Researching Colonial History Like a Millennial: A Workshop18 January 2020

18 Jan 2020 - 18 Jan 2020
Malay Heritage Centre, Auditorium
10.00AM - 5.00PM

'Researching Colonial History Like a Millennial’ is a workshop designed for researchers (independent or institutionally affiliated) interested in doing research on 19th-century and early 20th-century colonial histories of the Malay world using the internet. Here, we refer to the Malay world in its most expansive register, used in the 19th century to define various forms of geographical, cultural and political imaginations related to archipelago Southeast Asia. At other times, it overlaps with concepts like maritime Southeast Asia, the Indian archipelago, nanyang, zirbadat, Nusantara, negeri di-bawah angin.

The workshop is meant to be inclusive. No university qualifications are necessary. Do come with passion, curiosity and a willingness to do the hard work of researching. Did we also mention that at the bare minimum, participants need to actually have a strong interest in reading? Contrary to popular belief, the ability to research like a millennial is not something that one is born with, but a skill that one acquires through years of practice.

Previous participants of the workshop came from a diverse background. We had a civil servant, a school history teacher, an activist, an editor, aspiring novelist, museum curators, freelancers, academics, university students, journalists, a heritage documenter, a DevOps engineer, a stylist, not to mention architects, retirees, artists, graphic and game designers, journalists, academics and researchers, and a visitor from Taiwan.

Their feedbacks have also contributed to how we structure the upcoming workshop, which will cover:

10AM-11.30AM: Muqaddimah

  • Storytelling and introductions
  • Getting Empire Right
  • Decoloniality and Languages

11.30AM-1PM: What’s Out There

  • Online Primary Sources in Malay, English, Dutch and Chinese.
  • Other types of Primary Sources: Photographs, Paintings, Literature, Prints, Maps, Plans, Artefacts, Buildings.
  • Getting Behind the Paywalls and Relying on the Generosity of Strangers

1PM-2PM: Lunch

2PM-3PM: What's Out There (cont.)

  • Cool tools to have in one's research shed
  • Building a Digital Library
  • Other resources and knowledge communities

3PM-4.30PM: Giving structure to ideas

  • Historical Thinking and Process
  • Creating a lexicon
  • Chance encounters and Backing up Files
  • Research Mapping, Creating timeline, Charting storymaps
  • Cool web projects

4.30PM-5PM: Conclusion, discussion, and feedback

  • Acknowledging support network
  • Recognising the limits of the internet and the digital divide.
  • Building a non-competitive and collaborative collegial network
  • Next Steps, Favourite History Books, Possible Topics and Areas of Research, and Feedback.

Venue: Auditorium, Malay Heritage Centre
Fee: $20
Purchase tickets here.

Facilitated by Simon Soon (University of Malaya)
Simon Soon is a senior lecturer at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. He researches across a range of interests in modern and contemporary art and architecture in Southeast Asia, further completing a PhD at the University of Sydney which examined left-leaning political art movements in the region from 1950s – 1970s.

Last Modified: 13 January 2020