"This is an original work on the role of data collection in colonial Southeast Asia, one of the first of its kind in the domain of Southeast Asian Studies. Its originality lies in the manner that it examines colonial data-gathering in terms of the concept of the panopticon and how the identities of colonized Southeast Asians were framed as a result." - Professor Syed Farid Alatas, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
Empire-building did not only involve the use of excessive violence against native communities, but also required the gathering of data about the native Other. This is a book about books, which looks at the writings of Western colonial administrators, company-men and map-makers who wrote about Southeast Asia in the 19th century. In the course of their information-gathering they had also framed the people of Southeast Asia in a manner that gave rise to Orientalist racial stereotypes that would be used again and again. Data-Gathering in Colonial Southeast Asia 1800-1900: Framing the Other revisits the era of colonial data-collecting to demonstrate the workings of the imperial echo chamber, and how in the discourse of 19th century colonial-capitalism data was effectively weaponized to serve the interests of Empire.
Farish A Noor is Associate Professor at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, where he teaches the history and politics of Southeast Asia.