7 Aug 2015: Penang historical talks & exhibition (Aug 2015)

Please join us for two talks on 15 & 16 August and an exhibition from 13–16 August, 2015. The talks are organised by the Penang Heritage Trust and the exhibition is organised by Areca Books as part of the Butterworth Fringe Festival. Entrance is free for all events. Seats for the talk are limited; please RSVP via email to info@pht.org.my or call 604-2642631.
  • James R. Logan, A Polymath on a Province Wellesley Plantation
  • Early Views of Province Wellesley
  • 100 Images of Province Wellesley Exhibition

James R. Logan, A Polymath on a Province Wellesley Plantation
Date: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM
Venue: 1st floor, Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant, 2985 Jalan Bagan Luar, Butterworth
Near the site of Butterworth Fringe Festival, Jalan Jeti Lama
Speaker: Dr Gerrell Drawhorn

James Richardson Logan (1819–1869) has a monument erected in his honor in front of the court house in Penang. But who was this man and why did the government abhor him while locals of all races loved him? And what was his special connection to Seberang Prai? Logan was a lawyer, newspaper editor, a plantation owner, a philanthropist, a geologist, a climate change theorist, a linguist, a cultural evolutionary theorist, an explorer, and one of the first to collect cultural information on the orang asli. He was the editor of the Pinang Gazette and the founder and editor of the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, better known as ‘Logan’s Journals’. In addition, he was one of Province Wellesley’s largest landowners. This talk will open a window on Logan, his era, and the significance he may hold for understanding science and politics in Malay Settlements during the Victorian period.

Early Views of Province Wellesley
Date: Sunday, August 16, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM
Venue: 1st floor, Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant, 2985 Jalan Bagan Luar, Butterworth
Near the site of Butterworth Fringe Festival, Jalan Jeti Lama
Speaker: Khoo Salma Nasution

“From Pinang [island] one sees its broad stretches of bright green sugar-cane and the chimneys of its sugar factories, and it grows rice and cocoa-nuts”, wrote Isabella Bird, describing the view of Seberang Perai or Province Wellesley in 1883. Prehistoric remains testify to long human habitation leading to a Buddhist-Hindu period. Carved out of the Kedah kingdom in 1800, the landscape of Province Wellesley was dramatically transformed into cultivated rice-fields and plantations in the nineteenth century. Using one hundred photographs, paintings and maps, the speaker attempts to trace the development of Seberang Perai in terms of early explorations, land and water transport, urbanisation, agriculture and industry.

100 Images of Province Wellesley Exhibition

Date: August 13–16, 2015
Time: 11 AM–10 PM
Venue: 19, Jalan Jeti Lama, Butterworth

About the speakers

  • Dr. Gerrell Drawhorn is a UC Berkeley and UC Davis graduate in Biological Anthropology. His publications range from Tree Shrews, the relationships of the earliest hominins to his Ph.D. dissertation on Fossil Orangutans. His interests in the history of evolutionary thought and Alfred Russel Wallace led him to discover the long neglected 19th century writings of James Richardson Logan, a man who could be called Malaysia’s first evolutionary scientist. Dr. Drawhorn currently teaches at California State University in Sacramento.
  • Khoo Salma Nasution, nee Khoo Su Nin is a writer, publisher and heritage advocate and an Asian Public Intellectual Fellow. She has been involved in heritage since 1989, first as Honorary Secretary then as President of the Penang Heritage Trust, and through her stewardship of the Sun Yat Sen Museum Penang. She is a co-founder of Areca Books. She has authored or co-authored a dozen books, such as: The Streets of George Town, Penang (1993), Kinta Valley (2005) and Redoubtable Reformer, The Life and Times of Cheah Cheang Lim (2015). Her recent book, The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957 (2014), won the ICAS Book Prize 2015, Colleague’s Choice Award.