Marriage, Gender and Islam in Indonesia: Women Negotiating Informal Marriage, Divorce and Desire: Maria Platt (Australia-Indonesia Centre)

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Date(s) - 28/03/2018
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Building S, Level 9, Room 901, Monash University Caulfield



In this seminar, Maria discusses the key ideas behind her book Marriage, Gender and Islam in Indonesia: Women Negotiating Informal Marriage, Divorce and Desire, which draws upon ethnographic case studies from the eastern Indonesian island of Lombok. Maria conducted fieldwork in a village on the outskirts of the city of Mataram for an 18-month period between 2007 and 2009. Her research focussed on the lives of married Muslim women – the majority of whose unions were not registered with the state.

In discussing unregistered marriage, Maria discusses a new approach for theorising marital experiences as playing out across a dynamic marital continuum, in a community where early marriage, divorce and remarriage are common place for Muslim women. In this seminar Maria will also consider how local modalities of Islam shape gender relations in Lombok and how these modalities are actively negotiated by women in pursuing their marital desires.


Maria Platt is currently is the Coordinator of the Australia-Indonesia Centre Infrastructure Cluster based at Monash Univeristy. She has over a decade of experience in conducting research and managing projects in the Southeast Asian context, with a particular focus on Indonesia. After a trip across Indonesia in the mid-2000s Maria became interested in understanding more about the country and the people that lived there and began her PhD in 2006.

After completing her studies, Maria returned to Southeast Asia to work at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she was based until late 2016. Maria’s other research interests lie in the areas of gender, changing ideas of family and marriage, and the politics of identity and citizenship, particularly in the Indonesian context.

Maria received her PhD in Anthropology from La Trobe University in 2011, and has a Bachelor in Applied Science (Health Promotion) (Hons) from Deakin University.


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