British Borobudur Buddha: Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Orientalist Antiquarianism, and a Material Historiography of Java (1811-1816)
English (United States)
This paper traces a fragmented Buddha head sculpture's travels from Borobudur, Java, Indonesia to the British Museum during East India Company rule in Java (1811-1816) through the life of its collector, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Through an approach informed by historical, archaeological, and anthropological inquiries, I examine how objects can serve as tools for imperial historiography, namely the silencing of subaltern narratives and the legitimization for colonial rule and imperial expansion. Using the Borobudur as a case study, I analyze: 1) British Orientalism in Java, 2) field antiquarianism in colonial contexts, and 3) the role of collections and collectors in representing subaltern identities, placing Java into a Western cartography and evolutionary paradigm of civilizations as collected territory and people of the imaginary construct of the British Empire.
Danaparamita, Aria, "British Borobudur Buddha: Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Orientalist Antiquarianism, and a Material Historiography of Java (1811-1816)" (2013). Honors Theses - All. 1136.
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