Dr Farish A. Noor is presently Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the School of History, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. His latest book is Before the Pivot: America’s Encounters with Southeast Asia 1800–1900 (Amsterdam University Press, 2018).

Native Dayaks

Don’t Mention the Corpses: The Erasure of Violence in Colonial Writings on Southeast Asia

History may be written by the victors, but what they conveniently leave out can be more telling. Farish Noor reminds us of the violent side of colonial conquest. “All conquest literature seeks to explain to the conquerors ‘why we are here’.” – Robert Bartlett,The Making of Europe (1993) Among the many outcomes of the colonial…