Ummah Yet Proletariat: Islam and Marxism in the Netherlands East Indies and Indonesia, 1915 – 1959

Ummah Yet Proletariat: Islam and Marxism in the Netherlands East Indies and Indonesia, 1915 – 1959
Lin Hongxuan

Summary

This dissertation explores the relationship between Islam and Marxism in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) and Indonesia from the publication of the first Communist periodical in 1915 to the end of parliamentary democracy in 1959. It explores various permutations of how Muslim identity and Marxist analytical frameworks coexisted in the minds of Indonesian nationalists, as well as how individuals’ Islamic faith and ethics shaped their willingness to employ Marxist ideas. Such confluences have long been obscured by state-driven narratives which demonize Marxism and posit the mutual exclusivity of Islam and Marxism. By examining Indonesian-language print culture, including newspapers, books, pamphlets, memoirs, novels, plays, and poetry, this dissertation shows how deeply embedded confluences of Islam and Marxism were in the Indonesian nationalist project, even at its highest levels. Ultimately, this dissertation argues these confluences were the product of Indonesian participation in broader networks of intellectual exchange across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and that such confluences were the result of Indonesians “translating” the world to Indonesia, a project of creative adaptation ambitious in both its scope and depth.

Author

Lin Hongxuan

Defended in

2020

PhD defended at

University of Washington, Seattle

Specialisation

Humanities

Region

Southeast Asia
Indonesia

Theme

History