Historical Treaties of Southeast Asia

Online Seminar: Boundaries and land rights in treaties and land deeds in the Malay world (18th -19th centuries). Reflections on forms and practices.

2024-05-17 13:15 - 15:00

In the Malay world, the European presence and the conclusion of treaties have often been synonymous with territorial demarcations to delimit the spheres of influence of the various powers. These treaties address the issue of territorial sovereignty, which remains difficult to define and understand locally. Researchers have pointed to problems of translation or bilingual composition of these treaties, which raise conceptual questions. To better understand the relationship to land maintained by Malay sovereigns, the presentation proposes a detailed examination of Malay codes, as well as Malay certificates and letters from the 19th century, in which Malay sovereigns attributed land rights to local populations. This examination aims to understand the relationship to space, use, and ownership of natural resources that existed in the various Malay states at the time of European colonization of the region. The presentation also intends to point to a part of Malay written culture that deals with land transactions and rights, which remains little known.

Elsa Clavé is Junior Professor at the University of Hamburg. She specializes in modern and contemporary social and cultural history of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, in particular societies that belong to the so-called Malay world, an area of long historical interactions between diverse populations, where the use of Malay as lingua franca has allowed the exchanges of ideas, concepts, and practices. She studied in France at the Sorbonne; the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco) and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), where she received two bachelors (French Literature; Indonesian-Malay Studies) and two Masters (Indonesian-Malay Studies; History).

She is the author of L’islamisation du Sud philippin 15e-20e. Une histoire sociale et culturelle des sultanats (Paris EFEO 2022), and a number of articles on Malay writing culture, legal documentation, cultural and religious memory, representations of authority and other topics (see https://elsaclave.com).

To participate, please register in advance via:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


All Dates

  • 2024-05-17 13:15 - 15:00

Past Events

Presenter: Deborah Besseghini (University of Turin) Pre-registration required.

Manila, Philippines
Conference organized by the Historical Treaties of Southeast Asia research project.

Presenter: Isaac Donoso (University of Alicante) Pre-registration required.