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Seminar ‘Indonesian comics as media for Islamic preaching and social criticism’

11/11/2015 @ 15:30 - 17:00

Comics in the Malay world and beyond is still a ridiculously understudied and ignored topic in the field of literary and cultural studies of Southeast Asia, despite several thorough local studies and the efforts by international scholars such as Bonneff, Berman and Lent. Except for the fact that this is unfortunate for the wealth of date that can be mined from them, it also denies serious artistic expressions the study they deserve in this increasingly important and popular medium. In this talk I want to discuss two different types of comics: Islamic strips that experienced a surge in the 1970-80s as a means to spread moralistic teachings, and a more recent type of sophisticated comics that purport to vent social criticism and upgrade the status of locally produced Indonesian comics. These different types of comics demand different approaches which I will briefly discuss as well.

Jan van der Putten is Professor Austronesistik in the Department of Southeast Asia (Asien-Afrika-Institut) at the University of Hamburg where he teaches on Southeast Asian literatures and cultures. Traditional Malay writing is one of his main research areas but he also ventures in other types and periods of Malay traditions. In his research he explores the meaning of traditional and popular Malay texts and how these texts are disseminated among peoples and exchanged between cultures.

Recent publications include ‘Bangsawan. The coming of a popular Malay theatrical form, Indonesia and Malay World (2014), ,’‘Dirty Dancing’ and Malay anxieties: the changing context of Malay Ronggeng in the first half of the twentieth century’, in Sonic Modernities in the Malay World (2014), and Translation in Asia. Theories, Practices, Histories (co-edited with Ronit Ricci, 2011).

If you wish to attend please register with Yayah Siegers: [email protected].


15:30 - 17:00
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KITLV, room 138
Reuvensplaats 2
Leiden, Netherlands
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