History professor Eric Jones publishes new book on women, slavery in colonial Dutch Asia

Eric Jones book coverNIU history professor Eric Jones has a written a new book that explores the development of modern social and legal relationships of Asian women in the Dutch colony of Batavia-Jakarta, modern-day Indonesia.

Jones will deliver a talk on the book – titled “Wives, Slaves, and Concubines: A History of the Female Underclass in Dutch Asia” (Northern Illinois University Press) – at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the Center for Black Studies, 600 Lincoln Terrace Drive.

Professor Michael Laffan, a specialist in Southeast Asian history at Princeton University, will provide comments on the book at the reception.

The book argues that Dutch colonial practices and law created a new set of social and economic divisions in Batavia-Jakarta, modern-day Indonesia, to deal with difficult realities in Southeast Asia.

Jones uses compelling stories from ordinary Asian women to explore the profound structural changes occurring at the end of the early colonial period—changes that helped birth the modern world order.

Based on previously untapped criminal proceedings and testimonies by women who appeared before the Dutch East India Company’s Court of Alderman, this fascinating study details the ways in which demographic and economic realities transformed the social and legal landscape of 18th-century Batavia-Jakarta.

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