The twenty-six scholars contributing to this volume have helped shape the field of Indonesian studies over the last three decades. They represent a broad geographic background—Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Canada—and have studied in a wide array of key disciplines—anthropology, history, linguistics and literature, government and politics, art history, and ethnomusicology. Together they reflect on the “arc of our field,” the development of Indonesian studies over recent tumultuous decades. They consider what has been achieved and what still needs to be accomplished as they interpret the groundbreaking works of their predecessors and colleagues.
This volume is the product of a lively conference sponsored by Cornell University, with contributions revised following those interactions. Not everyone sees the development of Indonesian studies in the same way. Yet one senses—and this collection confirms—that disagreements among its practitioners have fostered a vibrant, resilient intellectual community. Contributors discuss photography and the creation of identity, the power of ethnic pop music, cross-border influences on Indonesian contemporary art, violence in the margins, and the shadows inherent in Indonesian literature. These various perspectives illuminate a diverse nation in flux and provide direction for its future exploration.
Eric Tagliacozzo is Professor of History at Cornell University. He is the author of The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (2013) and Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier (2005). He is also editor of four other books, and has served as director of the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, of the Comparative Muslim Societies Program, and as editor of the journal Indonesia.
These conference participants contributed to this volume, as follows: Anthropology, Marina Welker, Danilyn Rutherford, Kenneth M. George, and Patricia Spyer; Art History, Kaja M. McGowan, Natasha Reichle, E. Edwards McKinnon, and Astri Wright; History, Eric Tagliacozzo, Rudolf Mrázek, Laurie J. Sears, and Jean Gelman-Taylor; Linguistics, Abigail C. Cohn, Jolanda Pandin, Bambang Kaswanti Purwo, Joseph Errington, and Tineke Hellwig; Political Science, Thomas B. Pepinsky, Edward Aspinall, Donald K. Emmerson, and R. William Liddle; and Ethnomusicology, Christopher J. Miller, Martin Hatch, Sumarsam, Marc Perlman, and Andrew N. Weintraub.
This book is an impressive piece of scholarship that addresses the state of the field of Indonesian studies. The book should be of interest to scholars and students of Indonesia and Southeast Asia both in Indonesia and abroad, particularly those in the fields of humanities and social sciences.—Bambang Purwanto, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia