InterviewSelective Amnesia and South Asian Histories: An Interview with Indrani Chatterjee, by Jessica Hinchy, Girija Joshi, pp. 1–16.
Matteo Salvadore, James De Lorenzi: An Ethiopian Scholar in Tridentine Rome: Täsfa Ṣeyon and the Birth of Orientalism, pp. 17–46.
This article surveys the diasporic life and legacy of the Ethiopian ecclesiastic Täsfa Ṣeyon. After examining his origins in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and the circumstances of his arrival in mid-sixteenth-century Rome, the article outlines his contributions to the evolving Latin Catholic understanding of Ethiopia. Täsfa Ṣeyon was a librarian, copyist, teacher, translator, author, and community leader, as well as a prominent adviser to European humanist scholars and Church authorities concerned with orientalist philologia sacra as it pertained to Ethiopian Orthodox (täwaḥedo) Christianity. As such, he was a key extra-European agent in the Tridentine project of Ethiopianist and Eastern Christian knowledge production. The article also surveys the complex modern legacy of Täsfa Ṣeyon's career, documenting his posthumous influence in the fields of Ethiopianist Semitic studies and Ethiopian vernacular historiography.
Nicholas J. Lewis: Revisiting De Christiana Expeditione as an Artefact of Globalisation, pp. 47–69.
For Europeans, Matteo Ricci's mission memoirs proved to be the most comprehensive and accessible book about China. Ricci's account of the early Jesuit mission was immensely popular, receiving translations into most European languages. Until the twentieth century, however, anyone who read Ricci's narrative was not reading what Ricci himself had written. Rather, they were reading a curated translation produced by one of his successors, Nicolas Trigault. The resulting work, De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas, was an edited translation, substantially the same but often different than Ricci's original manuscript.
This article reexamines Trigault's translation, on its own terms, as an artefact of globalisation. Not only does the adaptation reveal information about the Jesuit missions that Ricci's manuscript did not, but it also had a significant impact on European Catholics, as its dissemination inspired would-be missionaries to seek their vocations in China.
Martijn van den Bel: “Against Right and Reason”: The Bold but Smooth French Take-Over of Dutch Cayenne (1655–1664), pp. 70–98.
The Dutch loss of Brazil in 1654 favoured the resettlement of Dutch merchants along the Wild Coast and in the Lesser Antilles and the establishment of new colonies. Cayenne Island was one of them. One WIC patent was handed to Jan Claes Langedijck, who settled at the former French fort of Cépérou, and another patent was given to David Nassy, who settled in the Anse de Rémire, situated at the opposite part of the former island. Both colonies were taken by the French in May 1664 as part of the imperial French expansion under King Louis XIV and Jean-Baptist Colbert. It is argued here that the main French goal was to gain control of the sugar plantations of the Sephardic community located there, and, to a lesser extent, the much-desired territorial control of this region as proposed by the newly established French West India Company. The Dutch were aware of the attack, but could not intervene as it was already too late to send support to the poorly defended Cayenne colony. Both parties negotiated the take-over and the majority of the Dutch settlers stayed under French rule, as was suggested by the Dutch government and hoped for by the French.
Matthijs Tieleman: “No Intrigue Is Spared”: Anglo-American Intelligence Networks in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic, pp. 99–123.
This article surveys previously underexamined American and British intelligence networks that operated in the Netherlands during the eighteenth century and demonstrates the relevance of the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic to the larger history of the Netherlands, early modern Europe, and the revolutionary Atlantic. The Dutch Republic's favourable geographic location, its postal services, its sophisticated press, and its mercantile economy made it an ideal place to extract information and build intelligence networks, shaping power politics in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic. Additionally, this article illustrates how these Anglo-American intelligence networks affected the Dutch Republic and the revolutionary Atlantic. In the late 1770s, American revolutionaries successfully deployed their intelligence network to unleash a propaganda campaign that aimed to convince the Dutch public of their cause. By infiltrating the liberal and sophisticated Dutch printing press, the American revolutionaries not only succeeded in fostering political support among the Dutch public; they also created a transatlantic intellectual exchange with the Dutch opposition that laid the foundations of the Dutch Patriot movement of the 1780s and ultimately the dissolution of the Dutch Republic as a whole in 1795.
Jennifer L. Foray: The Republic at the Table, with Decolonisation on the Agenda: The United Nations Security Council and the Question of Indonesian Representation, 1946–1947, pp. 124–151.
This article examines a formative episode in the history of both the United Nations Security Council and Indonesian decolonisation. In August of 1947, Council members authorised an ad hoc delegation from the Republic of Indonesia to participate in its discussions concerning the ongoing Dutch–Indonesian conflict. Focusing on the series of developments that led to the Indonesians taking their seats at the table, this article reveals how Security Council procedures and practices could be used to facilitate the decolonisation process. The Council's involvement in the Dutch–Indonesian conflict—and, in particular, the decision to allow the Indonesians to present their case in this international arena—demonstrates that Europeans’ claims of “domestic jurisdiction” over their colonial territories remained subject to negotiation, and that non-European actors could successfully contest these claims in Council chambers.
Kalyani Ramnath: Histories of Indian Citizenship in the Age of Decolonisation, pp. 152–173.
This essay discusses the important contributions of three new works on Indian citizenship by Ornit Shani, Uditi Sen, and Oliver Godsmark. Their books discuss the territorial partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947, the framing and inauguration of the Indian Constitution in 1950, the preparation of voter rolls and the first democratic elections, and linguistic reorganisation of Indian states in 1956, alongside questions of refugee rehabilitation, counterinsurgency measures and rising ethnonationalisms. The emphasis is not only on the legal regimes of national citizenship, but also how it is unevenly mapped and experienced. This emphasis on territoriality is an invitation to ask questions about continuity and change in the transition from empires to nation-states, as well as invented pasts and imagined futures that transcend national borders set up after the end of colonial rule.
Rosa de Jong: Looking for Agency in Transnational Refugee Trajectories during the Second World War, pp. 174–187.
The authors of three recent monographs, The Escape Line, Escape from Vichy, and Nearly the New World, highlight in particular the relevance of transnational refugee and resistance networks. These books shed new light on the trajectories of refugees through war-torn Europe and their routes out of it. Megan Koreman displays in The Escape Line the relevance of researching one line of resistance functioning in several countries and thereby shifts from the common nationalistic approach in resistance research. In Escape from Vichy Eric Jennings researches the government-endorsed flight route between Marseille and Martinique and explores the lasting impact of encounters between refugees and Caribbean Negritude thinkers. Joanna Newman explores the mainly Jewish refugees who found shelter in the British West Indies, with a focus on the role of aid organisations in this flight.
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