[URBANTH-L]CFP: The Decolonisation of the Indonesian City

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Mon Dec 5 13:47:52 EST 2005

From: Freek Colombijn <F.Colombijn at fsw.vu.nl>

Dear all,
Please find the below call for papers for the international conference, "The
decolonisation of the Indonesian city (1930-1960) in comparative (Asian and
African) perspective," Leiden, the Netherlands, 27-28 April 2006. There is
no conference fee and we hope to offer accommodation to non-Dutch
participants (depending to the number of foreign participants and our
success in fundraising).
Yours sincerely,

Freek Colombijn,
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Call for papers for the international conference on

The decolonisation of the Indonesian city (1930-1960)
in comparative (Asian and African) perspective
Leiden, 27-28 April 2006

The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD, Nederlands Instituut
voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam) and the Royal Netherlands Institute for
Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV, Koninklijk Instituut voor
Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Leiden) jointly host the conference on The
decolonisation of the Indonesian city (1930-1960)  in comparative (Asian and
African) perspective. Venue will be the KITLV building in Leiden. The
language used is English.

The theme of this conference is the interplay between political independence
and urban change in Indonesian cities. Independence forms a watershed in the
history of most former colonies. The political shift resulted in a changing
balance of power in society - foremost between former coloniser and
colonised people- and the rise of new powerful groups: new businessmen,
specific ethnic groups, the military, and so on.

In contrast to this defining political event, cities seem to develop
gradually, more or less autonomously from the political upheavals. But the
new balance of power emerging after independence did make an impact on urban
development. Conversely, the changing face of the city reflected the
socio-political changes after independence. Independence should not be
equated with the proclamation of independence, but is here best considered
an extended process stretching over a period both before and after the
proclamation.  Topics for discussion at this conference could be:

the struggle for urban space (between social and ethnic groups)
housing (private and public)
urban planning
changing composition of the urban administration
symbolic changes (new statues, street names, etcetera)
other visual changes (disappearance of Dutchmen and Japanese, rise of the
   motorcar, disappearance of nature, spread of street trade, etcetera)
land rights systems and conflicts about individual plots
initiatives to house the poor
housing styles and modernisation
the relationship between social class and racial categories
the experiences and stories of the urban people

The aim of the conference is to gain insight in the urban (social, cultural,
economic, administrative) changes induced by political independence. Papers
could address any or a combination of the above list of potential topics.
Participants are encouraged to stretch the period under investigation to the
so-called long decolonisation (1930-1960).

A comparative perspective adds understanding to the particularities or
normalness of the Indonesian case. We therefore welcome papers about the
decolonisation of other Asian and African countries. Whereas the Indonesian
papers can present detailed case studies, the comparative papers should
address broader topics.  The organisers hope to publish a selection of the
papers afterwards.

Prospective participants in the conference are invited to send an abstract
of their paper to Freek Colombijn (Department of Social and Cultural
Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, f.colombijn at fsw.vu.nl). The
abstract should contain no more than 150 words. Proposals for a paper should
be submitted before 20 December 2005.

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