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Life and Times: The Temporal Habitations of R. A. Kartini

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AbstractThis article explores the remarkable temporal perceptions and attempted historical habitations of a young Javanese noblewoman at the turn of the century in the Dutch East Indies. It examines the ways in which this young woman used the concepts of relative temporality, civilizational evolution, and stagist histories to challenge both the imposition of Dutch colonialism and the conventions of her indigenous culture. Her vivid and thoughtful correspondences reveal a greatly expanded realm of human agency with regard to perceived temporality and one’s mobility within evolutionary time. She demonstrated a much understudied aspect of colonial resistance that is at the heart of the temporal concept of modernity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, Creighton


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