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Clio/AnthroposExploring the Boundaries between History and Anthropology$
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Eric Tagliacozzo and Andrew Willford

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760201

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760201.001.0001

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Laughing at Leviathan: John Furnivall, Dutch New Guinea, and the Ridiculousness of Colonial Rule

Laughing at Leviathan: John Furnivall, Dutch New Guinea, and the Ridiculousness of Colonial Rule

Chapter:
(p.50) 3 Laughing at Leviathan: John Furnivall, Dutch New Guinea, and the Ridiculousness of Colonial Rule
Source:
Clio/Anthropos
Author(s):

Danilyn Rutherford

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804760201.003.0003

This chapter addresses the theme of impossible naturalization, otherwise known as the anxieties of authenticity and legitimacy during colonial and postcolonial rule. It analyzes the antecedents of separatism and the tensions that exist between the state of Indonesia, the legacies of colonial rule, and the nation-making projects. The chapter also addresses the question: Why is the classic account of statebuilding in colonial Burma, written by John Furnivall, so funny? It is argued that Furnivall's humor doesn't simply reflect his disdain for the British imperial project; rather, it shows tensions that are inherent to the colonial enterprise on the frontiers of European rule. The history of western New Guinea, the Danish's “policy of display,” and the historical roots of Papuan separatism are also examined.

Keywords:   impossible naturalization, separatism, Indonesia, John Furnivall, British imperial project, colonial enterprise, European rule, policy of display

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