Inaugural Herb Feith Professorial Lecture: Professor Ariel Heryanto


Thursday, 1 June 2017
HB40, H Building, Monash University, Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145
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Dinner: 6:00pm-6:45pm
Lecture: 6:45pm-8pm
RSVP is essential. Click here to register


‘STORIES OF SUBVERSION, SUBVERSIVE STORIES: A Critique of Indonesia’s Politics of Identity’

ABSTRACT: 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 this 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.

*Presented by Herb Feith Foundation and Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Monash University