Organized Panel Session
In the contemporary moment of refugee and migrant crisis, the movement and value of bodies continues to remain of global concern. Questions of immigration policy and law, human rights, nation-state borders, hygiene and nutrition, and climate impact are all intertwined with questions of which bodies are allowed to circulate, travel, and settle and which bodies must be detained, interned, and quarantined. This panel will explore the relation between the bodies and colonial states in insular Southeast Asia. The native and the colonizer, the uncivilized and the civilized, the healthy and the sick, the beautiful and the abject, the able and disabled, the normal and abnormal: all of these dichotomies imply a kind of valuation of bodies. These papers thus examine how bodies were materially and discursively inscribed by these multiple modes of valuations, determining the life opportunities of individual bodies in significant ways. To be specific: Kevin Ko examines medical humanitarianism in colonial Indonesia; Genevieve Clutario examines gendered labor in the Philippine clothing manufacturing industry; and Allan Lumba examines race and disability in Philippine agricultural labor. On one hand, these papers trace how myriad colonial powers attempted to control, manipulate, develop, and manufacture particular kinds of bodies in colonial Southeast Asia. On the other hand, these papers trace how bodies constantly evaded, escaped, befuddled, challenged, and found agency despite colonial conditions. Finally, this panel intends to contribute deep historical analysis to Asian studies, diaspora and imperial studies, women and gender studies, disability and health studies, and race and ethnic studies.