Female colonial friendships in early 20th century Java: Exploring new correspondence by Kartini's sisters

Joost Johannes Cote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper explores the nature of an inter-racial relationship that developed between a young Dutch girl, Annie Glaser, and the daughters of the Bupati of Jepara - the sisters of Raden Ajeng Kartini - in Central Java revealed in a recently discovered cache of letters written by the Javanese women, in Dutch, between 1902 and 1915. While throwing further light on the events surrounding the story of Kartini , the paper also shines a light on the ambiguous nature of colonial friendships between women in this period. It suggests that closer reading of this ordinary correspondence reveals the growing sense of national identity that made possible real friendships between European and Indonesian women in colonial Java in the first decades of the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-43
Number of pages23
JournalDutch Crossing: a journal of low countries studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Kartini
  • Java
  • Dutch east indies
  • colonialism
  • Javanese nationalism

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