Thesis ID: CBB001561572

Vital Times: Power, Public Health, and Memory in Rural Java (2005)


Stein, Eric Andrew (Author)

University of Michigan
Hunt, Nancy R.
Stoler, Ann L.

Publication Date: 2005
Edition Details: Advisors: Hunt, Nancy R.; Ann L. Stoler
Physical Details: 340 pp.
Language: English

This dissertation examines how rural public health became politically vital at key moments of national transition from the time of the Netherlands Indies colony in the 1930s to the present post-Suharto moment in Indonesia, bringing about complex changes in local forms of knowledge, authority, and difference in Javanese villages. The study complicates scholarly notions of "colonial medicine" by showing how rural hygiene not only served Dutch moral claims to the philanthropic care of colonized populations, but also arose out of transnational Rockefeller Foundation hookworm prevention projects, contributed to the growing internationalism of public health in the interwar period that was critical of colonialism, and inspired the nation building projects of Indonesian doctors and anti-colonial nationalists in the 1940s and 1950s. Critical to the dissertation is an analysis of the rise of Suharto's New Order state in the aftermath of the 1965-66 anti-communist massacres, during which time elite female family planning labor became positively refigured as part of a "revolutionary struggle" to lower national birthrates. Drawing on a year of ethnography and memory work in Karang Wetan, a former Rockefeller Foundation model village in rural Banyumas, Central Java the dissertation shows how public health tapped into local relations of patronage, modes of public performance, and ideas about development temporality as supplements to power. How people talked about toilets, microscopes, film projectors, and statistics; recalled odors, sensory pleasures, laughter, deference, and shame; and remembered elite health workers, Dutch schoolboys, Japanese soldiers, and revolutionary heroes forms the basis of this study's enriched vision of the past and the many domains of life touched by public health. These memories---expressed through nostalgia, regret, hesitation, and silence---also show something larger about how Javanese conceive of time, history, and the future in the present, post- Suharto period. This study provides critical insight into how public health preventive education techniques, even within "model" health villages, create forms of stratified medicalization that privilege elite authority and access to health care and exclude poorer villagers, who may be marginalized by the very development mechanisms intended to protect their lives.


Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 66/10 (2006): 3703. UMI pub. no. 3192785.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Sufian, Sandra M.; (2007)
Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920--1947 (/isis/citation/CBB000970006/)

Thesis Robert, Julie L.; (2009)
A Nation's Ills: Medico-National Allegory in Quebec, 1940--1970 (/isis/citation/CBB001562870/)

Book Iijima, Wataru; (2005)
Mararia to teikoku: shokuminchi igaku to higashi ajia no koiki chitsujo (/isis/citation/CBB000772583/)

Book Moran, Michelle Therese; (2007)
Colonizing Leprosy: Imperialism and the Politics of Public Health in the United States (/isis/citation/CBB000830138/)

Article Bashford, Alison; (2006)
Global Biopolitics and the History of World Health (/isis/citation/CBB000670851/)

Essay Review Gallagher, Nancy; (2012)
Medicine and Modernity in the Middle East and North Africa (/isis/citation/CBB001566255/)

Book Yip, Ka-che; (2009)
Disease, Colonialism, and the State: Malaria in Modern East Asian History (/isis/citation/CBB001210662/)

Book Bashford, Alison; (2004)
Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health (/isis/citation/CBB000651626/)

Article Edwards, Penny; (2010)
Bitter Pills: Colonialism, Medicine and Nationalism in Burma, 1870--1940 (/isis/citation/CBB001231824/)

Article Alter, Joseph S.; (2007)
Yoga and Physical Education: Swami Kuvalayananda's Nationalist Project (/isis/citation/CBB000850166/)

Thesis Gonzalez, Stephanie; (2014)
The Double-Edged Sword: Smallpox Vaccination and the Politics of Public Health in Cuba (/isis/citation/CBB001567634/)

Article Bourmaud, Philippe; (2013)
Internationalizing Perspectives: Re-Reading Mandate History through a Health Policy Lens (/isis/citation/CBB001213542/)

Article Hsu, Elisabeth; (2013)
Afterword: On Naming and the Politics of Practice (/isis/citation/CBB001213622/)

Book George Makari; (2021)
Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia (/isis/citation/CBB975774620/)

Authors & Contributors
Bourmaud, Philippe
Bashford, Alison
Reichardt, Elliott M.
Seaton, Andrew
Strother, Christian
Gonzalez, Stephanie
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Medical History
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Journal of Burma Studies
International Journal of Middle East Studies
History of the Human Sciences
Emory University
W. W. Norton & Co.
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of North Carolina Press
University of Chicago Press
Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai
Medicine and politics
Public health
Medicine and society
Disease and diseases
Wright, Richard
Sartre, Jean-Paul
Lippmann, Walter
Freud, Sigmund
Fanon, Frantz
Conrad, Joseph
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
21st century
18th century
Middle and Near East
Hong Kong
Myanmar (Burma)
East Asia
Hawaii (U.S.)
Haiti (Caribbean)
League of Nations
National Health Service (Great Britain)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment