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Sökning: Emilie Wellfelt

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  • Wellfelt, Emilie (författare)
  • Historyscapes in Alor : Approaching indigenous history in Eastern Indonesia
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis deals with history and history-making practices in Alor, a small island in southeastern Indonesia. As in all of Indonesia, the people of Alor have experienced European colonialism, and after independence, a period of centralised, authoritarian rule under the New Order (1965-1998). This regime focussed heavily on Indonesia as a united entity, and history was an instrument used in building the nation.Democratisation and decentralisation reforms after 1998 saw interest in formulating the history of the region, village or group rather than the nation blossom. My research took place in the history boom of the 2000s when recording history was a task of urgency for many in Alor. A theoretical and methodological challenge rose from the observation of two different approaches to history, each with separate understandings of what ‘history’ is and what its sources are: ‘academic history’ and ‘indigenous history’. Academic history is concerned with time and dates; indigenous history emphasises spatiality and place. Academic history tends to rely on archival sources and is concerned with establishing chronologies of events. By contrast, indigenous history in Alor is based on oral sources, objects preserved locally, and stories rooted in the landscape. Indigenous histories may include non-human actors like dragons or sea-people living in underwater villages. In academic history, such accounts are discarded as legends or myths of no relevance to history. In this thesis, the ontological gap between these two modes of history is central. I argue that indigenous stories reveal much about historical experiences. The realism claimed by academic history is just another human construct of the past.In the thesis, I develop the idea of a ‘historyscape’ as a methodological tool for handling indigenous histories displaying a wealth of narrators, stories and themes relating to the past. ‘Historyscapes’ is a term which unites conceptual and geographical understandings of an area or realm. A historyscape is shaped and marked off from other areas by stories and perceptions about, as well as experiences from, a shared past. Applied to Alor, the historyscape methodology reveals geographies based on the manner groups and areas connect to each other through key stories. For Alor, I establish four historyscapes. In each, an initial place-oriented reading of indigenous sources is followed by a chronological reading, in which the sources of academic history are included. The juxtaposition with academic history mainly shows the manner in which the colonial powers (Dutch and Portuguese) related to different parts of Alor at different times. From these sources periods of friction between colonial and indigenous are highlighted. The four historyscapes in Alor show variations in historical experiences within short distances, but also commonalities found across a new story-geography.
  • Wellfelt, Emilie (författare)
  • The anthropologist as heroine : contemporary interpretations of memory and heritage in an Indonesian valley
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Oral history in Southeast Asia : memories and fragments. - New York : Palgrave Macmillan. - 978-1-137-31166-5 ; s. 139-158
  • Bokkapitel (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • IntroductionIn 1937 the Swiss American anthropologist Cora Du Bois (1903–91) traveled by sea from New York, via the Netherlands, to the Dutch East Indies. She was a self-conscious social scientist, or as she writes in a letter: a “lady-explorer” on her way to an isolated part of the Indonesian archipelago. Du Bois was intentionally looking for a remote place, as her research within the fashionable culture and personality school required investigations into a society little affected by Western influences. Du Bois set out on a pioneering mission; she was the first to try out methods from psychoanalysis in a non-Western setting and had been advised to choose the island of Alor for the study.Cora Du Bois’ book, The People of Alor, published in 1944, is an important work within the field of psychological anthropology. The author would later become the first woman to teach anthropology at Harvard University. What is less well known is that Du Bois is a celebrity outside the academic world. She has become a heroine in the Abui community she studied, and is quite famous across the whole of Alor. Since Du Bois left the island in 1939, never to return, she has lived on in collective memory as a vivid figure to which hopes for the future are attached. Following her departure, a cult emerged around the anthropologist, and it is still evolving. Du Bois was incorporated into existing beliefs in benevolent magical beings.The main question here is, how and why an American woman, who appeared—and disappeared—in the late 1930s, has reached cult status in Alor.
  • Wellfelt, Emilie, 1965- (författare)
  • Malielehi - freedom fighter or mad murderess?
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Tradition, identity, and history-making in Eastern Indonesia. - Växjö : Linnaeus University Press. - 978-91-86983-09-3 ; s. 149-182
  • Bokkapitel (övrigt vetenskapligt)
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