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Kartini: open access edition now available

By April 20, 2021 September 1st, 2023 No Comments

Monash University Publishing is delighted to announce that Kartini: The Complete Writings 1898–1904, edited and translated by Joost Coté, is now available through open access via Bridges, Monash University’s institutional research repository. With the open access release timed to coincide with the Indonesian national holiday Kartini Day on 21 April, Coté’s book is an essential resource for scholars and students around the world of Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879–1904) and her place in Indonesian history. Kartini is the latest Monash University Publishing scholarly title to be made available through open access soon after print publication, ensuring that the reach and readership of these works is maximised.


A note from Joost Coté

I am very pleased to learn that Monash University Publishing has decided to make this extensive collection of the writings of Raden Ajeng Kartini available free to a global readership. Kartini: The Complete Writings 1898–1904 demonstrates how Kartini strategically employed correspondence at the beginning of the 20th century to generate a wide circle of influential contacts in her campaign to gain political attention and support for her campaign for Javanese emancipation. The volume also reveals the many literary modes through which Kartini gave voice to her aims and ideals, as a writer of ethnographic papers and political tracts, and author of a number of published short stories. Not least, it reveals a Javanese intellectual widely read in contemporary Dutch literary and political genres. Reading Kartini will make clear why the world should remember her.


About the book

In Indonesia, the legacy of Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879–1904) is celebrated on Kartini Day, 21 April, every year. Around the world Kartini is recognised as a major figure in the history of the advancement of women: a tireless and effective advocate of women’s education and emancipation. However, this is the first complete and unexpurgated collection of Kartini’s published articles, memoranda and correspondence ever published in any language.

This collection reveals Kartin’s importance as a pioneer of the Indonesian nationalist movement. Claiming in her letters and petitions her people’s right to national autonomy well before her male compatriots did so publicly, Kartini used her writing in an attempt to educate the Netherlands and Dutch colonialists about Java and the aspirations of its people. Had she lived, she would have been one of Indonesia’s leading pre-independence writers as well as an educationist. In 1964 she was elevated to the status of national hero by Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. She has become one of the most well known Asian figures in the international women’s movement.

The product of several decades’ study and based on archival sources, Kartini is extensively annotated and provided with an authoritative historical introduction by one of the world’s leading Kartini authorities. This work will be the essential resource for scholars and students of Kartini and her place in Indonesian history, around the world, for many years to come.


About the editor and translator

Dr Joost Coté is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of History at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He has researched and published widely on early 20th century colonial modernity in the Netherlands East Indies and has written about Kartini over several decades. He has previously published three translated and annotated collections of correspondence by Kartini and her sisters.


Access the open access edition of Kartini here.


The paperback edition of Kartini is available for purchase from our online store:

  • Kartini

    Edited and translated by Joost Coté
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