Inaugural Herb Feith Professorial Lecture – STORIES OF SUBVERSION, SUBVERSIVE STORIES: A Critique of Indonesia’s Politics of Identity

Date/Time: Thu 01 Jun / 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Room HB.40, Building H, Caulfield Campus


Centre of Southeast Asian Studies in conjunction with the CSEAS the Herb Feith Foundation presents this special event.

Presented by Professor Ariel Heryanto

One dominant, durable and most dangerous idea has poisoned social life in Indonesia since independence. It is the modern notion that pure or authentic social identities are possible and highly desirable. This notion has repeatedly led not only to ambitious pursuits for the idealised identities (authentically Indonesian, purely Eastern, truly masculine, essential motherhood, or correctly Islamic). It has also prompted the combative commitments to disavow or mutilate elements of the nation deemed impure, less authentic, mixed or deviant. Stories of the early formation of the nation, or the national revolution that led to Indonesia’s independence, have the potential to be radically subversive to this obsession, as inauthenticity and hybridity are the hallmarks of that history. In order to sustain the status quo, much of the rich and complex history of the colonialism and decolonisation must continue to be hidden, suppressed or denied to t his day.

Ariel Heryanto was born and raised in Indonesia under the military dictatorship of the New Order during the Cold War. Since March 2017 he is the Herbert Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia at Monash University. Previously he worked at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (Indonesia), The National University of Singapore, The University of Melbourne, and The Australian National University. He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; the politics of Indonesian screen culture (2014); State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (2007), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (2008). His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality.

Please register your attendance here by Monday 29 May, 2017

For further information, please contact
Jemma Purdey
990 34690

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