Indonesia Study Group
Date & time
Join in-person: Seminar Room E, HC Coombs Building.
Join online: bit.ly/isg_canberra; Webinar ID: 850 4235 3685; Passcode: 029070
Aceh has been an anomalous problem for Java-centric understandings of Indonesia, even though paradoxically central to nationalist mythology. Adopting its history as a PhD topic was perhaps a risky route to becoming the Indonesianist I aspired to be as a 1960s student. But it served me well as the Southeast Asianist I eventually became. Though again anomalous in the semi-autobiographical survey of Southeast Asian Studies I am undertaking, it deserved a chapter because it pointed the way to many themes that have dominated my work – slavery, nationalism, gender, the Turkish connection, gunpowder states, 17th century crisis, Islamisation, cosmopolitan versus vernacular, tectonic discontinuities, and the whole ‘Age of Commerce’ idea. Moving to Singapore (2002-9) gave me an opportunity and sense of obligation to seek to ameliorate the traumas of that period. This will be one perspective on the post-colonial contest for sovereignty in one of Asia’s awkward corners.
Photo: Former Governor of Aceh Irwandi Yusuf and Anthony Reid, 2007 (source: Anthony Reid)