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Bugging scandals in the Dutch East Indies; The archives as places of secrecy.

Vak
2014-2015

Admission requirements

-

Description

The colonial government attempted to get grip on the society in the Indies in many ways. One powerful way to exert administrative control was via the ever-increasing gathering of information by the colonial civil servants. For a long time all information kept by the colonial authorities was regarded as secret and the archives of the colonial government in the East-Indies were like impregnable bastions. In the second half of the 19th century making public information extracted from government documents without explicit consent was even regarded as theft (Royal Decree, 13 January 1854, nr. 64;). Nevertheless sometimes information was leaked to the press or to others.

In this research seminar we investigate the archives of the offices and services in the Dutch East Indies that gathered information about potential subversive activities. The purpose of the research is twofold:

  • To find out how these services operated and how these services tried to keep their information secret.

  • To investigate information leaks: what happened when sensitive information became public? How did the services react? Did they take measures to prevent future leaks?
    Questions that will be investigated: In what kind of information were the colonial authorities interested? What role did the civil servants play? How did they gather information? How was the transfer of information to the authorities organized? What attempts were made to access government information? What role did the press play in the 19th century colonial (information) world?

Course objectives

  • The ability to independently identify and select sources and interpret and analyse them

  • The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question

  • The ability to give a clear oral and written report on the research results in English

  • The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the specialization Archival Studies and its historiography specifically of archiving processes and practices of the Dutch colonial state in the nineteenth century

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological aspects of the specialization, more specifically of using the theory of records continuum in analyzing the information-gathering processes, the use of information and the archiving processes by the colonial state.

Course specific objectives

  • Knowledge of the most important colonial institutions in the 19th century and a basic knowledge of their archiving culture

Extra course objectives for Res Master Students

  • The ability to interpret a potentially complex corpus of sources

  • The ability to identify new approaches within existing academic debates

  • Knowledge of the interdisciplinary aspects of the specialisation

Mode of instruction

Seminar

Timetable

Timetable History

Course Load

Total: 280 hours

  • Attending seminars and lectures = 28 hours

  • Studying the compulsory literature = 60 hours

  • Time to write a paper (including research) = 192 hours

Assessment method

A paper demonstrating the following skills:

  • The ability to independently identify and select literature and archival sources and interprete and analyse them

  • The ability to independently formulate a clear and well argued research question

  • The ability to give a clear written report on the research results in English

  • The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the specialization and its historiography

  • Knowledge and comprehension of theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialization, more pecifically the theory of the records-continuum

A presentation and participiation in class discussions, demonstrating the following skills:

  • The ability to give a clear oral report on the research results in English

  • The ability to provide constructive academic feedback

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the specialization and its historiography

  • Knowledge and comprehension of theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialization, more specifically the theory of the records-continuum

A review of the selected institutions and their archives demonstrating the following skills:

  • Knowledge of the important colonial institutions in the 19th century and a basic knowledge of their archiving culture

For Res Master Students:
The first two extra course objectives for Research master students are assessed via the review and the paper. The third additional course objective is assessed through their presentation and partcipation

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

Please choose one or more options from the following:

  • paper (70%)

  • presentation (20%)

  • review of selected institutions and archives (10%)

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average combined.
In case of unsatisfactory final grade, the paper can be rewritten and will be reexamined.

Blackboard

Blackboard is used for:

  • Literature

  • Assignments

Reading list

Will be made available via Blackboard

Contact information

dhr. Prof.dr. K.J.P.F.M. Jeurgens