Boomgaard, Peter 1946-
BOOMGAARD, Peter 1946-
PERSONAL: Born November 6, 1946. Education: Free University of Amsterdam, Ph.D. (history), 1987.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology, Reuvensplaats 2, 2311 BE Leiden, Netherlands; and Postbus 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV), Leiden, the Netherlands, senior researcher, 1991—; Centre for Asian Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, professor of economic and environmental history of Southeast Asia, 1994—.
(With Wiert Jan Wieringa) Exercities in ons verleden: twaalf opstellen over economische en sociale geschiedenis van Nederland en koloniën, 1800-1950, Van Gorcum (Assen, Netherlands), 1981.
Between Sovereign Domain and Servile Tenure: TheDevelopment of Rights to Land in Java, 1780-1870, Free University Press (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1989.
Children of the Colonial State: Population Growth and Economic Development in Java, 1795-1880, Centre for Asian Studies (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1989.
(Editor with Hansten Brummelhuis) Rosanne Rutten, Artisans and Entrepreneurs in the Rural Philippines: Making a Living and Gaining Wealth in Two Commercialized Crafts, Vu University Press (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1990.
(Editor with J. L. van Zanden) Food Crops and ArableLands, Java 1815-1942 (Volume 10 of "Changing Economy in Indonesia" series), Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1990.
(Editor with others) Population Trends, 1795-1942 (Volume 11 of "Changing Economy in Indonesia" series), Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands).
(Editor) The Colonial Past: Dutch Sources on Indonesian History ("Changing Economy in Indonesia" series), Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), 1991.
(Editor with Paul Alexander and Ben White) In theShadow of Agriculture: Non-Farm Activities in the Javanese Economy, Past and Present ("Changing Economy in Indonesia" series), Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1991.
(Editor with Rosalia Sciortino and Ines Smyth) HealthCare in Java: Past and Present, KITLV Press (Leiden, the Netherlands), 1996.
Forests and Forestry 1823-1941 (Volume 16 of "Changing Economy in Indonesia" series), Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1996.
(With Harry A. Poeze and Gerard Termorshuizen) God in Indiëe: bekeringsverhalen uit de negentiende eeuw, KITLV Press (Leiden, Netherlands), 1997.
(Editor) David Henley and Freek Colombijn, PaperLandscapes: Explorations in the EnvironmentalHistory of Indonesia, KITLV Press (Leiden, Netherlands), 1997.
Editor with Ian Brown) Weathering the Storm: TheEconomies of Southeast Asia in the 1930s Depression, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Pasir Panjang, Singapore), 2000.
(With Jannek van Dijk) Het Indië boek, Waanders (Zwolle, the Netherlands), 2001.
Contributor to books, including Asian Population History, edited by Ts'ui-jung Lieu and others, Oxford University Press, 2001; and to periodicals, including Environment and History.
SIDELIGHTS: Peter Boomgaard is a Netherlands-based researcher and the author and editor of works that study the history, development, and cultures of Southeast Asia. Journal of Asian Studies reviewer Robert W. Hefner wrote that in Children of the Colonial State: Population Growth and Economic Development in Java, 1795-1880 Boomgaard "seeks to amend the demographic portion of the Java development story. To do so effectively, he is obliged to reassess everything from tenurial traditions and administrative policy to cropping patterns and native sexuality. Boomgaard politely observes that most of the well-known classics of modern Javanese history base their accounts on what is, at best, a superficial reading of extant historical sources, one that reinforces a distinctly 'civil-servant' understanding of Java's history."
Norman G. Owen wrote in Pacific Affairs that he found many of Boomgaard's calculations "quite convincing, particularly with regard to the economy, to which the Dutch clearly paid more attention than to population." Children of the Colonial State was described by Christopher Wake in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies as "the most detailed and comprehensive examination, to date, of the demography and economic output of nineteenth-century Javanese society, bringing together themes which the author has explored in a series of publications over the past decade."
Boomgaard has coedited several volumes in a series published by the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies contributor Anne Booth reviewing Food Crops and Arable Lands, Java 1815-1942, wrote that "because of the varying quality of the data over the 127 years covered by this volume, some care must be taken in the construction of long time series on, for example, rice production per capita or food crop production per capita. Like most scholars who have ventured into these rather treacherous waters before them, the editors are properly cautious about constructing such time series, but in the end they find the temptation irresistible." Booth pointed out that the quality and quantity of data for Java are far better than for other parts of the region and felt that this volume should prompt scholars studying demographics and agriculture in less-well-documented areas and countries "to do what they can with the more meager statistical material which is available to them."
The Colonial Past: Dutch Sources on Indonesia History contains surveys of eight topics, including journalism, periodicals, foreign-trade statistics, agricultural and health data, the Colonial Report, and the economy. Included is a list of pre-World War II Dutch-language Indonesian newspapers available in the Netherlands, as well as a list of newspapers available only in Indonesia. Paul W. Van der Veur wrote in Pacific Affairs that those interested in the colonial period "will find this small publication most valuable and informative."
In the Shadow of Agriculture: Non-Farm Activities in the Javanese Economy, Past and Present is a collection of papers that study the statistical data on rural workers regarding their participation in farm and nonfarm economies. A central question posed here is whether nonfarm income is incidental to farm or "real" income or whether this additional income was the single-most significant factor in preventing starvation for much of the rural population.
G. R. Knight noted in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies that "this 'sidelining' of nonagricultural activities and income has a particular impact on our understanding of the role of women within the economic life of the rural Javanese community. In their Introduction, to In the Shadow of Agriculture, the editors argue, with reference to the early twentieth century, that 'it is equally clear that nonfarm work was not essentially a "sideline" occupation for women from households which were primarily engaged in agriculture: approximately equal numbers of men and women were involved and only a quarter of them owned land.'" Knight concluded by saying that this volume "will be of considerable interest to students and researchers alike."
Health Care in Java: Past and Present contains ten papers first presented at a 1992 workshop sponsored by the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV) and the European Social Science Java Network. The papers fall under three headings: "Colonial Background," "'Traditional' Conceptions," and "Present-Day Health Care," with half of the papers focusing on the last. The contributors write about rural medicine, maternal and infant mortality, family planning, health risks, and the increase in the number of nurses that entered the profession through mission activity. "The papers on present-day health care affirm underlying truths and realities of Javanese society and avoid the puffed-up pronouncements of the Indonesian government," commented Robert van Niel in Journal of Asian Studies.
Paper Landscapes: Explorations in the Environmental History of Indonesia contains revised versions of papers presented at the 1996 workshop "Man and Environment in Indonesia, 1500-1950." Greg Bankoff wrote in Pacific Affairs that "while a geographical focus on the Indonesian archipelago (and by extension peninsular and East Malaysia) from 1500 provides a loose theme for the collection of papers, most of the contributors also exhibit an underlying concern with sustainable resource use. At times, however, it appears that the degree of sustainability acts as the implied moral benchmark against which all human/environmental interactions are to be measured."
Frontiers of Fear: Tigers and People in the Malay World is a tribute to the tiger of the Malay region. Boomgaard includes the various classifications and studies the effect of tiger depredations on humans and livestock, the trapping and hunting of the big cats, and the bounty system. Ritual involving tigers is covered, as well as the idea of the tiger as the feline counterpart of the werewolf. Written for general readers, the volume contains 500 references and twenty-four pages of endnotes. Choice reviewer H. N. Cunningham, Jr., called it "a well-researched book on a specialized topic."
In a Chronicle of Higher Education review, Nina C. Ayoub said that Boomgaard's tigers "are more than faunal scenery. They are protagonists in a tale of tiger history beyond the stripe of metaphor. It's human history too. Tigers and people mix warily, each learning from the actions of the other." Times Literary Supplement contributor Anthony Milner wrote that Boomgaard suggests "that the phenomenon of the maneating tiger arose because of the particular circumstances of the late nineteenth century in Java." As land was reclaimed, the tiger could not find sufficient food and turned to eating humans. When this food supply was adequate, the cats hunted by day, but when human prey became scarce, the tiger became a nocturnal stalker. Europeans, and particularly the British, engaged in tiger hunting, but purportedly the Dutch finally banned the practice in the twentieth century "because the tiger always lost" and because the Dutch didn't enjoy killing the cats as much as the English did.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Ethnologist, August, 1993, Norbert Dannhaeuser, review of Artisans and Entrepreneurs in the Rural Philippines: Making a Living and Gaining Wealth in Two Commercialized Crafts, pp. 652-654.
Choice, May, 2002, H. N. Cunningham, Jr., review of Frontiers of Fear: Tigers and People in the Malay World, 1600-1950, p. 1614.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Nina C. Ayoub, review of Frontiers of Fear, p. A18.
Journal of Asian Studies, February, 1992, Robert W. Hefner, review of Children of the Colonial State: Population Growth and Economic Development in Java, 1795-1880, pp. 204-206; November, 1997, Robert van Niel, review of Health Care in Java: Past and Present, pp. 1153-1155.
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, March, 1992, Christopher Wake, review of Children of the Colonial State, pp. 169-171; September, 1992, Philip Guest, review of Population Trends, 1795-1942, p. 444; March, 1994, G. R. Knight, review of In the Shadow of Agriculture: Non-Farm Activities in the Javanese Economy, Past and Present, p. 188, Anne Booth, review of Food Crops and Arable Lands, Java 1815-1942, p. 192.
Pacific Affairs, fall, 1990, Norman G. Owen, review of Children of the Colonial State, pp. 422-423; fall, 1993, Paul W. Van der Veur, review of TheColonial Past: Dutch Sources on Indonesian History, p. 468; fall, 1999, Greg Bankoff, review of Paper Landscapes: Explorations in the Environmental History of Indonesia, pp. 473-474.
Times Literary Supplement, Anthony Milner, review of Frontiers of Fear, p. 26.*