literature at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
    • Grace V. S. Chin, Editor

      Grace V. S. Chin is Senior Lecturer in English Language and Literature Studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia.