Burgos-Martinez, Elena

Elena Burgos-Martinez is an environmental and linguistic anthropologist. She completed a PhD in Sociolinguistics at Edinburgh University (Scotland) and a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Durham University (England). For the latter, she explored the intersection between vernacular island systems in Eastern Indonesia and contemporary environmental theory of Indonesia. She has also conducted years of fieldwork and ethnographic research amongst coastal inhabitants of small islands in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. She is interested in the fields of political ecology, environmental theory and linguistic anthropology- particularly when aiming to meaningfully understand different paradigms and epistemes of indigeneity and knowledge that converge on small archipelagoes and how these conceptual systems operate.

During her time at KITLV, Elena will be developing a postdoctoral research project analyzing contemporary de-centralization movements in Eastern Indonesia and the development of new governing agencies in (and around) small Indonesian archipelagoes. She will be working under Dr. Ward Berenschot’s project on Indonesian citizenship and will pursue the design of theoretical, conceptual and methodological frameworks designed on the basis of vernacular processes of ‘autonomy’ and ‘citizenship’. During her time in Leiden, Elena will also work on two co-authored papers in collaboration with members of Leiden University’s department of linguistics and anthropology: a contemporary analysis of language policy and minority languages in Indonesia and a more reflective piece on the theoretical and methodological challenges of conducting anthropological research at sea and in coastal settings. More info can be found here.

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.

Dijk, Boyd van

Boyd van Dijk is an historian and teaches at the War Studies Department of King’s College London. He received his MA from Columbia University and his PhD in History from the European University Institute. His PhD presents a comparative analysis of the making of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the most important rules ever formulated for armed conflict. He previously published a monograph on the bystanders of an SS concentration camp in the Low Countries. His broader research interests include the history of decolonization, genocide, international institutions, and international law.

In Leiden, Boyd will be developing a project on the comparative legal-historical dimensions of the Indonesian War of Independence. He is specifically interested in exploring the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross in South-East Asia and its attempts to contest and pluralize notions of colonial sovereignty, race, universalism, and war.

Fakih, Farabi

Farabi Fakih is a lecturer in History at the History Department, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. He received his PhD from Leiden University on the decolonization of the Indonesian state and the rise of Indonesia’s managerial state. His main interest is on urban history, decolonization of the state and business history. He is currently rewriting his dissertation for the purpose of publication. The book looks at how the Indonesian state strategize on answering the pressing problem of lack of experts in the state and the private sector during the transitional period of the 1950s and early 1960s. This process of new elite formation had resulted in creating the basis of the New Order state, thus looking at the extent toward which the foundation and groundwork of the state was built during the 1950s and especially during Sukarno’s Guided Democracy period. Farabi Fakih also has several other research projects looking into the changes of the position of businessmen in the public discourse during New Order Indonesia and a study of Yogyakarta as a revolutionary city during the 1946-1948 period. His position as junior fellows at KITLV is mainly to rewrite the dissertation into a publishable book.

Gellert, Paul

Paul K. Gellert (PhD, University of Wisconsin) is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville (USA). His research interests center on the political economy of natural resources and the politics of development in Indonesia. He is co-editor of a 2017 special issue in The Journal of World-Systems Research and a forthcoming book (Palgrave), both on ecologically unequal exchange. He has recently published a paper on resource nationalism in comparative perspective between Indonesia and Bolivia in International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Other publications have appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. During this year as an affiliated fellow, he will be working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Indonesia’s Extractive Regime. He also will be collaborating with Dr. Ward Berenschot on developing new research on resource struggles in Indonesia.

Hagesteijn, Renee

Renee Hagesteijn is a political anthropologist and associated researcher at KITLV. She is interested in political dynamics, centralization processes, state formation; informal politics in formal political systems; conditions for political legitimacy and stability; consequences and limitations of scaling up political influence. Renee conducted MA fieldwork in West Java, Indonesia and wrote her PhD thesis on political dynamics in early continental South East Asia. While pursuing a career in science management at the national research council she remained interested in theoretical developments on the verge of anthropology, political science and history. Recently she caught up with the advances in digital scholarship. She is currently preparing a comprehensive, interactive database on early Southeast Asian written sources.

Hoesterey, James

Jim Hoesterey, a cultural anthropologist by training, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University. Prior to joining Emory, he held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University, Lake Forest College, and the University of Michigan. Dr. Hoesterey’s broad research and teaching interests include Islam, media, and politics. His first book, Rebranding Islam: Piety, Prosperity, and a Self-help Guru (Stanford University Press, 2016), chronicles the rise, fall, and rebranding of celebrity televangelist Kyai Haji Abdullah Gymnastiar, and was awarded Honorable Mention (Runner-up) for the Clifford Geertz Prize. His current book project examines public diplomacy, soft power, and the making of “moderate Islam”. Dr. Hoesterey was chair of the Indonesia-Timor Leste Studies Committee at the Association for Asian Studies (2011-2015), currently serves as Secretary at the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS), and has worked on several documentary films in Indonesia and Ethiopia, broadcast worldwide on Discovery Channel, National Geographic International, Travel Channel, and the BBC. During his time at KITLV, he will be workig in the ‘Recording the Future’ archives and collaborating with Dr. David Kloos to edit a special issue on Islam and visual culture.

Loo, Vilan van de

Dr. Vilan van de Loo is a researcher, writer and journalist. She has published several books on the Netherlands-Indies, mostly biographies like Johannes ‘Pa’ van der Steur (1865-1945). Zijn leven, zijn werk en zijn Steurtjes (2015). Besides working on the biography of Governor-General J.B. van Heutsz (1851-1924), she explores the mysterious world of the ‘zeebaboes’ and adds frequently ladies novels from the Indies to the Leestrommel (www.Leestrommel.nl).

Razif, Nurul Huda Mohd.

Nurul Huda Mohd. Razif received her B.A. (Hons) in Anthropology and French Studies from the University of Western Australia and Sciences Po Paris, and her PhD in Social Anthropology from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research, based on 14 months of fieldwork in Malaysia and Southern Thailand, explored how Malay-Muslim notions of love and state surveillance of “illicit” (i.e. pre/extra-marital) intimacy create pressures to marry that, for various legal and logistical reasons, has led to the pursuit of marriage through alternative channels. This includes contracting (extra-legal) cross-border marriages in Thailand, which facilitates the rise of polygamy. Her research also focuses extensively on the legal and social implications of cross-border marriages, both monogamous and polygamous, in Malaysia today. During her time at KITLV, Nurul will work on preparing a book manuscript based on her doctoral thesis for publication.

Patricia Tjiook-Liem obtained her Master of Laws at the University of Amsterdam. In 2009 she defended her Ph.D. dissertation on ‘The legal position of the Chinese in the Dutch East-Indies 1848-1942’ at Leiden University-Van Vollenhoven Institute. Previously her article ‘Fact and fiction on the Japanese Law’ was published in the legal magazine Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis. This article dealt with the amendment of one of the most important articles of Dutch East-Indies’ constitutional law, an article directly related to the complex legal position of the Chinese in the colonial period. At present one of her main interests is the Chinese Indonesian Heritage Center (CIHC) of KITLV. The CIHC aims to collect and preserve the heritage of the Chinese in the Netherlands.

Yusuf, Mohamad

Mohamad Yusuf (PhD, Radboud University) is a lecturer at the Tourism Studies, Anthropology Department, Cultural Sciences Faculty, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. Among his research interests are religious education and inter-group attitudes, tourism curriculum development in Indonesian universities, and religious (halal) tourism. During his time at KITLV, he  is developing a research project proposal on halal tourism. Particularly, he investigates the implementation of halal tourism brand marketing in relation to the religious contestation in public space in Indonesian tourism industries. He critically analyses halal tourism concept and its implementation in three halal tourism destinations in Indonesia, namely Aceh, Padang and Lombok.


Our institute hosts several international postdoctoral research fellows. KITLV fellows are invited to present lectures, participate in seminars and cooperate in the institute’s research projects. This page lists, in alphabetical order, the visiting fellows currently staying at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.

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Also interested in becoming a visiting fellow at our institute? Click here to check out the different types of fellowships we have available at KITLV.