Romantiek in Sarong en Kabaja. De verhouding tussen etniciteit en gender in reisromans geschreven door Nederlandse vrouwen in Indië tussen 1890 en 1940
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This thesis investigates to what extent the women in the autobiographical traveler-novels between 1890 and 1940 stood against the normative, imperial ideas of gender ethnicity in the Dutch Indies. To get an answer to this question, the hypothesis ‘women are part of the colonial system’ was tested by using the method of intersectionality and intertextuality. Intersectionality as method looks at the different axes of inequality, in this case gender and ethnicity. Intertextuality is a reading technique which looks at different levels of interconnection between the text and other texts. Searching for the normative discourse is combined with the Foucauldian concept of Technology of the Self. This poststructuralist concept of Foucault means that people are constructed by discourses but also have the agency to construct their own identity. Therefore the sources were seen as mirrors to the normative gender- and ethnicity discourse as well as actors who had the agency to construct this same discourses. The first chapter gives an overview of the normative discourses of gender and ethnicity in the colony and the Netherlands. In general the women are depending on men and this is the norm in the Orientalist discourse. The second chapter looks at the genre of travel-writing and intertextuality. In Chapter III and IV, the novels are analyzed by questioning focalization, the genre and the discourses of gender and ethnicity between 1890-1915 and 1930-1940. The answer to the main question is ambivalent: the female writers are part of the Dutch, white colonial system but individuals act also against the norm. This thesis will show that the hypothesis does not stand because of the complexity of the position of white women in the colony. The intersectional hypothesis of the reinforcing axes of inequality doesn’t stand either and the conclusion of Mrinalini Sinha of the femininity of local men is revoked in the Dutch Indies.