Latest publications:

Diari stories and Pakpak storytelling

A storytelling tradition from the North Sumatran rainforest

Brakel-Papenhuyzen, Clara

This study of traditional literature in Pakpak-Dairi, an endangered North Sumatran language, is based on written and oral versions of stories. Discussing the views of well-known scholars of Sumatran languages, the book includes the texts of seven stories which were collected in North Sumatra by the well-known linguist Herman Neubronner van der Tuuk (1824-1894) and are kept in Leiden University Library.
The book also contains a story performed in the village of Sukarame by Sonang Sit... more


Religion and Architecture in Premodern Indonesia

Studies in Spatial Anthropology

Domenig, Gaudenz

In his richly illustrated Religion and Architecture in Premodern Indonesia Gaudenz Domenig investigates the nature of Indonesian ethnic religions by focusing on land opening rituals, sacred groves, and architectural responses to the custom of presenting offerings. Since deities and spirits were supposed to taste offerings on the spot, it was a task of architecture to attract them and to guide them into houses where offerings were presented.
Domenig quotes numerous sourc... more


Dutch Commerce and Chinese Merchants in Java

Colonial Relationships in Trade and Finance, 1800-1942

Claver, Alexander

Trading enterprise figures prominently in Indonesian history. Commercial activities penetrated deep into the economy, politics and society of the former Netherlands Indies. Dutch Commerce and Chinese Merchants in Java describes this, largely forgotten, world of commerce. During the period 1800-1942 this vanished world was, however, bustling. Merchants of very different background and stature cooperated and competed with each other. Trading relations were forged and dissolved, contra... more


The Making of Middle Indonesia

Middle Classes in Kupang town, 1930s-1980s

Klinken, Gerry van

What holds Indonesia together? 'A strong leader' is the answer most often given. This book looks instead at a middle level of society. Middle classes in provincial towns around the vast archipelago mediate between the state and society and help to constitute state power. 'Middle Indonesia' is a social zone connecting extremes. The Making of Middle Indonesia examines the rise of an indigenous middle class in one provincial town far removed from the capital city. Spanning the late col... more


Sonic Modernities in the Malay World

A History of Popular Music, Social Distinction and Novel Lifestyles (1930s – 2000s)

Barendregt, B.

Sonic Modernities situates Southeast Asian popular music in specific socio-historical settings, hoping that a focus on popular culture and history may shed light on how some people in a particular part of the world have been witnessing the emergence of all things modern. In its focus on pioneering artists, their creative use of new genres and border crossing technologies it aims at a rewriting of Southeast Asia’s twentieth century from the perspective of popular music makers, ... more


In Search of Middle Indonesia (Open Access)

Middle Classes in Provincial Towns

Klinken, Gerry and Ward Berenschot (eds.)

The post-1998 surge in local politics has moved the provincial town back to centre stage. This book examines the Indonesian middle class (now 43%!) up close in the place where its members are most at home: the town. Middle Indonesia generates national political forces, yet it is neither particularly rich nor geographically central. This is an overwhelmingly lower middle class, a conservative petty bourgeoisie barely out of poverty and tied to the state. Middle Indonesia rather resists than... more


Under Construction

The Politics of Urban Space and Housing during the Decolonization of Indonesia, 1930-1960

Colombijn, Freek

Freek Colombijn, with the assistance of Martine Barwegen

Freek Colombijn examines the social changes in Indonesian cities during the process of decolonization. That process had major repercussions for urban society. These social changes are studied from the angle of urban space in general, and the provision of housing in particular. This provides fresh insight into how people experienced decolonization.
The author challenges the idea that a shift from ethnic to class differe... more


Dutch Scholarship in the Age of Empire and Beyond

KITLV - The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, 1851-2011

Kuitenbrouwer, Maarten. Translated by Lorri Granger. Edited by Harry A. Poeze

How was the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), which at its inception in 1851 had fewer than a hundred members and only one part-time employee, able to flourish to become, around the turn of the twenty-first century, a modern, professional institute with 1,800 members with a staff of more than fifty employees.
The Institute was founded with support from the highest political and official circles to gather scholarly information about the Dut... more


Recollecting Resonances (Open Access)

Indonesian-Dutch Musical Encounters

Barendregt, B., Els Bogaerts (eds.)

Edited by Bart Barendregt, University of Leiden and Els Bogaerts

Over time Dutch and Indonesian composers, performers and music scholars have inspired each other and they continue to do so. The presence of the Dutch in the Netherlands East-Indies and Indonesia, but also the existence of large diasporic communities in the Netherlands have contributed to a mutual exchange in musical terms: from military brass bands, classical and liturgical music to jazz, Indo rock and more re... more


Geweld in de West

Een militaire geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Atlantische wereld, 1600-1800

Enthoven, Victor, Henk den Heijer, Han Jordaan

In Geweld in de West bieden tien auteurs onder redactie van Victor Enthoven, Henk den Heijer en Han Jordaan een overzicht van het Nederlandse militaire optreden in het Atlantische gebied tussen 1600 en 1800. De verovering van Indiaanse gebieden, de strijd tussen rivaliserende Europese machten en de gewelddadige slavenhandel zijn diep verankerd in de Atlantische geschiedenis. Ook Nederland heeft daaraan zijn steentje bijgedragen, maar daar is weinig over bekend. In dit boek worden di... more


Following the Cap-Figure in Majapahit Temple Reliefs

A New Look at the Religious Function of East Javanese Temples, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Kieven, Lydia

Following male figures wearing a cap (cap-figures) in temple reliefs of the Javanese Majapahit period (ca. 1300-1500) leads to astonishing results on their meaning and function. The cap-figures, representing commoners, servants, warriors, noblemen, and most significantly Prince Panji, the hero from the East Javanese Panji stories, are unique to depictions of non-Indic narratives. The cap-figure constitutes a prominent example of Majapahit’s creativity in new concepts of art, literatu... more


Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasāntaka

An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations

Edited, translated and annotated by Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas Hunter, and Margaret Fletcher

Mpu Monaguṇa's early thirteenth century epic poem Sumanasāntaka is a vernacular rendering of Kālidāsa's story of Prince Aja and Princess Indumatī told in the Raghuvaṃśa. In it the poet exploits his source narrative to describe and comment on the Javanese world of his times. In Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasāntaka the authors offer an edited text and translation of Mpu Monaguṇa's epic kakawin and extensive commentary on the editing of the manuscripts and history of the poem and its story, the relat... more


A Dictionary of the Kedang Language


Samely U.B., and R.H. Barnes. With the assistance of A. Sio Amuntoda and M. Suda Apelabi

A Dictionary of the Kedang Language presents the first extensive published record of an Austronesian language on the remote Eastern Indonesian island of Lembata. A special interest of the dictionary resides in the fact that Kedang lies on the boundary line between Austronesian and Papuan languages in Eastern Indonesia. The Kedang entries are translated first into Indonesian and then into English. For ease of access, finder lists are provided in Indonesian and in English. The Introduction s... more


Culture, Power, and Authoritarianism in the Indonesian State

Cultural Policy across the Twentieth Century to the Reform Era

Jones, Tod

Culture, Power, and Authoritarianism in the Indonesian State is a critical history of cultural policy in one of the world’s most diverse nations across the tumultuous twentieth century. It charts the influence of momentous political changes on the cultural policies of successive states, including colonial government, Japanese occupation, the killing and repression of the left and their affiliates, and the return of representative government, and examines broader social chang... more


Making a Living between Crises and Ceremonies in Tana Toraja

The Practice of Everyday Life of a South Sulawesi Highland Community in Indonesia

Jong, Edwin B.P. de

The practice of everyday life in Tana Toraja (South Sulawesi, Indonesia) is structured by a series of public events, of which funerals are the most important. Even after Indonesia was hit by an economic crisis in the late 1990s, thousands of extravagant funeral ceremonies, requiring huge expenditures, were still organized each year. To understand the paradoxes and complexities of Torajan livelihoods.
Edwin de Jong develops an approach that goes beyond existing economically biased p... more


A Few Poorly Organized Men

Interreligious Violence in Poso, Indonesia

McRae, Dave

Despite no prior history of recent unrest, Poso, from 1998-2007, became the site of the most protracted inter-religious conflict in postauthoritarian Indonesia, as well as one of the most important theatres of operations for the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network. Nine years of violent conflict between Christians and Muslims in Poso elevated a previously little known district in eastern Indonesia to national and global prominence. Drawing on a decade of research, for the most part c... more


Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname (deel 2)

De Okaanse samenleving in de negentiende en twintigste eeuw

Wilhelmina van Wetering en H.U.E. Thoden van Velzen

In 2011 verscheen Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname; De Okaanse samenleving in de 18e eeuw. Het vertelt de geschiedenis van slaven die in de achttiende eeuw de plantages ontvluchtten om diep in het regenwoud, in het zuidoosten van Suriname, een nieuwe samenleving op te bouwen. Deze Marrons, zoals de ontsnapte slaven werden genoemd, sloten in 1760 een vredesverdrag met de planters. Zij noemden zich Okanisi. Hier, in dit tweede deel van deze historie, wordt verslag gedaan van de gebeur... more


Commodities and Colonialism

The Story of Big Sugar in Indonesia, 1880-1942

Knight, G. Roger

Sugar yesterday was what oil is today: a commodity of immense global importance whose tentacles reached deep into politics, society and economy. Indonesia’s colonial-era sugar industry is largely forgotten today, except by a small number of regional specialists writing for a specialist audience. During the period 1880-1942 covered by this book, however, the then Netherlands Indies was one of the world’s very greatest producer-exporters of the commodity. How it contrived to do s... more


Lachen, huilen, bevrijden

De weerspiegeling van de Surinaamse samenleving in het werk van het Doe-theater, 1970-1983

Ockhorst, Annika

Met medewerking van Thea Doelwijt

Met de cabaret-musical Land te koop nemen Thea Doelwijt en Henk Tjon het Surinaamse en Nederlandse publiek in 1973 mee op ontdekkingsreis door Suriname. Na het succes van deze voorstellingenreeks richt het duo een vast gezelschap op: het Doe-theater. In de tien jaar die volgen groeit dit theatergezelschap uit tot een begrip in Suriname. Het Doe-theater streeft een professionele ... more


Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname

De Okaanse samenleving in de achttiende eeuw

Thoden van Velzen, H.U.E. en Wim Hoogbergen

Waar plantages en slaven zijn, vluchten slaven van plantages. Al vrij snel na de stichting van de plantagekolonie Suriname (1651) ontsnapten Afrikaanse slaven om een menswaardig bestaan op te bouwen in het immense regenwoud. Zij vestigden zich in het labyrint van kreken en rivieren en voerden vandaar een felle guerrilla tegen de blanke planters. Een van deze groepen Marrons, zoals de gevluchte slaven in de literatuur bekend staan, is de Okanisi.
Een ... more