World History Association 7
Litrel’s study of Lusophone records of Dutch Brazil in the seventeenth century and Mitchell’s analysis of ethnography in South Africa reveal poly-colonial spaces: there were multiple layers of European settler presence. Therefore, these layers affect how indigenous populations interact with colonial forces, and how colonial forces interact with one another. In Noseworthy’s study of modern Cambodia, the spaces of authority were additionally complex because in-between migrant populations loyal to external religious authorities positioned themselves locally, nuancing the familiar indigenous-European framework. In each case, we gain a greater sense of the complex ways that loyalties shifted because of transnational movements—of people and of ideas; of how loyalties were interpreted as bound to specific social or political identities; and of how betrayals might be interpreted as an aspect of identity.
Taken together, the cases ask: What are the dimensions of betrayals, and how do they arise? Do betrayals result in shifting loyalties? What are some other causes of loyalties shifting, besides betrayal? When loyalties shift, what new structures are created? Are there previous loyalties that are maintained, and why? In each case, we suggest that loyalties themselves must be interpreted with layered meanings and are never even simply bidirectional, let alone monodirectional, relations.