Incorporating ‘isms’ to Teach about Colonialism and Legacies

Module Summary

The module “Incorporating ‘isms’ to Teach about Colonialism and Legacies” is composed of teaching ideas that allow teachers to incorporate nineteenth century ‘isms’ in the classroom. Nationalism, industrialism/capitalism and imperialism mark the waning days of the traditional ideas of empire building and absolute authority. They also pave the way for the 20th century that brings a surge of new ideas, not to mention new conflicts. Discussion ideas center on the relationship between the Dutch and the Indonesians as an example of the colonial relationship.

This module is based on the presentation by Namji Steinemann (Director, AsiaPacificEd Program, East-West Center) and Gwen Johnson (Teacher, Social Studies Department, Scarsdale High School) at the East-West Center’s 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute for Teachers.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this module do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the East-West Center.

Optional Reading

The optional reading for this module is: Kartini, Raden Ajeng, Letters of a Javanese Princess (London: Duckworth, 1921)

Teaching Materials

Discussion guidelines
Course reading

Key topics include: Batavia/Jakarta, capitalism, Decolonization, democracy, development, Dutch East Indies/Netherlands Indies, European powers, globalization, imperialism / colonialism, independence movements, Mainland Southeast Asia/Island Southeast Asia, nationalism, post-war period, revolution trade and the economy, WWII in Southeast Asia.

We welcome comments from teachers on how you have integrated this material into your teaching, including what was useful and what wasn’t, and what additional resources you would like to see in or recommend for this module.