Malay Women in Colonial Texts - Softcover
Author: Lajiman Janoory
Publisher: UPSI Press
This book explores and analyses representations of Malay women in selected colonial texts written during the period of British colonisation of Malaya between 1874 and 1957. It reveals how representations of Malay women are constructed and signified within the Eurocentric grand narrative of the non-European females as savage, exotic and erotic. The book covers a selected range of colonialist writings from various genres such as travel narratives, novels and short stories. What unifies their writings is the singularity of the theme of the corrupted nature of Malay women, either openly or more subtly stated. Malay women are not only represented as the typical Oriental exotics who are sexually promiscuous but they are also perceived as being the reason for the moral degeneration of any European man who dares love her. In essence, this book reveals the power of Eurocentric discourse in shaping images of the Malay female Other which are then articulated and presented as reality for European intellectual consumption. This book is useful as a model of reading practice, not only in the field of literature but also in any form of human discursive interaction. It serves as an example of how the marginal voice can offer contestatory viewpoints against a more dominant discourse in the broader struggle over interpretation and subjectivity. Additionally, it offers a model of discursive resistance and celebrates the multiplicity of voices over more authoritative and hegemonic discourse.