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Open Access ‘On their Javanese sprout we need to graft the European civilisation’

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Drawing on records held in missionary and colonial archives in both Indonesia and the Netherlands, this article discusses the education of Javanese boys and girls by Dutch Catholic missionaries in the educational institutes in Muntilan and Mendut. The missionaries intended a vital role for their pupils in spreading the Catholic faith and bringing “civilisation” to the local people in Java. As such, these students were trained to become local intermediaries in the colonial project of the Catholic mission. This article focuses on the fashioning of these students in particular, which would enable them to play this agential role. Instilling proper gender roles was an important aspect of this fashioning, as these were central markers of “civilised” Catholicism for the mission. In this way, Dutch Catholic missionaries contributed to the export of the European ideal of Christian gender roles and norms to the colonies. With this, the article introduces new players and the factor of religion into existing Dutch debates and scholarship on the civilisation mission and domestication of empire in the Dutch East Indies.
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Keywords: Catholic mission; Dutch East Indies; colonialism; education; gender; local intermediaries

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Maaike Derksen is a PhD candidate at the history department and Institute for Genderstudies at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Her research interests focus on colonial history, Christian missions, colonial anthropology, scientific expeditions, and the Pacific War in the Dutch East Indies. Her PhD project concerns encounters and local intermediaries in the Catholic mission in Java and Dutch New-Guinea between 1856-1945, for which she conducted archival work in both the Netherlands and Indonesia. In 2016, she was visiting scholar at the college of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She published about her research before in; Ex Tempore, Tijdschrift voor Kerkgeschiedenis, and the Journal of Pacific History., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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