The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia

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University of Hawaii Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Social Science - 335 pages
The Princess of the Flaming Womb, the Javanese legend that introduces this pioneering study, symbolizes the many ambiguities attached to femaleness in Southeast Asian societies. Yet, despite these ambiguities, the relatively egalitarian nature of male-female relations in Southeast Asia is central to arguments claiming a coherent identity for the region. This challenging work by senior scholar Barbara Watson Andaya considers such contradictions while offering a thought-provoking view of Southeast Asian history that focuses on women's roles and perceptions. Andaya explores the broad themes of the early modern era (1500-1800) - the introduction of new religions, major economic shifts, changing patterns of state control, the impact of elite lifestyles and behaviors - drawing on an extraordinary range of sources and citing numerous examples from Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Philippine, and Malay societies.
 

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Contents

Women and Southeast Asia
11
Early Modernity Sources and Womens History
42
Women and Religious Change
70
Women and Economic Change
104
States Subjects and Households
134
Women Courts and Class
165
Being Female in Early Modern Southeast Asia
197
Conclusion
226
Selected Bibliography
297
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Barbara Watson Andaya is professor of Asian studies and director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i.

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