Ahimsa-Putra, Heddy Shri

Heddy Shri Ahimsa-Putra is Professor in Anthropology at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is currently the head of Senate of Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, UGM. He is also senior researcher at Pusat Studi Pariwisata (Tourism Studies Centre), UGM, and Pusat Studi Kebudayaan (Centre for the Studies of Culture), UGM. He was the head of the doctorate program for humanities at Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, UGM (2008-2012). He graduated from Columbia University, New York City, (1993) where he received his M.A (1986) and M.Phil (1989). He also had studied anthropology at Rijksuniversiteti Leiden (1980-1982) as part of his master program at Universitas Indonesia. His interest in anthropology includes: philosophical and theoretical anthropology, political anthropology, ecological anthropology and -in the last twenty years- anthropology of tourism. Books he has written are: (1) Keluarga Ngadimin and Others (in Japanese), (2) Minawang: Hubungan Patron-Klien di Sulawesi Selatan (Minawang: Patron-Client Relationship in South Sulawesi); (3) Levi-Strauss, Mitos dan Karya Sastra (Levi-Strauss, Myth and Literature). Books he has edi-ted, in which he also is a writer, are among others: (1) Ketika Orang Jawa Nyeni; (2) Ekonomi Moral, Rasio-nal dan Politik dalam Industri Kecil di Jawa; (3) Masyarakat Melayu dan Budaya Melayu dalam Perubahan; (4) Esei-esei Antropologi: Teori, Metode dan Etnografi. Heddy or Ahimsa –as is known in Leiden at that time- is now doing library research for his book on paradigm in social science, especially in anthropology.

Aliabbas, Anton

Anton Aliabbas is a former Indonesian journalist for almost 10 years who has covered politics, defence and military. In the past six years, he was an associate faculty member at Indonesian Defence University, Paramadina University and Binus International University. He is also a member of the defence epistemic community in promoting democracy and security sector reform in Indonesia. He has involved in several research projects regarding conflict and security matters. Aside from being a lecturer, Anton has served as an expert staff for the Indonesian Member of Parliament. He received his MSc in International Relation from University of Indonesia and his MEng in Defence Studies from Bandung Institute of Technology-Cranfield University. For both master degrees, he focused on Aceh conflict during Martial Law (2003-2004). Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in defence and security at Cranfield University, Defence Academy of the UK. His research focuses on the Indonesian military operation during Konfrontasi (1963-67), known as Dwikora Operation. Particularly, he examines how politicisation of the military affected the outcome of Dwikora Operation. He also investigates the impact of political behaviour in military organisation into its operation.

Aspinall, Edward

Professor Edward Aspinall is a specialist on the politics of Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. He has authored two books, Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance and Regime Change in Indonesia (2005) and Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia (2009) and has co-edited a further nine, including The State and Illegality in Indonesia (2011) and The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia’s Decade of Stability and Stagnation (2015). Most of his research has been on democratisation, ethnic politics and civil society in Indonesia, and the separatist conflict and peace process in Aceh. His current research focuses on the role of ethnicity in everyday politics in Indonesia, clientelism in Indonesia, and money politics in Southeast Asia. He helped coordinate a large-scale research project on patronage politics and vote buying in Indonesia’s 2014 elections, and a volume on the results is forthcoming with National University of Singapore Press. Professor Aspinall is currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, and is based at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University.

Aviva Ben-Ur is Associate Professor in the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. A Jewish historian by training, she received two Masters degrees from Columbia University (1992, 1994) and her Ph.D. from Brandeis University (1998). She is the author of Sephardic Jews in America: A Diasporic History (2009) and, with Rachel Frankel, Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries of Suriname: Epitaphs (2009) and Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogues of Suriname: Essays (2012). Her current book project, Jewish Autonomy in a Slave Society: Suriname, 1651-1863, deals with the permeation of slavery into every aspect of colonial life. An offshoot of that project is the article she is researching and writing at the KITLV. Tentatively entitled “My Father, My Slave: Close-kin Ownership in Colonial Suriname,” this article explores the phenomenon whereby manumitted people owned their own family members, who often lived and labored under conditions no different than other slaves.

Chin, Grace

Grace V. S. Chin received her B. A. and M. A. in English Literature from University of Malaya and her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Hong Kong. She has held teaching positions in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Hong Kong, and was also a visiting scholar at the University of Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Her research interests include the literatures of postcolonial Southeast Asia and Asian women’s writings, with emphasis on gender identities and subjectivities in contemporary societies and diasporas, and her articles have appeared in leading journals, such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and The Journal of International Women’s Studies, as well as in books published by John Benjamins and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has several forthcoming publications, including a co-edited book by Springer titled, Women in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature: Gender, Identity, and Nation, and a co-edited Special Issue on Brunei English language and literature under World Englishes. Due to her current interest in the gendered discourses and meanings produced through language and literature in colonial Java, Chin is collaborating with Tom Hoogervorst on the representations of women in Sino-Malay fiction at KITLV.

Clark, Emily Hansell

Emily Hansell Clark is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in New York City. Her currently-developing dissertation project is concerned with migration and music-making in the former Dutch colonial empire, focusing specifically on Javanese migration to Suriname and the Netherlands. This research draws from over a decade of experience studying Javanese music and culture, including years spent as a performing member of Javanese gamelan ensembles in the U.S. and Indonesia. Emily is broadly interested in how the musical and the sonic contribute to the way selfhood and difference are imagined, constructed, governed, and lived. Emily holds a BA in Ethnomusicology and Composition from Oberlin College and an MSIS (Information Studies) from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in sound archives. She was also appointed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Central Java, Indonesia, in 2007-2008.

Daniel Blocq is a PhD candidate in the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his research, he focuses on questions pertaining to political violence and collective action. His work has been published in journals such as Armed Forces and Society, Mobilization: An International Journal, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies. As a research fellow in Leiden, Daniel will lay the foundation for statistical analyses related to the project ‘Dutch Military Operations in Indonesia, 1945-1950’.

Ian Caldwell

Ian Caldwell (Ph.D. Australian National University) is Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Leeds. He has published with Dr David Bulbeck Land of Iron. The historical archaeology of Luwu and the Cenrana valley (2000) and is co-ordinator for the Origin of Complex Society in Sulawesi, an informal confederation of scholars working on the history of Sulawesi. He is currently working with Dr Kathryn Wellen of the KITLV on a study of the genealogies of the west coast Bugis-speaking kingdoms between circa 1300-1600.

Grace Chin

Dr. Grace V. S. Chin received her B. A. and M. A. from University of Malaya and her Ph.D. degree in English literature from the University of Hong Kong. Currently, she teaches English literature at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. She has held an honorary position at the School of English at The University of Hong Kong from 2005-2015, and is recently affiliated with KITLV in Leiden as a research fellow. She was also a visiting scholar at the University of Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Her research focus includes the literatures of postcolonial Southeast Asia and Asian women’s writings, with emphasis on gender identities and subjectivities in contemporary societies and diasporas, and her articles have appeared in leading journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and The Journal of International Women’s Studies, as well as in books published by John Benjamins and  Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Isabelle Côté

Isabelle Côté received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 2014. Based on over nine-months of fieldwork, her dissertation examines the impact of internal migration on Sons of the Soil conflicts in China and Indonesia. At KITLV, she is part of the research project From Clients to Citizens, where she investigates the effect of internal migration on the concept of citizenship in Indonesia. She has published in the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies; Education, Citizenship and Social Justice; PS: Political Science and Politics and Asian Ethnicity.

Robert Cribb

Robert Cribb (PhD SOAS, London) is professor of Asian History at the Australian National University. He recently published Wild Man from Borneo: a cultural history of the orangutan (with Helen Gilbert and Helen Tiffin) and a Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590-2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia (with Li Narangoa). He has been working for some time on the place of violence in Indonesian history and is currently completing a study of the war crimes trials of Japanese after the Second World War.

Daro-Minarchek, Rebakah

Rebakah Daro Minarchek (MA and MSc) is the Associate Director of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS). AIFIS is a consortium of universities and colleges that fosters scholarly exchange and research efforts between Indonesian and US scholars in order to further the development of Indonesian studies. She is also currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Her present research (2013-2015) focuses on the impact of land and tenure rights for forest dependent communities in rural Indonesia. Specifically, she is exploring the impact of land law changes on the food security of adat (customary law) communities in West Java and her expected completion date is May 2017. Daro Minarchek also holds a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University, where she conducted research on rice agricultural development programs, including Fair Trade, in Thailand. For a Master of Science degree from Cornell University, she focused on agricultural development projects in Indonesia, specifically the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). In total, she has over 10 years of experience working in the Southeast Asia region with agricultural development projects.


She has a history of including under-represented voices into her research, focusing on issues of gender, indigenous peoples, and landless citizens. For example, she has worked on several publications that highlight the importance of gender incorporation within methodologies. She has also completed several consultancies with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) on forest and environment projects.

Denger, Marijke

Marijke Denger is currently a post-doctoral assistant at the Department of English of the University of Bern, Switzerland. She received a B.A. in English Language and Culture from Leiden University and an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Literatures in English from the University of Bern. She was also a Harting Scholar at Trinity College Dublin and a Visiting Training Fellow at the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies of the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. In 2016, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Bern with a dissertation on Caring for Community: Towards a New Ethics of Responsibility in Contemporary Postcolonial Novels (to be published by Routledge in 2018). Her doctoral research project was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Marijke has taught and published in the fields of postcolonial literary and cultural studies and animal studies. Her research interests include Anglophone and Dutch colonial and postcolonial literature, postcolonial theory, concepts of time and space (especially the notion of hauntology) and concepts of community and identity (construction).

During her time at KITLV, Marijke will be further developing her post-doctoral research project, working title Empire in the East Indies: Trade, Politics and Literature in British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, c. 1824-1934. In her project, she draws on the tools and methodologies of literary scholarship in order to establish a comparative perspective on British and Dutch imperialism in the region now comprised of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The main aim of the project is to investigate why the many historical points of contact between the British and Dutch empires in the ‘East Indies’ resulted in different political, social and literary engagements with the colonial past as well as the postcolonial present in Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Saraswati Putri Dewi

LG. Saraswati Putri Dewi is the Head of Philosophy Undergraduate Study at University of Indonesia. She has written in various reputable Indonesian journals concerning literature, feminism, human rights, eastern philosophy and environmental ethics. She has been consecutively chosen as the judge for a prestigious literary award called Khatulistiwa Literary Award in Indonesia. She is also a member of the steering board for Asean Literary Festival, which promotes discussion and awareness of the importance of literary communication amongst ASEAN nations. She has published her works including anthology of poems called Jiwa Putih (White Soul), philosophy books such as Hak Azasi Manusia (Human Rights) and Cinta Bukan Cokelat (Love Is Not Chocolate), her recent publication is from her dissertation titled: Ekofenomenologi (Ecophenomenology). She currently teaches Philosophy of Literature, Eco-Philososophy and Eastern Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Indonesia.

Farabi Fakih is a lecturer at the History Department, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta. He has also been working on his PhD dissertation at the History Department of Leiden University since 2009 and will defend his thesis on 14 May 2014. His PhD research focuses on the production of Indonesia’s managerial class during the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. He analyses the rise of this new elite and its relationship to the rise of the New Order managerial state. Farabi obtained  his MPhil degree at the History Department of Leiden University writing about Javanese Nationalism. He obtained a cum laude for his MPhil, which was subsequently nominated a prize for best Master’s thesis on Asian Studies written in the Netherlands by the IIAS in 2009. Currently, Farabi is developing his ideas concerning liberalism and the ideas and forms of citizenship in Indonesia. This is partly a continuation of the ideas developed in his PhD dissertation. His research interest also include urban history, decentralization and the practices and ideas of development and developmentalism in Indonesian history.

Christina Firpo is an Associate Professor of Southeast Asian History at CalPoly University in San Luis Obispo, California, USA. Her first book, The Uprooted: Race, Childhood, and Colonialism in Vietnam, 1890-1980 is currently under contract with University of Hawai’i Press. From October 2012 to October 2013 she resided in Vietnam to research the history and culture of impoverished Vietnamese women and children during the French colonial period and beyond (1854-1980). At the KITLV, Firpo works on her second book project,  Sex on the Sly: Clandestine Prostitution in Colonial Vietnam.

Ross Gordon (Ph.D. 2013, University of Alberta, Canada) is a SocioCultural Anthropologist who is currently researching environmental knowledge systems and languages  of Aru Islanders in Eastern Indonesia. In Aru, discussions of environmental knowledge illustrate a nexus of practices involving: adat (local customary law), spirituality, world religion, economic activity, kinship relationships, land rights, politics, and transnational trade networks. This research in Indonesia builds upon Ross’s doctoral fieldwork, which evaluated methodologies for effective collection and representation of environmental knowledge using an  undocumented language dialect in Kadavu, Fiji. Published results of the research in Fiji include an article on Kadavu marine taxa nomenclature in DomoDomo: A Scholarly Journal of the Fiji Museum, and three more works in press. At the KITLV, Ross is: adding endangered language material from Aru to the DOBES archive; refining relevant fieldwork methods; producing a multilingual  environmental encyclopaedia to be distributed to schools and homes in several Aru villages; and writing a journal article on Aru Island social organization.

Groenewoud, Margo

Margo Groenewoud is head of the Library and Research Services department at the University of Curaçao. She is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Leiden and the University of Curaçao. Her research focuses on the role of the catholic church in the development of twentieth century Curaçao society, with emphasis on aspects of power, authority and influence of the Dutch missionary church. At KITLV, she will work on the completion of her dissertation.

Franciscus Harsono

X Harsono (1948) is a seminal figure in the Indonesian contemporary art scene. He is always updating his artistic language to the current new social and cultural contexts. Harsono’s art works points at the disconcerting situation of minorities, the socially underprivileged against the backdrop of Indonesia’s own history and political development. FX Harsono studied painting at STSRI “ASRI”, Yogyakarta (Indonesia) from 1969-74 and at IKJ (Jakarta Art Institute) from 1987-91. Since 2005 he is a lecturer at the Faculty of Art and Design, Pelita Harapan University, Tangerang (West Java). Harsono is also an active art critic, regularly writing about social questions and the development of contemporary art. He got awarded the  Prince Clause Award 2014, from Prince Clause Fund, The Netherlands,  the Anugrah Adhikarya Rupa Award 2014, from the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia,  the Joseph Balestier Award For the Freedom of Art 2015, from the Embassy of the United States of America and Art Stage Singpore.

Heryanto, Ariel

Ariel Heryanto is Professor at the School of Culture, History and Language, The Australian National University. He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; the politics of Indonesian screen culture, Singapore: NUS Press (2014); State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging, London: Routledge (2007), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics, London & New York: Routledge (2008), and co-editor of Pop Culture Formations Across East Asia, Seoul: Jimoondang (2010). His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality. More information about his work is available here. For open access to his published work, click here

Hidayah, Nur

Nur Hidayah is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Law and Economics of Banten State Institute for Islamic Studies and Jakarta State Islamic University, Indonesia, since 2001. She earned her PhD from Melbourne University. In October-December 2013, she undertook an Indonesian MORA post-doctoral fellowship as a visiting fellow at the Religion and Society Research Centre (RSRC), the University of Western Sydney (UWS). She has written in some Indonesian Islamic journals and books concerning issues of Islam, shari`a law, gender, Muslim women’s movement, and empowerment such as in Ahkam on ‘Reinterpretation of Women’s Economic Rights in Islam’ and Swara Rahima on ‘Islamic Fundamentalism and Muslim Women’. She is currently working on her book manuscript on Islamic Feminism in Indonesia.

Hoek, Anne-Lot

Anne-Lot Hoek is a freelance (research) journalist who is writing a book about the Indonesian independence struggle on Bali. She thereby focuses on the violence during this conflict, seen from personal perspectives on both sides and placed within the regional, political context. She published articles in NRC Handelsblad and Vrij Nederland and studied History in Amsterdam (and Perugia, Italy) before with a focus on liberation struggles and development cooperation in (southern) Africa. When not researching, she likes to travel, paint and photograph.

Huber, Juliette

Juliette Huber is a linguist specializing in the Papuan languages of Timor, particularly Makalero and Makasae. These languages belong the westernmost group of Papuan languages, known as the Timor-Alor-Pantar (TAP) family.


Juliette studied Linguistics at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and completed her doctoral dissertation, a descriptive grammar of Makalero, in 2011 at Leiden University. She has since worked as a research fellow at Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Newcastle (Australia), and as a lecturer in General and Comparative Linguistics at the University of Regensburg (Germany). Juliette’s research interests include descriptive and comparative-typological linguistics, spatial language as well as linguistic (pre)history.


At KITLV, she is collaborating with Antoinette Schapper on two papers using linguistic evidence to further our understanding of the development of the TAP languages and the interactions of their speakers with their Austronesian neighbours. The first of these is a linguistic reconstruction of the TAP family using the Comparative Method, and the second a study of place name etymologies in order to reconstruct aspects of the population history of Timor. Furthermore, she will develop a funding application for a workshop on the use of place names as a historical resource in South East Asia.

Mirjam Künkler (Ph.D., Columbia University) is currently a Senior Research Fellow at KITLV. She is Assistant Professor in the Department for Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, USA, and has published on religion-state relations and Islamic thought in 20th century Iran and Indonesia. She has edited with Alfred Stepan, Democracy and Islam in Indonesia (2013), and with John Madeley and Shylashri Shankar, A Secular Age: Beyond the West (2014). Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals and edited volumes. In her next project she turns to questions about female religious authority in Islam. Künkler is co-PI of the two-year project entitled ‘Religion and Constitutionalism’ at the Institute of Advanced Study in Bielefeld, and of the ‘Iran Social Science Data Portal’ funded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).

Linsin, Sebastian

Sebastian Linsin studied german literature, art history and political science at the University of Zurich (2008 – 2009) and architecture at the ETH Zurich (2009 – 2015). He worked as a tutor for structural design at the Block Research Group (2011 -2013) and on several archaeological excavations such as the so-called tempio A in Rome (American Academy in Rome) or the Ietas campaign in San Cipirello (University of Zurich). Since 2016 he is doctoral student at the chair of Prof. Dr. Philip Ursprung both at gta (Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture) in Zurich and at the FCL (Future Cities Laboratory) in Singapore.
His research focusses on the entanglement of architecture and environmental politics.

Lopez, Belinda

Belinda Lopez is a researcher, audio documentary maker and writer. She is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology and creative writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, under the supervision of Jaap Timmer and Kate Rossmanith. As an Erasmus Mundus scholar, she received her M.A from City University, UK; University of Aarhus, Denmark and the University of Amsterdam,The Netherlands. Her research interests include the experience of young Indigenous Papuans living in Java and Tanah Papua, as well as investigating a modern-day historiography of Papuan memory studies in the digital age. Her website is belindalopez.net.

Mandal, Sumit

Sumit Mandal is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics, History and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. He is a historian interested in the transregional architecture of Asian societies. His research has focused primarily on Muslim societies in the Malay world – in relation to the Indian Ocean – as well as contemporary Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and has centred on the question of cultural difference. His book Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. At the KITLV, he is collaborating with Marieke Bloembergen, Tom Hoogervorst, and David Kloos on a workshop on ‘scholarly study, religious knowledge, and difficult histories’. He is also writing a paper for the workshop based on his current research on Muslim shrines as a way of exploring the history of the Malay world.

Meer, Arnout van der

Arnout van der Meer is an Assistant Professor in history at Colby College in Maine, USA. He earned a PhD in history from Rutgers University, specializing in Southeast Asian, colonial, and global and comparative history, after receiving MA degrees from both Leiden University in the Netherlands and Rutgers University in New Jersey. His research explores the importance of material and visual culture, such as dress, architecture, deference rituals, and symbols of power, for both the legitimization of colonial authority as well as its contestation in late colonial Indonesia. It focuses on how these complex cultural dynamics were transformed by global developments in a deeper past, such as the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the region, Islamization, and European exploration and expansion, as well as more contemporary developments as rapid technological innovation, evolutionary thinking, the rise of Japan, the Chinese revolution, Islamic Modernism, and the intensification of the Dutch “civilizing mission.” He will use his time as an affiliated fellow at the KITLV to draft a book proposal and conduct the archival research necessary to continue work on his manuscript.


Mujiburrahman is professor at the State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN), Antasari Banjarmasin. Currently, he is also the Vice Rector on cooperation and student affairs. His PhD thesis in Utrecht University was published under the title: Feeling Threatened: Muslim-Christian Relations in Indonesia’s New Order (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006). Among his recent English articles are “Intra and Inter-Religious Dialogue in Contemporary Indonesia: a participant’s point of view” Bulletin of Nanzan Center for Asia-Pacific Studies No.7 (June, 2012), 1-20. “The Politics of Shari’a: The Struggle of the KPPSI in South Sulawesi” in Martin van Bruinessen ed., Contemporary Developments of Indonesian Islam, explaining the conservative turn (Singapore: ISEAS, 2013), 145-189; “Islamic Theological Texts and Contexts in Banjarese Society: an overview of the existing studies” Southeast Asian Studies Vol.3 No.3 (December, 2014),611-641. He is also a regular columnist for the regional newspaper Banjarmasin Post since 2009. The compilation of his columns was published as Sentilan Kosmopolitan (Jakarta: Penerbit Buku Kompas, 2013).

Sraman Mukherjee (PhD, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and the University of Calcutta) is Assistant Professor in the School of Historical Studies at Nalanda University (Rajgir, India). Trained as a historian of colonial and early postcolonial South Asia, his work explores the interface between the past and the present in the constitution of disciplinary and institutional domains of art history, archaeology, and museum studies, biographies of material traces – sites, objects, and monuments and histories of inter-Asian circulation of objects, ideas and people. Before joining Nalanda, Sraman has held postdoctoral research positions at the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden), in the Department of Art History and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), and a teaching position in the Department of History at Presidency University (Kolkata). His published essays and articles have appeared in peer reviewed journals, edited volumes, conference proceedings and institutional newsletters. He is currently working on his monograph tentatively titled Provincial Matters: Archaeology and Museums in the Making of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, c. 1860- 1936. At KITLV Sraman will be working under the broader rubric of the research cluster Mobility and Identity with Dr. Marieke Bloembergen. His current research tentatively titled “Tracing Traces: Actors, Vectors, and Spaces of Buddhism across Southern Asia” looks at transnational geographies of pilgrimage during the late nineteenth and early and middle decades of the twentieth century. Growing out of his previous research at KITLV on material reconstitutions of circulating Buddhist corporeal relics across South and Southeast Asia, Sraman’s present study will focus on the negotiations between the ideological trajectories of Marxism and Buddhism in Southern Asia.

Naafs, Suzanne

Suzanne Naafs is a cultural anthropologist with a geographical specialization in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Her research examines the repercussions of educational change and global labor market restructuring for young people’s futures and pathways into work, and their aspirations for middle class lifestyles and intergenerational mobility. At KITLV, Suzanne is involved in the audiovisual project ‘Sharing Asian Futures’ which explores the everyday lives and ambitions of youth in Hanoi, Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


Suzanne studied cultural anthropology at Leiden University and holds a PhD in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University. More recently, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the University of South Australia (2014-2015) and the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2012-2014). Her research has been published in Inside Indonesia, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology.

Astrid Norén-Nilsson obtained her PhD as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge in May 2013 with a thesis on the role of nationalist imaginings, discourses and narratives in Cambodia since the 1993 introduction of a multi-party democratic system. She argued that the promotion of competing nationalistic imaginings is a much more prominent part of party political contestation in the Kingdom of Cambodia (KOC) than typically believed. Astrid commenced a 12-month fellowship at the KITLV in October 2013 joining the From Clients to Citizens project, in which she will reverse the perspective to look at Cambodia’s democratization from the point of view of emerging grassroots perceptions and practices of citizenship.  Alongside her research, Norén-Nilsson has also worked as a political risk consultant for various agencies since 2006.

Frank Okker

Frank Okker (Ph. D. Leiden University) published biographies of the writer-journalist Willem Walraven, Dirksland tussen de doerians – Amsterdam 2000, and the writer Madelon Székely-Lulofs, Tumult – Amsterdam 2008, reprinted in 2009. He writes articles related to literary history for a large number of newspapers and magazines. Frank is also active in the fiction field, his story Leidse liefde was published in 2007. At the KITLV he investigates the life and works of the adventurous scholar Gerret Pieter Rouffaer, founding father of the huge Asian collection of the institute that was recently transferred to the Leiden University Library. Frank published already several articles on Rouffaer, among others ‘Sherlock Holmes in Lebak’ (De Parelduiker, October 2010) and ‘Gerret weet het beter’ (In: Van felle kritiek tot feuilleton, Hilversum 2013). His biography Rouffaer, de laatste Indische ontdekkingsreiziger will come out in February 2015 at Boom Publishers in Amsterdam.

Paramaditha, Intan

Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian author and a lecturer in media and film studies at the Department of Media, Music, Communication & Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney. She holds a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University (2014) with a MA (University of California San Diego) and a BA (University of Indonesia) in English Literature. She has been an invited speaker at universities and film/literature festivals, and her articles appear in journals including Film Quarterly, Asian Cinema, Jump Cut, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies as well as edited volumes such as Southeast Asian Independent Cinema and Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Focusing on contemporary film practice in Indonesia, her research explores the relation between media, cultural activism, and sexual politics in the convergence and tension between national and cosmopolitan trajectories. She has taught courses on global media, gender and cinema, and Southeast Asian cinema in Australia, Indonesia, and the United States. As a writer, she has published short story collections and a play in Indonesian language. Some of her short stories have been translated into English and German. Further information on her academic and creative work …>>

Elizabeth Pisani

Elizabeth Pisani is an epidemiologist by training and a political scientist by inclination. Her most recent book, Indonesia Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, weaves history, travelogue and political analysis into a portrait of a nation with which she has interacted for over 25 years.

In politics, Elizabeth is currently working on corruption and studying the ways in which policies spread through sub-national networks. In the area of epidemiology, she’s looking at antimicrobial resistance, especially as it is affected by counterfeit and substandard medicines. She’s fusing both areas of interest by using an epidemiological framework to investigate the spread of sharia-inspired policies in Indonesia.

Elizabeth holds an MA in Classical Chinese from Oxford, an MSc in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, also from LSHTM. She is a visiting Senior Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College, London, and director of the public health consultancy Ternyata Ltd. Besides academic publications, she writes commentary and analysis for a number of publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian and the Nikkei Asian Review.

Pribadi, Yanwar

Yanwar Pribadi is Assistant Professor of Local History at State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin Banten, Indonesia and a researcher at Laboratorium Bantenologi at the same university. He received his PhD in Humanities from Leiden University, MA in Islamic Studies from Leiden University, and BA in History from Padjadjaran University. His works have been published in journals such as South East Asia Research, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Studia Islamika, Al-Jamiah: Journal of Islamic Studies, and Journal of Indonesian Islam as well as in an edited-volume Religious Diversity in Muslim-majority States in Southeast Asia: Areas of Toleration and Conflict (ISEAS). In 2015 he was a visiting fellow at Department of Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, University of London. In 2017 he will be a visiting fellow at KITLV in the research project From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia  and an Endeavour fellow at School of Social Sciences, Monash University. At KITLV Yanwar is preparing a book manuscript for Routledge Islam, State and Society in Indonesia: Local Politics in Madura.

Susie Protschky (PhD. 2007, University of New South Wales) is a Lecturer in Modern History at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in cultural histories of the Netherlands Indies, with a focus on visual culture and photography. She currently holds an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (ARC APD; 2010–2015). Susie is the author of the monograph Images of the Tropics: Environment and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia (KITLV Press/Brill, 2011) and the editor of Photography, Modernity and the Governed in Late-Colonial Indonesia (Amsterdam University Press, forthcoming October 2014). She is currently writing a book titled Photographic Subjects: Monarchs, Commoners and the Camera, an historical investigation of popular photographic cultures surrounding the Dutch monarchy in the East Indies during the reign of Wilhelmina (1898–1948). Understanding how Wilhelmina was appealed to by her subjects through photography, and how she was mobilised in vernacular photographic practices to express colonial ethnic and class identities, sheds new light not only on the late colonial era in Indonesian history, but also on histories of colonialism and photography.

Ravensbergen, Sanne

Sanne Ravensbergen is a historian of colonial Indonesia. Her research focuses on the practices and ideologies of colonial law, legal pluralism, colonial liberalism, local elites, and the material culture of courts and legal professionals. The local setting of colonial legal spaces is the focal point of her work that tries to understand the interactions between state and society in the imperial context.

After obtaining a MA degree in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University (cum laude) Sanne pursued a PhD project on criminal law in colonial Java. Her dissertation Courtrooms of Conflict (currently under examination) demonstrates the role of criminal law practices, legal pluralities and courtroom dynamics in the process of colonial state formation in nineteenth century Java. As a visiting fellow at KITLV, Sanne will broaden her lens to Dutch colonial legal spaces outside of Java, specifically in the Indian Ocean World.

In the past two years, Sanne co-initiated and co-organised two international conferences entitled Ocean of Law, bringing together scholars working on the legal history of the Indian Ocean World. The proceedings of the first Ocean of Law Conference is forthcoming in a special issue of Itinerario (2018).

Martin Ramstedt

Martin Ramstedt is research associate at the Law & Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/S., Germany, professor for law and anthropology at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati, Spain, and currently finishes s post-doctoral degree (“Habilitation”) at Martin Luther University in Halle/S. He has published extensively on various issues at the intersection of politics, religion and law, particularly in Indonesian contexts, and is chief editor of the new Amsterdam University Press Series, Religion and Society in Asia. His project at the KITLV focuses on the construction of Javanese culture and normativity in Javanese nationalist alternative pedagogies.

Scambary, James

James Scambary is a Visiting Fellow at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at ANU, where he completed his PhD on post-independence patterns of communal conflict in Timor-Leste. Since 2006, James has been conducting research on a range of intersecting themes relating to informal security groups,  communal conflict, governance, corruption and organised crime in Timor-Leste. He has worked as an academic and as a research consultant for a range of agencies including the New York Social Science Research Council, the Asia Foundation and the World Bank. In his most recent research and publications, he has been examining the political economy of natural resource revenue expenditure in Timor-Leste, with a focus on the influence of the Suharto era on clientelist patterns in major infrastructure investment.

Sienkiewicz, Simona

Simona Sienkiewicz received her B.A. and M.A. in both International Relations and Asian Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She also studied Islamic Studies at the Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta and it boosted her interest about religious issues in Indonesia. Currently, she is preparing a PhD dissertation about the role of tradition in the interreligious dialogue in Moluccas. Her research is funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the Diamond Grant program awarded to the most promising young researchers in the country. Besides her project, she is also interested in the diversity of Islam in Indonesia, the role of religion among religious minorities and Christian missionaries in North Moluccas and West Papua.

Schär, Bernard

Bernhard C. Schär is a lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s chair for Global History, and an associated member of the ‚Centre for the History of Knowledge‘ in Zürich. He received his PhD at the University of Berne with a case study on two Swiss naturalists and secret lovers, who explored Celebes (Sulawesi) shortly before Dutch conquest of the island around 1900. The book, entitled ’Tropenliebe, was published in 2015 with ‚campus‘ in Frankfurt/M.. Bernhard’s current research focusses on the role of Switzerland as an ‚imperial service provider‘ during the ‚long 19th century‘. It aims at exploring how Switzerland was shaped by its contributions to imperial networks of trade, capital, science, missionary societies and mercenaries. He is currently leading a research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, on the transnational character of the Dutch Colonial Army (KNIL). The project focusses in particular on how Swiss mercenaries connected the Dutch Empire to the European ‚Hinterland‘ in the 19th century. In Switzerland, Bernhard has also played an active role in disseminating historical knowledge in teacher training, exhibitions, and by taking part in public debates on Switzerland’s history of ‚colonialism without colonies’. Bernhard will be a Fellow at KITLV between 20th August and 15th of October 2017.

Stolwijk, Anton

Anton Stolwijk is a freelance journalist who worked as a correspondent in Banda Aceh, Indonesia in 2013 and 2014. He published articles in (amongst others) De Groene Amsterdammer, Hard Gras and Reformatorisch Dagblad. Earlier he studied Dutch Literature and Journalism at Leiden, Cape Town and Indiana universities. Currently he is working on a book about the Dutch-Acehnese War, which should be finished in 2016.

Suryawan, I Ngurah

I Ngurah Suryawan was born in Bali in 1979. He is  a lecturer at the University of Papua (UNIPA-Universitas Papua) in Manowkari, West Papua. He graduated with a BA in Anthropology, Udayana University, Bali in 2006; obtained an MA in Cultural Studies, Udayana University (Bali) in 2009. He was awarded the PhD at the Department of Anthropology, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, in 2015 with a dissertation entitled Siasat Elit Mencuri Kuasa Negara Di Kabupaten Manokwari Selatan Provinsi Papua Barat (Elite Strategies in Stealing Power in the South Manokwari District, West Papua Province).

Dr. Ngurah Suryawan is a very productive scholar, publishing widely in both scholarly and popular media, particularly in Indonesia but also abroad. He is best known for his political anthropology work on Bali and on Papua. Particularly in relation to Papua his work is unique in Indonesia and indeed the world for its ability to enter imaginatively yet critically into this indigenous society so long afflicted by violence and repression. By highlighting the behaviour of Papuan elites who stand between the Papuan public and the Indonesian government he has identified a social zone that will very much determine Papua’s future. Nobody in the Netherlands is as knowledgeable about these issues as he is.

Swamy, Priya

Priya Swamy studied World Religions and Philosophy at McGill University before moving to the Netherlands to complete a Research Masters in Asian Studies at Leiden University. She has worked as a Teaching Fellow at Leiden University College and Lecturer at Leiden Institute for Area Studies, lecturing on contemporary South Asian culture and literature with a focus on diaspora identities. Her work at KITLV will build upon her completed PhD research at Leiden Institute for Area Studies, which explored the dynamics of temple building processes among Hindus in Amsterdam Zuidoost.  Focusing on the narratives of Surinamese Hindus, she aims to explore how the campaign to establish a purpose-built temple in the neighbourhood became inextricably linked to articulations of ‘Hindu-ness’ as a form of cultural citizenship and political involvement.  Such articulations complicate the stereotypes of Surinamese Hindus as ‘invisible’ model minorities in Dutch society by highlighting their novel negotiations of temple building as a religious/civic duty. In turn, they draw attention to how Surinamese Hindus mobilise citizenship discourse prevalent in the Netherlands today.

Xie, Kankan

Kankan Xie is a Ph.D. candidate in Southeast Asian History, with a Designated Emphasis (minor) in Dutch Studies, at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include ethnicity and identity politics, left-wing movements, as well as transnational networks across the Malay Archipelago in the late colonial period. Prior to coming to KITLV, he was a Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow at the National Library of Singapore, where he studied how the print media of British Malaya reacted to the 1926/27 communist revolts in Java and Sumatra. Besides his history-focused dissertation project, Kankan also works as a pre-doctoral fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Transparency for Development (T4D) Project, and has conducted a year-long ethnographic research on governance and rural development in South Sulawesi. He holds an M.A. in Asian Studies from Cornell University in the U.S. and a B.A. in Malay Language & Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University, China.

Jonathan Verwey

Jonathan Verwey is a historian who is currently working as a research fellow at the KITLV project ‘Dutch Military Operations in Indonesia, 1945-1950’, co-writing a book based on the published egodocuments of Dutch veterans who fought in Indonesia. Verwey studied history in Nijmegen, Utrecht and Sheffield and obtained MA degrees in Political History (Radboud University Nijmegen, Bene Meritum), International Relations (Utrecht University, Cum Laude) and American History (University of Sheffield, Merit). From 2013 to 2014, Verwey previously worked as a researcher at the ‘Dutch Military Operations in Indonesia, 1945-1950’ project, doing archival work in various Dutch archives, with a main focus on unpublished egodocuments of Dutch veterans. His other research interests include the history of American foreign policy in the Caribbean and Central America during the 20th century, political culture, the Cold War, counterterrorism, and film history. Verwey has written opinion pieces and articles for The Post Online, Geschiedenis Beleven and IsGeschiedenis.

Weener, Karel

Karel Weener studied Archaeology at Leiden University (2007, cum laude). For the last seven years he has been working as an independent researcher and consultant in the field of ethnographic objects and collection histories. Within this field of research he is concentrating on Oceania and Southeast Asia. From 2009 onwards he focused on (protestant) missionary collections, missionary exhibitions and (military) exploratory expeditions. He is currently working on ancestor representations from the Batu Islands and Lutheran missionaries, in collaboration with the Netherlands Lutheran Society, Tribal Art Magazine and the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. Read more: www.ethnohistory.nl

Vezolli, Simona

Simona Vezzoli is a PhD candidate at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. Her research focuses on the effects of borders, independence and post-colonial ties on international migration in the Caribbean region, particularly in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. As a research officer at the International Migration Institute (IMI), University of Oxford, Simona worked on a project entitled ‘Determinants of International Migration’ which examined how origin and destination states and their migration policies affect the size, direction and composition of international migration. At IMI, she also researched migration and development initiatives in Mexico, Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Serbia and contributed to the Global Migration Futures project, which explored the future of migration through a scenario methodology. Her research interests include the role of the state on migration, independence and post-colonialism, and migration policies, including policies to engage diaspora communities.

Wang, Jizhan

Wang Jizhan is a Ph.D. student from Peking University, China, studying environmental history of Southeast Asia, supervised by Prof. Dr. Bao Maohong. She received her B.A. and M.A. in History from Yunnan University, China. Her research now focuses on water supply of Manila during the early 20th century. Her research interest includes urban environmental history of the 20th century Philippines, and colonial impacts on urban development of the Philippines. Wang Jizhan is a visiting fellow at KITLV from March until September 2017, collecting materials and preparing her PhD dissertation, with the supervision of Prof. Dr. D.E.F. Henley (Leiden University).

Wellfelt, Emilie

Emilie Wellfelt is a historian and anthropologist who has worked across Indonesia for over 20 years, from Sumatra to Kalimantan, from Sumba to Aru, and islands in between. Wellfelt holds a BA and MA in anthropology from Lund University and a BA in journalism from Gothenburg University. In 2016 she completed her PhD at Linnaeus University, Sweden, entitled Historyscapes in Alor; Approaching indigenous histories in Eastern Indonesia which deals with materiality and spatiality of ethnohistory in Alor. She has also worked extensively on material culture in various parts of Indonesia. She recently received the Textile Society of America’s award for her paper The secrets of Alorese “silk” yarn: kolon susu, triangle trade and underwater women in Eastern Indonesia. Other topics of abiding interest for Wellfelt are religious interactions and Islamic conversion, and endangered language documentation. Wellfelt will be visiting fellow at KITLV from January until May 2017, working on materials from field studies in Alor and the Aru Islands.

Woolgar, Matthew

Matthew Woolgar is a DPhil History student at the University of Oxford, conducting research on the party system in Indonesia in the 1950s, focusing on West Java and South Sumatra. This project aims to re-evaluate the party system of the 1950s in the context of broader changes in Indonesian society in the post-independence period, drawing on a combination of archival sources, contemporary publications and oral history. He received an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in History from the University of Oxford. He also has an interest in modern Indonesian literature, and is currently co-editing a collection of short stories translated from Indonesian and co-translating another collection.

Zakaria, Revoliyando

Yando Zakaria is a researcher in a Jogja-based organization, Lingkar Pembaruan Desa dan Agraria (KARSA, or Circle of Village and Agrarian Reform) and also a guest lecture at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta. He has been involved with many national and international organizations doing research and community empowerment program. Graduated from Anthropology Department, University of Indonesia, he had been researching communities throughout Indonesia for almost 30 years. He has written over 150 writings on agrarian reform and politics and have been published in news paper, journals, and books, mostly in Bahasa Indonesia. In 2013, his experience in local politics and governance led him became one of the experts for House of Representative of Republic of Indonesia to formulate the new Village Law that was passed in 2014.


Now he is preparing his new book on Reforming Village, Healing Indonesia, containing his arguments on the content and process of the Village Act legislation and notes to the experience of the implementation of the Village Law. The second book is a module for research on traditional tenure system entitled Ethnography of Indigenous Lands: Basic Concepts and Guidelines for Field Studies (Equipped with some examples tenure systems in a variety of ethnic groups in Indonesia). As a visiting fellow at KITL he, together with Dr. Jacqueline Vel will write about an ethnography of law making process of the new Indonesia’s Village Law.

Email:  moc.1521217133liamg1521217133@aira1521217133kaz.y1521217133.r1521217133Twitter: @yandozakaria
Blog: independent.academia.edu/YandoZakaria
Skype: yando.zakaria


This page lists, in alphabetical order, the visiting fellows that have stayed at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in the past.

Current Visiting Fellows

Click here to go back to the visiting fellows who currently stay at our institute.