Premodern island-southeast-asian history in the digital age: Opportunities and challenges through Chinese textual database research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Premodern Southeast Asian history has primarily been predicated upon the exploitation of Chinese written documents. Reliance has been placed on several texts that detail Southeast Asian polities, products, and their respective societies. As indigenously generated sources of data have become available, primarily through archaeology, the trend has been to seek convergence between these two bodies of information. The availability of searchable digital databases has rendered Chinese documents to be open to the discoveries of new information previously unknown to historians of premodern Southeast Asia. This unutilized information has the potential of throwing new light on previously held conclusions. This article seeks to make an argument for the exploitation and potential of digitized Chinese textual databases, through keyword search methodologies, in expanding our understanding of Southeast Asia's past, as well as the potential challenges that need to be addressed so that this new source base can be made sufficiently utilizable for Southeast Asian studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-57
Number of pages29
JournalBijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde
Volume175
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • China-Southeast Asia interactions
  • Chinese digital databases
  • keyword search methodologies
  • premodern Southeast Asia
  • textual digitization
  • textual research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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