webinar register page

Webinar banner
IS4 Webinar | Is there Indonesian history before 1945? Unconnected histories, and the (near) absence of postcolonial concerns
Indonesian historiography is extremely compartmentalized. For most Indonesians their history starts in August 1945, unconnected with the colonial past. This prevents for instance an analysis of the transition of colonial modernity to its postcolonial manifestations, and may explain the near absence of postcolonial debates in Indonesia.

Dutch colonial history shows a reversed pattern: it stops in 1950 and shows no interest in postcolonial Indonesia. Indonesian and Dutch historical interests hardly overlap. Even the period 1945-1950 reveals a wide gap. For the Dutch it was a period of 'decolonization' with, currently, an emphasis on Dutch military violence; for Indonesia it was the war of independence with an emphasis on nation-building and state formation. What prevents historians to break through these temporal and conceptual barriers? Would it be possible to identify and explore shared concerns?

We warmly invite you to join Emeritus Professor Henk Schulte Nordholt from KITLV, in conversation with Professor Bambang Purwanto from Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to explore the diverse narratives around Indonesia's pre-1945 history. The conversation will be moderated by Assistant Professor Jessica Soedirgo from the University of Amsterdam.

About the IS4 Series:
Sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Cornell Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), this virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Indonesia. In addition to providing in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in Indonesia, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in Indonesia and around the world.

Sep 30, 2021 05:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Webinar logo
* Required information


Bambang Purwanto
Professor @Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta
Bambang Purwanto is a professor in History at Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He was also Extraordinary Leiden Professor for History of Indonesia-Dutch relations between 2006-2017. He graduated from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London UK, where he received his MA in 1989 and Ph.D in 1992. His main interest is on economic history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, social and daily life history and Indonesian historiography. Some of his publications are Gagalnya Historiografi Indonesiasentris?! (2006), Perspektif Baru Penulisan Sejarah Indonesia” (Henk Schulte Nordholt and Ratna Saptari, 2008), Sites, Bodies and Stories. Imagining Indonesian History (Henk Schulte Nordholt and Susan Legene, 2015) and Praktik Kewarganegaraan di Indonesia dalam Perspektif Historiografis (2019)
Henk Schulte Nordholt
Emeritus Professor @KITLV
Henk Schulte Nordholt is emeritus professor of Indonesian history and Honorary Fellow at KITLV in Leiden. He is Head of Research at KITLV. His main fields of research include Southeast Asian history, contemporary politics in Indonesia, political violence, and the anthropology of colonialism. He has a special interest in Balinese studies. He is also chairman of the board of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) and Secretary of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS). Together with Harry Poeze he writes a book on the Indonesian Revolution that will be published in Dutch in February 2022. An Indonesian translation will hopefully appear in 2023.