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Southeast Asia Research Guide: Imperialism, Colonialism, & Nationalism

Southeast Asian Studies resources.

Imperialism, Colonialism, and Nationalism in Southeast Asia

      Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States were the imperialist countries that had colonies in Southeast Asia. Portugal also had a colony in the region but had the least impact. Nationalism arose as the result of political movement, organized to restore the country’s independence. All colonized countries in Southeast Asia became independent by 1965.

Works in English are selected to shed light on how Southeast Asia achieved modernity through structural changes, brought upon by imperialism, colonialism and nationalism, hence resources under Laos, etc. are excluded as they are in French, German, or Dutch. In addition, works on Thailand are included as related to nationalism, despite the fact that Thailand remained independent through the colonial period.

    • FRANCE

      France captured Saigon in 1859, and extended her colony to include Annam, Tongkin, Laos, and Cambodia.

      Burma was under the British rule from the late 19th century until 1948.

      Britain governed the Malay Peninsula as the Straits Settlements until 1957.

      The Indonesian archipelago was colonized by the Dutch during two periods: 1605-1799 by the Dutch East India Company and 1825-1930s by the Dutch government.

      Portugal occupied Malacca from 1511 to 1641, when it was taken over by the Dutch;

      and continued the rule over Timor.
    • SPAIN

      The Philippines was governed by Spain from 1565 until 1898, when Spain was defeated by the United States in the Spanish-American War.

      As a peace settlement with Spain in 1898, the United States occupied the Philippines until her independence in 1946.

General Bibliographies

Hicks, George L. A bibliography of Japanese works on the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, 1914-1945. Hong Kong: Asian Research Service, c1992.

Hobbs, Cecil C. Southeast Asia : an annotated bibliography of selected reference sources. Washington, 1952.

___________. Southeast Asia, 1935-45 : a selected list of reference books. Washington, 1946.

Irikura, James K. Southeast Asia : Selected Annotated Bibliography of Japanese Publications. New Haven, CT : Southeast Asia Studies, Yale University, in association with Human Relations Area Files, 1956.

Marsden, William. Bibliotheca marsdeniana philologica et orientalis. A catalogue of books and manuscripts collected with a view to the general comparison of languages, and to the study of Oriental literature. London, Printed by J. L. Cox, 1827.

Matsui, Masato. Nan’yo = (South Seas) : an annotated bibliography. Honolulu, Hawaii : Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, Council for Japanese Studies, University of Hawaii, 1982.

Shulman, Anna L. (ed) Bibliography of Asian Studies (Online). Ann Arbor, Michigan, Association for Asian Studies. [1998 –].

Roff, William R. Bibliography of Malay and Arabic Periodicals published in the Straits Settlements and peninsular Malay states 1876-1941; with an annotated union list of holdings in Malaysia, Singapore

Tregonning, Kennedy G. Southeast Asia : a critical bibliography (1969)


Dennys, N.B. A descriptive dictionary of British Malaya. London: “LLondon and China Telegraph?Office, 1894.

Cornejo, Miguel R. Cornejo’s Commonwealth directory of the Philippines. Manila : Miguel R. Cornejo, 1939.

Galang, Zoilo M. Encyclopedia of the Philippines. Manila: Exequiel Floro, 1950-1958. 20 v.

___________. Encyclopedia of the Philippines: the library of Philippine literature, art and science. Manila, P. Vera, 1935. 10 v.

Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography. Quezon City, Filipiniana Publications, 1955-1986. 3 v.

Villarroel, Hector K. Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1965.

Stearns, Peter N. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.


Sternstein, Larry and Carl Springer. An annotated bibliography of material concerning Southeast Asia from Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 1855-1966. Bangkok: Siam Society, 1967.

Hill, R. D. Index indochinensis : an English and French index to Revue indochinoise, Extreme-Asie, Extreme-Asie—Revue indochinoise, and La Revue indochinoise juridique et economique. Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, 1983.

Lian The. The Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap: an annotated content analysis. Athens, Ohio University, Center for International Studies, 1973.


Journal of the Burma Research Society. Rangoon : The Society, 1911-1981

Bulletin of the American Historical Collection. Manila : American Association of the Philippines, 1972-

Excursions et reconnaissances. Cochin China. Saigon, 1879-1890.

Georgetown Southeast Asia Survey. Washington, DC: Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Asian Studies Program, [2003] –

Web Resources

The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Sixth edition.

Bibliographies by Country

    • Burma

Fausboll, V. Catalogue of the Mandalay manuscripts in the India Office Library. Woking and London : Gresham Press, 1897. [Reprinted from the Journal of the Pali Text Society]

Hall, D.G.E. "Bibliography of Anglo-Burmese relations." Bulletin of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (Paris) 11 (Oct. 1939): 545-554. [this issue not held by Cornell]

Hobbs, Cecil C. "Reading list on Burma." Far Eastern Quarterly 5 (Nov. 1945): 60-66.

Hosten, H. and E. Luce. Bibliotheca catholica Birmana. Rangoon : British Burma Press, 1915.

Luce, G.H. and Pe Maung Tin. "Burma down to the fall of Pagan : an outline (part I)." Journal of the Burma Research Society 29 (1939): 264-284.

Quigly, Elizabeth P. Some observations on libraries, manuscripts and books of Burma from the 3rdd century A.D. to 1886. London : Arthur Probsthain (1956)

    • Indonesia

Boomgaard, Peter. The colonial past : Dutch sources on Indonesian history. Amsterdam : Royal Tropical Institute, c1991.

Dennys, N.B. "A contribution to Malayan bibliography." Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. no. 5 (June 1880), pp. 69-123 ; no. 6 (December 1880), pp. 225-272

Echols, John M. Preliminary checklist of Indonesian imprints during the Japanese period (March 1942-August 1945) with annotations. Ithaca,N. Y., Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Dept. of Southeast Asian Studies, Cornell University, 1963.

Library of Congress. General Reference and Bibliography Division. Netherlands East Indies, a bibliography of books published after 1930, and periodical articles after 1932, available in U.S. libraries. Washington, 1945.

Rye, E.C. "A bibliography of New Guinea." Royal Geographical Society.Supplementary Papers vol. 1, part 2 (1884), pp. 287-337.


Rony, A. Kohar and Iêda Siqueira Wiarda. The Portuguese in Southeast Asia : Malacca, Moluccas, East Timor. Hamburg : Abera Verlag Meyer & Co., c1997. (Abera bibliographies ; vol. 1.

    • Malaya

Daniel, Padma. "A descriptive catalogue of the books relating to Malaysia in the Raffles Museum & Library, Singapore." Journal of the Malayan Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, vol.19, pt. 3 (Dec. 1941).

Dennys, N.B. "A contribution to Malayan bibliography." Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. no. 5 (June 1880), pp. 69-123 ; no. 6 (December 1880), pp. 225-272.

__________. "Bibliography" in: Dennys, N.B. A descriptive dictionary of British Malaya. London : "London and China Telegraph" Office, 1894, pp. 22-49.

Rony, A. Kohar and Iêda Siqueira Wiarda. The Portuguese in Southeast Asia : Malacca, Moluccas, East Timor. Hamburg : Abera Verlag Meyer & Co., c1997. (Abera bibliographies ; vol. 1)

Solomon, Eli. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles : a comprehensive bibliography. Singapore : Singapore Resource Library, National Library Board, 1997.

Turnbull, C.M. "Bibliography of writings in English on British Malaya, 1786-1867."Journal of the Malayan Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 33, pt. 3 (1960) pp. 327-424.

Winstedt, Richard. "Bibliography" in "A History of classical Malay literature."Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 31, pt. 3 (June 1958) pp. 250-259

    • Philippines

Agoncillo, Teodoro A. Tagalog periodical literature. Manila, 1953.

Bernardo, Gabriel A. Bibliography of Philippine Bibliographies. Quezon City : Ateneo de Manila University, 1968.

______________. Philippine retrospective national bibliography : 1523- 1699. Manila : National Library of the Philippines, 1974.

Bibliography of the Philippine Islands. Library of Congress and the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, 1903.

Cruikshank, Bruce. Filipiniana in Madrid : field notes on five major manuscript collections. Honolulu, HI : Philippine Studies Program, Center for Asia and Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii, 1984.

Houston, Charles, Orville. "Bibliographical Note and Bibliography." Journal of East Asiatic Studies, v. 4, no. 2 (April 1955), pp. 173- 244.

________. "A preliminary bibliography of Philippine anthropology, linguistics, ethnology and archeology." Journal of East Asiatic Studies, v. 2, no. 2 (Jan. 1953), pp. 55-110.

________. Philippine Bibliography. Manila, Philippines : University of Manila, 1960.

Literary index, 1932-1945. Diliman, Quezon City : The Library, University of the Philippines, 1971.

Martinez de Zuniga, Joaquin. Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas, o Mis viajes por este pais. Madrid : M. Minuesa de las Rios, 1893. 2 v. 
The Philippines during the Japanese regime, 1942-1945 : an annotated list of the literature published in or about the Philippines during the Japanese occupation
. Manila, 1945.

Robertson, James Alexander. Bibliography of the Philippine islands, printed and manuscript, preceded by a descriptive account of the most important archives and collections containing Philippina. Cleveland : Arthur H. Clark, 1908 [Reprint : 1970]

Tiamson, Alfredo T. Mindanao-Sulu bibliography : containing published, unpublished manuscripts, and works-in-progress : a preliminary survey ; and W.E. Retana’s Bibliografia de Mindanao (1894). Davao City : Ateneo de Davao, 1970.

Tubangui, Helen R. A Catalog of Filipiniana at Valladolid. Quezon City : Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1973].

Wickberg, E. B. "Spanish records in the Philippine National Archives." American Historical Review 35 (1955) 77-89.

Manila Camagay, Maria Luisa T. Social history of Manila, 1765-1898 : an annotated bibliography. 1989.

    • Vietnam

Jumper, Roy. Bibliography on the political and administrative history of Vietnam, 1802-1962. Saigon: Michigan State University, Vietnam Advisory Group, 1962. [Note: Re-published in 1980 under the title: Vietnam, an annotated bibliography]


Anderson, Benefict R.O’G. (Benedict Richard O’Gorman). The spectre of comparisons: nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the world. London; New York: Verso, 1998.
DS 685 .A737 1998

Antlöv, Hans and Stein Tønnesson. Imperial policy and Southeast Asian nationalism, 1930-1957. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1995.
DS 526.6 .I56 1995

Bastin, John Sturgus, Harry J. Benda. History of modern Southeast Asia: colonialism, nationalism, and decolonization. Sydney: Prentice-Hall of Australia, 1977.
DS 511. B34 1977

Christie, Clive J. A modern history of Southeast Asia: decolonization, nationalism and separatism. London: New York: Tauris Academic Studies, 1996.
DS 526.7 .C475 1996

Engelbert, Thomas and Andreas Schneider (ed). Ethinic minorities and nationalism in Southeast Asia: festschrift, dedicated to Hans Dieter Kubitscheck. Frankfurt am Main; New York: Peter Lang, 2000.
DS 523.3 .E86 2000

Christie, Clive J. A modern history of Southeast Asia: decolonization, nationalism and separatism. London: New York: Tauris Academic Studies, 1996.
DS 526.7 .C475 1996

Connors, Michael Kelly. Democracy and national identity in Thailand. New York; London: Routledge Curzon, 2003.
DS 568 .C636 2003

Emerson, Rupert. Malaysia: a study in direct and indirect rule. Kuala Lumpur, University of Malaya Press, 1964.
DS 592 .E5 1937a

Go, Julian and Anne L. Foster. (ed) American colonial states in the Philippines: global perspectives. Durham, Duke University Press, c2003.
E 183.8 .P6 A46 2003

Goto, Kenichi. (edited and with an introduction by Paul H. Kratoska). Tensions of empire: Japan and Southeast Asia in the colonial and post-colonial world. Athens, Ohio University Press, 2003,

Kahin, George McTurnan. Nationalism and revolution in Indonesia. Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 2003.
DS 644. K32 2003

Kuhnt-Saptodewo, Sri, Volker Grabowsky and Martin Grossheim. (ed) Nationalism and cultural revival in Southeast Asia: perspectives from the center and the region. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1997.
DS 525.7 .N38 1997

McCoy, Alfred W. Southeast Asia under Japanese occupation. New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, c. 1980.
DS 518 .45 .s6

Marr, David G. Vietnamese anticolonialism, 1885-1925. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1971.
DS 557 .A5 M228 1971

Reid, Anthony. Southeast Asia in the early modern era: trade, power and belief. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993.
DS 526.4 .S68 1993

Rizal, Jose. The lost Eden: (Noli me tangere), translated by Leon Ma.
New York: Norton, 1968. c1961.
PQ 8897 .R5 N513 1968

Roff, William R. The origin of Malay nationalism. Kuala Lumpur; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
DS 596.5 .R6 1994

Tarling, Nicholas. Nationalism in Southeast Asia: if the people are with us. London; New York: Routledge Curzon, 2004.
DS 526.6 .T37 2004

Tarling, Nicholas. Imperialism in Southeast Asia: “a fleeting, passing phase.”London; New York: Routledge, 2001.
DS 526.4 .T373 2001

Von der Mehden, Fred R. South-East Asia, 1930-1970; the legacy of colonialism and nationalism. New York, Norton [1974].
DS 518.1 .V66 1974

Wessel, Ingrid (ed). Nationalism and ethnicity in Southeast Asia: proceedings of the conference “Nationalism and Ethinicity in Southeast Asia” at Humboldt University, Berlin, October 1993. Münster: LIT, c 1994. 2v.
DS 525.7 .N37 1993

Winichakul, Thongchai. Siam mapped: a history of the geo-body of a nation. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, c1994.
DS 563.9 .T47 1994

prepared by Chintana Takahashi