In the early 1990s, adat, or Malay custom, became contentious for resurgent Islamicists in Malaysia due to its animist and Hindu remnants. This book focuses on the filmmakers, intellectuals, and writers who reclaimed adat to counter both the homogenizing aspects of resurgent Islamic discourse and globalization. These artists practised their project of reclamation with an emphasis on sexuality, or a return to forms of the archaic, such as magic or traditional healing. Using close textual readings of key literary writings and films, Khoo reveals the tensions between gender, modernity, and the nation.Reclaiming Adat is an important contribution to the field of film, gender, cultural, and postcolonial studies, as well as to Malaysian area studies. It weaves a wealth of cultural theory together with a rare analysis of Malay cinema and the work of new Malaysian anglophone writers. It also provides a glimpse into the complexities of modern Malaysian culture, politics, and identity.
Khoo Gaik Cheng is associate lecturer in the Faculty of Arts, Australian National University in Canberra.
Illustrations Acknowledgments Abbreviations 1 Reclaiming Adat 2 Malay Myth and Changing Attitudes Towards Nationalism: The Hang Tuah/Hang Jebat Debate 3 DissemiNation of Malay/sia 4 Malay/sian Films: Cinema of Denial 5 Representations of the Modern Malay Woman of the 1990s 6 What Is It To Be A Man? Violence in the Time of Modernity Appendix A: Cultural Representations of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat Appendix B: Primary Filmography Appendix C: Secondary Filmography Notes References Index