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Meet the Sastra Now team
Sastra Now unites academics, teachers, writers, students and members of the community across the world to discuss Indonesian literatures of all genres and periods.

A snapshot of the Sastra Now team

Pam Allen is Associate Professor of Indonesian and Associate Dean (International) in the Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania. Her research interests include contemporary Indonesian literature and popular culture, with a particular interest in postcolonialism, gender and minority ethnic voices. Her publications include articles on contemporary literature as well as translations into English of Indonesian fiction. She has undertaken research into the impact of regional autonomy on literature and the arts in Indonesia with a particular focus on Bali and West Sumatra and on cultural practices in overseas Indonesian/Malay communities, in Suriname and New Caledonia. Pam is internationally recognised for her research on postcolonial readings of literature and the continuing postcolonial effect of population shifts, including displacement and marginalisation.  Her contribution to the field of migrant cultural studies began with the research she has done into minority groups in Indonesia, whose history and current status shares much in common with the migrant experience. She has presented and published on two groups in particular – the Chinese-Indonesians who lack an ethnic homeland in Indonesia and who have been marginalised by successive regimes, and the Hindu Balinese, whose ancestors left Java for Bali when Islam spread through Java. Pam’s Indonesian-language publications have had a very significant impact on literary and cultural discourses in Indonesia.  Her 2004 book Membaca dan Membaca Lagi: Reinterpretasi Fiksi Indonesia 1980-1995 is on the reading list of literature courses at leading Indonesian universities.

Professor Harry Aveling holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, and is also Adjunct Professor of Asian Studies at La Trobe University. He specialises in Indonesian and Malay Literature (MA, University of Sydney 1966; PhD, National University of Singapore 1999), and Translation Studies(Doctor of Creative Arts, University of Technology Sydney, 2001). He has translated extensively from Indonesian and Malay, and in 1991 was awarded the Anugerah Pengembangan Sastera by the Federation of Malay Writing Societies (GAPENA) for ”jasa gigihnya dalam meluaskan pengertian terhadap Sastera Melayu di kalangan masyarakat antarabangsa”. Among his major translations are Secrets Need Words: Indonesian Poetry 1966-1998 (Ohio University Press 2001), short listed for the NSW Premier’s Translation Award 2003, and Saint Rosa: Selected Verse of Dorothea Rosa Herliany (IndonesiaTera 2005), winner of the Khatulistiwa Prize for Poetry, Jakarta 2006. He is currently working on a volume of essays tentatively entitled “Perceptions: Translation and Indonesian/Malay Literature”.

Ian Campbell is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures at Macquarie University, Sydney. For more than thirty years he was a Commonwealth public servant in Sydney and he developed an interest in literatures and translation following contacts with various ethnic communities in Sydney.

He holds postgraduate research qualifications in Indonesian Studies (1988 – Family Law in West Java; 2007 – Indonesian language poetry in West Java) from the University of Sydney. His print publications are Contemporary Indonesian Language Poetry from West Java: National Literature, Regional Manifestations (2008) and Tak ada Peringatan (2013), a collection of his own Indonesian language poetry, much of which had also appeared in various Indonesian mass media and/or literary journals/publications in Jakarta or Bandung (2002-2016), including in KompasHorison and Pikiran Rakyat. Tak ada Peringatan was ’Highly Commended’ in the Australian Arts in Asia Awards sponsored (2013) by the then Australian Government. An e-journal publication of Ian’s Indonesian language poetry appeared in 2008 as Sur-Selatan-Southin PORTAL (UTS e-Press).

His Indonesia-related academic publications have appeared in literary and academic journals in Indonesia, Australia, Germany and the United States. Manuscript papers, digital and audio recordings of his Indonesian language readings (2004-2013) in Jakarta, West Java and Bali (Inaugural 2004 Ubud Festival) are held in the National Library of Australia and/or the National Film and Sound Archives in Canberra, as well as registered – languages other than English – in AUSTLIT, the main Australian literature data-base. Ian has continuing interests in contemporary Indonesian and Dutch language poetry with Indonesian themes. He commenced Indonesian studies in 1966 at the University of Sydney as part of an Arts degree.

His book, “Tak ada Peringatan” can be downloaded here.

Helen Creese is Associate Professor in Indonesian in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Helen teaches Indonesian language and studies. Her research interests include Balinese textual and literary traditions, past and present, Old Javanese literature, Balinese history and historiography and gender studies. Her current research projects centre on Balinese textual traditions, identity and media in contemporary Bali and the history of Old Javanese kakawinliterature. Her publications include Bali in the Early Nineteenth Century: The EthnographicAccounts of Pierre Dubois ( Brill 2016); The Stigmatisation of Widows and Divorcees (janda) in Indonesian Society, with Lyn Parker, Indonesia and the Malay World Special Issue 128 (2016); A Puputan Tale: The Story of a Pregnant Woman/Puputan Badung: Cerita Seorang Wanita Hamil Muda (2013, Pustaka Larasan: Denpasar); From Langka Eastwards: The Ramayana in the Literature and Visual Arts of Indonesia, with Andrea Acri and Arlo Griffiths(2011, KITLV Press); Women of the Kakawin World: Marriage and Sexuality in the Indic Courts of Java and Bali(Routledge 2004) and its Indonesian translation Perempuan dalam Dunia Kakawin: Perkawinan dan Sekualitas di Istana Indic Jawa dan Bali (Pustaka Larasan 2012) and Parthayana—The Journeying of Partha: An Eighteenth Century Balinese Kakawin (KITLV Press, 1998).

Novi Djenar completed her undergraduate degree (cum laude) at Gajah Mada University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), majoring in English literature. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Education from Hawthorn Institute of Education in Melbourne. After completing the DipEd she worked as a secondary teacher of English at Mangere College, Auckland, for two years before moving back to Melbourne and began teaching at La Trobe University where she held the position of convenor of Indonesian alternately with Prof. Harry Aveling.

She gained her MA in Asian Studies from La Trobe with a thesis examining metaphor in the speeches of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. Prior to moving to Sydney in 2009, she was the vice-convenor of Indonesian community radio at Melbourne’s 3ZZZ. Novi gained her PhD in linguistics from the University of Melbourne with a thesis on the semantics of Indonesian prepositions. She has published in the area of Indonesian grammar, the semantics of prepositions, person reference, and the stylistics of youth fiction. Novi’s current research interests are in topics related to linguistic style and youth identities, youth languages, representations of adolescence in literature, and conceptions of place in narrative.

Dr Keith Foulcher is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Indonesian Studies, University of Sydney, where he retired in February 2006 as lecturer and coordinator of the Indonesian Studies program. Before his appointment to the University of Sydney in 1996, he taught at Monash University in Melbourne and Flinders University in Adelaide. His research interests are in modern Indonesian literature and cultural history, especially the late colonial and early independence periods. His most recent publication is Indonesian Notebook: A Sourcebook on Richard Wright and the Bandung Conference (with Brian Russell Roberts, Duke University Press 2016). He is also co-editor, with Mikihiro Moriyama and Manneke Budiman, of Words in Motion: Language and Discourse in Post-New Order Indonesia (National University of Singapore Press, 2012), and, with Tony Day, of Clearing a Space: Postcolonial Readings of Modern Indonesian Literature (KITLV Press, 2002).

Professor Lesley Harbon is Head of School in the School of International Studies at the University of Technology Sydney. Lesley has been involved in languages education in Australian schools and universities since the early 1970s. Lesley learned Indonesian during her high school years, then studied German alongside Indonesian at the University of Sydney in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She taught Indonesian and German at Tennant Creek High School in the early 1980s then taught Indonesian at the University of Southern Queenland in the mid-1980s. During the 1990s she was sessional Lecturer in Indonesian at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, concurrently teaching primary level Indonesian at Parkes Public School.  Lesley then moved to be Lecturer in Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Education at the University of Tasmania, where she completed her PhD in 2001. After Lesley’s move to the University of Sydney in 2002 she became further involved in internationalisation of higher education, first as the Director of Study Abroad, Exchange and Short Term International Experiences in the Faculty of Education and Social Work from 2006, then as Associate Dean International from 2009 to 2014. Between 2007-2010, Lesley was President of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Associations (AFMLTA), the national peak body for language teachers in Australia.

Lesley sat on the Australian Development Scholarships Joint Selection Team for DFAT between 2007 and 2013. Lesley has supervised a number of Indonesian candidates for their Masters by Research and Doctoral research projects since 2000. Lesley has been invited to present keynote papers at a number of international academic conferences in Bali, Java and Sumatra in the past 10 years. One of Lesley’s most recent research projects was funded by the Australia Indonesia Centre, and produced a study on food and nutrition in Indonesia’s linguistic landscape which she conducted with her partner at University of Indonesia, Dr Sisilia Halimi.

Barbara taught Indonesian Studies at Monash University, then at the University of Tasmania, and is currently a Professor Emeritus in Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania. Her research has focused on Indonesian performing arts, modern literature and gender studies. Barbara’s publications include Javanese Performances on an Indonesian Stage Contesting Culture, Embracing Change (NUS Press, 2008), Theatre and Performance in the Asia Pacific: Regional Modernities in the Global Era co-authored with Denise Varney, Peter Eckersall and Chris Hudson (Palgrave, 2013), and an edited volume on performance in post-Suharto Indonesia Performing Contemporary Indonesia: Celebrating Locality, Constructing Community(Brill, 2015), published also in an Indonesian version, co-edited with G. Subanar and Yustina Devi Ardiani, Seni Pertunjukan Indonesia Pasca Orde Baru, (Sanata Dharma University Press 2014). Barbara has a special interest in gender issues in modern Indonesian literature and performance, illustrated in publications such as “Post-coloniality and the feminine in modern Indonesian literature’ in Keith Foulcher and Tony Day (eds) Clearing a Space (KITLV Press 2002) and ‘Hearing Women’s Voices, Contesting Women’s Bodies’ Intersections 16, 2008.

Currently she is pursuing a new research interest in Indonesia-related performance in Australia, so far publishing several short articles on its staging in the context of major arts festivals, e.g. ‘Encountering Indonesia at Asiatopa part 1’ ‘Inside Indonesia 3 August 2017 and ‘Encountering Indonesia at Asiatopa part 2’ Inside Indonesia August 30 2017.

Professor David Hill is Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Fellow in the Asia Research Centre. He is accredited as a Professional (Level 3) English/Indonesian Interpreter and Translator by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), Canberra. He has been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore (2006); a invited participant in the Government’s “Australia 2020 Summit” (April 2008), a National Teaching Fellow of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (since 2009) and a Board Member of the DFAT Australia-Indonesia Institute (2011-14). Professor Hill is the Founder and Director of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), a consortium of 24 Australian and international universities which assists foreign students to study in Indonesian universities. In 2015 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for significant service to international relations, as an advocate of Australia-Indonesia cross-cultural understanding, and as an educator’.

Dr Edwin Jurriëns is Lecturer in Indonesian Studies at The University of Melbourne and Visiting Fellow with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of New South Wales in Canberra. Before joining The University of Melbourne, Edwin was Lecturer in Indonesian Studies and Southeast Asian Social Inquiry at UNSW Canberra (2004-2012) and Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University, The Netherlands (2001-2003). He holds a PhD (2001) and Master’s (1996) and undergraduate degrees in Literature and Indonesian Studies from Leiden University, and he also studied at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta (1994-1995) and Andalas University in Padang (1992). His undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision cover media, art, literature, culture and society in Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia.

His latest book, Visual Media in Indonesia: Video Vanguard (Routledge, 2017) deals with creative media creating awareness about and presenting more sustainable scenarios for the interconnection between virtual, material and natural environments. With Dr Ross Tapsell, he is co-editor of Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence (ISEAS, 2017). He has also authored and co-edited books on the role of society, culture and art in disaster relief efforts in the Asia-Pacific region (Disaster Relief in the Asia-Pacific: Agency and Resilience; Routledge, 2014); the role of radio in facilitating discourse around Indonesia’s transition to democracy (From Monologue to Dialogue: Radio and Reform in Indonesia; KITLV Press/Brill, 2009); the role of art and the media in representing connections between cosmopolitanism and patriotism in Asia (Cosmopatriots: On Distant Belongings and Close Encounters; Rodopi/Brill, 2007); and the role of local-language television, radio and music in shaping contemporary forms of hybrid identity in West Java (Cultural Travel and Migrancy: The Artistic Representation of Globalization in the Electronic Media of West Java; KITLV Press/Brill, 2004). Edwin is co-editor of the Asian Visual Cultures book series of Amsterdam University Press and regional editor for Australia and the Pacific of The Newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS).

Yacinta Kusdaryumi Kurniasih was born in Kedungjati, Central Java, Indonesia. In 1986, she went to Yogyakarta where she did her degree in English Literature, Education, and Language Teaching Methodology at the University of Yogyakarta. She has been teaching English, Indonesian, and Javanese as a foreign language in various formal and non-formal educational setting since then. She obtained her B.A. (Hons) with a thesis which examined the correlation between the learner’s perception and attitude toward the culture of the target language (English) and their academic achievement in language learning. Yacinta has a wide variety of hobbies ranging from drama, writing poetry and short stories to cooking, and self defence (currently Taekwondo). She completed her Master Research Project on age, gender and foreign language learning strategy: a study case of Indonesian students in Tasmania University. In February 1997 she joined Indonesian Studies, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University. Currently Yacinta is working on her PhD focussing on Javanese language teaching at schools and Young Javanese in Yogyakarta. Yacinta writes poetry in Javanese, Indonesian and English. Yacinta performs her poems in both Indonesia and Australia regularly. Her latest publications are: To Whom It May Concern (YJP, 2015), Aku, Perempuan dan Kata-Kata (YJP, 2016) and Wanodya (Interlude, 2017 – with other 10 Javanese women poets).

Fiona Lee researches and teaches in the fields of postcolonial studies, 20th and 21st-century literature, and cultural studies. Her research explores the history of decolonisation and the cold war in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in Malaysia and Singapore, through the prisms of literature and the arts. She earned her Ph.D in English and a Women’s Studies Certificate at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 2014. At CUNY, she taught literature and writing courses, as well as participated in various digital teaching and learning initiatives. From 2014-2016, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cultural Studies at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She is currently a Lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Department of English. 

Dr Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian fiction author and a lecturer in media and film studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. She received her Ph.D from New York University (2014). Both her fiction and academic works explore the relations between gender and sexuality, culture, and politics. She is the author of Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu (The Wandering: Choose Your Own Red-Shoes Adventure, 2017). She has published two collections of short stories: Sihir Perempuan (Black Magic Woman, 2005), shortlisted for the 2005 Khatulistiwa Literary Award, and Kumpulan Budak Setan (The Devil’s Slaves Club, 2010), a tribute to Indonesia’s most prolific horror writer, Abdullah Harahap, which she co-wrote with Eka Kurniawan and Ugoran Prasad. In 2011-2012 she collaborated with the theatre group Teater Garasi in adapting her short story, “Goyang Penasaran” (Obsessive Twist), for a stage play. She received the 2013 Kompas Best Short Story Award for her short story, “Klub Solidaritas Suami Hilang” (The Solidarity Club of the Missing Husbands). Some of her short stories have been translated into English, German, and French. Her short story collection in English, translated by Stephen Epstein, will be published by Brow Books (2018). Intan has been an invited speaker at universities and film festivals, and her articles appear in journals including Film Quarterly, Jump Cut, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Visual Anthropology(forthcoming) as well as edited volumes such as Southeast Asian Independent Cinema and Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.

Professor George Quinn is Honorary Professor in the School of Culture, History & Language, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.

For more than forty years he has followed developments in modern Javanese literature with many studies published in English, Indonesian and Javanese. The most important of these is The Novel in Javanese (1992) translated into Indonesian under the title Novel Berbahasa Jawa(1995). Two recent papers on Javanese literature are “Emerging from dire straits: Post-New Order developments in Javanese language and literature” in Words in Motion: Language and Discourse in Post-New Order Indonesia (2012) and “Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai: A Chinese folk romance in Java and Bali” in Literary Migrations: Traditional Chinese Fiction in Asia 17th to 20th centuries (2013), plus the soon-to-be-published conference paper “The tenth saint and his antecedents: Continuity in a Javanese narrative trope” presented at the International Symposium “Religious Transformation as reflected in Javanese texts” Tokyo University of Foreign Studies 2015. Currently Geprge Quinn is preparing English translations of several works of modern Javanese literature, including Poerwadhie Atmodihardjo’s novel Ibu (1980-1981). For an example of his studies on modern Javanese literature see “Makhluk siluman dan budaya uang dalam novel Jawa moderen”.

Josh joined the University as Lecturer in the Department of Chinese Studies in 2017. A graduate in Chinese theatre from Nanjing University, he has worked closely with theatre troupes and performers in China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia for fifteen years. His research focuses on recent and contemporary literary and theatrical activities of Southeast Asian Chinese communities, and current cultural exchanges and discourses in the age of Chinese soft power.

His 2019 book Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (University of Hawai’i Press) traces the evolution of performed Sino-Indonesian identities from the late colonial period to the present, looking closely at religious processions, glove puppetry, ‘Chinese opera’, commercial, community and political theatre. Currently, he is working on Tsinoy (Sino-Filipino) and Sino-Myanmar theatre history and practice as well as the flows of literature and popular music between Indonesia and the Chinese world. His present projects operate on the principle that looking at Sino-Southeast Asian communities regionally rather than in isolation promotes a fuller account of the movements of people, cultural products and ideas over time.

Professor Stuart Robson was born in Sydney, and studied at the University of Sydney (BA 1962, MA 1966) and the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) (DLit 1971). He worked in Indonesia, New Zealand and the Netherlands before taking up the position of Associate Professor of Indonesian at Monash in 1991. He took early retirement in 2001, and is at present Adjunct Professor in Indonesian Studies at Monash. For more than 40 years he has pursued interests in Javanese, Old Javanese and Classical Malay, and has many publications to his name in these and related fields, the most recent being an English translation of the Old Javanese Ramayana (Javanese Studies 2, 2015), and The Kakawin Ghatotkacasraya (Javanese Studies 3, 2016), both published by the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Other publications include Bhomāntaka: The death of Bhoma (edition and translation, with A. Teeuw, 2005), and Arjunawiwaha; The Marriage of Arjuna of Mpu Kanwa (2008), both in the KITLV Bibliotheca Indonesica series; Javanese-English Dictionary (with Singgih Wibisono), Tuttle 2002; Basic Indonesian; An Introductory Coursebook (with Yacinta Kurniasih), Tuttle 2010, and Javanese Grammar for Students; A Graded Introduction (Monash University Publishing, 2014).

Dr Paul Thomas is a lecturer in Indonesian Studies and Translation Studies at Monash University. He conducts research on the historical presence of translators and interpreters in Australia and Southeast Asia, the role of translators in journalism, the history of the Indonesian-Malay language in Australia, and representations of Indonesians/Malays in Australian film and literature. He is also interested in the translation of Australian literature into Indonesian.

His publications include ‘Interpreting the Macassans: Language exchange in historical encounters, in Marshall Clark and Sally K. May (eds), Macassan History and Heritage: Journeys, Encounters, and Influences, Canberra: ANU E Press (2013), Oodeen, a Malay interpreter on Australia’s frontier lands, Indonesia and the Malay World 40 (2012).

Tiffany Tsao is a writer, literary critic, and translator. Her debut novel The Oddfits was published by AmazonCrossing in 2016. Her fiction, poetry, and translations of Indonesian writing have appeared in venues such as LONTAR, MascaraAsymptote, and Transnational Literature. Her literary criticism has appeared in Comparative LiteratureLiterature and TheologyThe Sydney Review of Books, and various other journals. She is the Indonesia Editor-at-Large for Asymptote magazine and an honorary associate in the Sydney University Indonesian Studies Department.

Professor Vickers researches and publishes on the cultural history of Southeast Asia. His research utilises expertise in the Indonesian language as well as drawing on sources in Balinese, Kawi (Old and Middle Javanese) and Dutch. He has held a series of Australian Research Council grants (Discovery and Linkage), the most recent looking at modern and contemporary Indonesian art, Cold War history, and labour and industry in Southeast Asia. As part of a linkage grant on the history of Balinese painting, he is preparing a virtual museum, continuing previous pioneering work in eResearch and teaching. His books include the highly popular Bali: A Paradise Created (2012), The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia's Northern Trading Network (2015, with Dr Julia Martínez, funded by an ARC Discovery Project Grant) - winner of the 2016 Northern Territory Chief Minister’s History Book Award, A History of Modern Indonesia (2013) and Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawings of Bali, 1800-2010 (2012). Professor Vickers has supervised more than 30 PhD theses to completion, and has taught subjects on Southeast Asian history and culture from first year to Honours and Masters levels. Professor Vickers is frequently asked to comment on Indonesia and Australian-Indonesian relations for national and international media.

Professor Peter Worsley was born in Sydney, and studied at the University of Sydney (BA (First Class Hons) and University Medal 1962) and the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) (DLit 1972). He worked at the University of Leiden between 1965 and 1972 and was Professor of Indonesian and Malayan Studies at the University of Sydney between 1973 and 2000 and is now Professor Emeritus. Between 2000 and 2014 he was Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, where he and Dr Supomo collaborated on an annotated edition, translation and commentary of the old Javanese epic kakawinSumansāntaka.

 Between 2009–13 he worked with Prof. Adrian Vickers, Dr. Siobhan Campbell in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney and Stan Florek at the Australian Museum in Sydney on an ARC Linkage Grant project entitled ‘Understanding Balinese paintings: collections, narrative, aesthetics and society.’ In 2015 he was Visiting Professor at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan, where he worked on an ILCAA research project, ‘Transformation of Religions as Reflected in Javanese Texts,’ on the subject of ‘Palaces, Landscapes and the Heavenly World in the Ancient Javanese Imaginary.’ His research interests include the social and cultural history of premodern Southeast Asia, and Indonesian, Balinese and ancient Javanese literature and visual arts.

Currently he is preparing an annotated edition, translation and commentary of the late 18thcentury Balinese Kidung Sumanasantaka, a project begun in collaboration with Dr. Supomo†. He is researching a book on the social and cultural history of Bali between 1800 and 1940 grounded on discussion of Balinese paintings of this period.