Trapped in the 19th Century


The UP Asian Center will be hosting a webinar, “Trapped in the 19th Century: The Endless Reproduction of Colonial Stereotypes and Images in the Postcolonial Present” on 11 November 2020, Wednesday, at 2 pm–4 pm (Philippine time) via Zoom. The webinar is free, but participants must register using an authenticated Zoom account.


The 19th century was a time when much of Southeast Asia came under colonial rule. It was also the century that witnessed an enormous amount of data-collecting on the part of the different colonial regimes in the region. During this period, a more sedimented understanding of Southeast Asians emerged, when Western Orientalist scholars were also exposed to theories of Western racial supremacy and innate racial-biological differences between themselves and the societies they ruled over.
This presentation looks at the representation of Southeast Asians before, during, and after the 19th century and argues that understandings of cultural/ethnic differences then was less a case of knowledge-production, but more of a process of endless repetition of the same colonial stereotypes and tropes. It ends by looking at Southeast Asian modes of self-representation/identification today and asks if we—postcolonial Southeast Asians—have really stepped out of the long shadow of the 19th century.


Dr Farish A Noor is Associate Professor at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University NTU, Singapore. His research interests include political history of Southeast Asia and religio-political movements in the region. He is a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Religion and Politics.
Among his recent publications are America’s Encounters With Southeast Asia 1800-1900: Before The Pivot (Amsterdam University Press, 2018),  The Discursive Construction of Southeast Asia in 19th Century Colonial-Capitalist Discourse (Amsterdam University Press, 2016) and The Tablighi Jama’at in Southeast Asia (Amsterdam University Press, 2014). View full profile.


    • When registering for the webinar, use the same email address that you use for your Zoom account. If you do not have a Zoom account, sign up here.
    • If you have successfully registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to the webinar. Please do not share your registration link. It is unique for every participant.
    • Registration is first-come, first-served. The webinar can only accommodate 500. Those who cannot register may watch it live on Youtube. A separate registration sheet for the livestream will be posted by 2 pm, 11 November 2020.
    • Automatic reminders regarding the webinar will be sent to your email one day before and one hour before the start of the webinar.
Webinar Proper
    • Questions for the speakers may be written under the Q&A panel. These will be posted anonymously and will only be visible to the host and the panelists.
    • The moderator and/or the main speaker will choose from the questions and answer them during the Open Forum.
    • The host(s) reserves the right to remove in-webinar participants who send rude, inappropriate questions or messages.


This event is part of a webinar series held in celebration of Asian Center’s 65th Anniversary, with the theme “AsianCenter @ 65: Zealously Cultivating Ideas, Ceaselessly Inspiring Minds Across Asia.”
Please email for inquiries.

Posted: November 9, 2020 10:44