The Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration (ANRC)

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Successful applications from the ANRC 2008 Workshop funding round

The state and illegality in Indonesia will be held from 22 to 24 September 2008 in Canberra. The academic leaders are Dr Edward Aspinall from The Australian National University and Dr Gerry van Klinken from the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. The workshop summary is as follows:
Many people writing about corruption in Indonesia conclude that it is “deeply entrenched”. This suggests that illegality may be somehow intrinsic and necessary to the operation of the state. But when we ask what exactly illegal practices are entrenched in, the given answers often do not involve the state. One powerful idea is that they are entrenched in culture. A second explanation points to market-based mechanisms. What is missing from both these literatures is a strong institutional dimension. Yet institutions have interests too. Recognizing the centrality of state processes is the most important innovation in the present workshop. We must first put in the effort to understand how illegality works, what it is “entrenched” in, before we design recipes for change.

The Old Javanese Rāmāyaṇa. Text, History, Culture will be held from 26 to 28 May 2009 in Jakarta. The academic leaders are Prof Arlo Griffiths from Leiden University, A/Prof Helen Creese from University of Queensland, and Dr Titik Pudjiastuti from Universitas Indonesia. The workshop summary is as follows:
The workshop focuses on the Old Javanese Rāmāyaṇa, one of the earliest and most important pieces of poetical literature from the ancient Indonesian Archipelago (ca. 9th century AD).The event aims at bringing together a group of academics, senior researchers and PhD candidates involved in various fields relating to the culture of ancient Indonesia and India. The workshop, partially occasioned by an ongoing Dutch-Australian project of a critical edition and English translation of the complete text, will be marked by an innovative scholarly approach, informed by a pronounced multidisciplinarity. It will also aim at promoting to academics, governmental and public figures the importance of the study of ancient Javanese texts and culture.

Labour Migration and Trafficking: Policy Making at the Border will be held from 1 to 3 August 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. The academic leaders are A/Prof Lenore Lyons from University of Wollongong, Dr Michele Ford from University of Sydney, Prof Willem van Schendel from University of Amsterdam and Dr Riwanto Tirtosudarmo from Research Center for Society and Culture, Indonesian Institute of Sciences. The workshop summary is as follows:
The workshop aims to document and compare migrant labour in a range of border sites in Southeast Asia. It will do so in view of the rise of the global anti-trafficking narrative and its impact on policy-making concerned with transnational migrant labour. Through the presentation of ethnographic case studies, workshop participants will explore if, and how, the trafficking framework has influenced flows of migrants across borders; how policy-makers in sending and receiving countries attempt to regulate labour migration; and to what extent migration strategies and anti-trafficking policies have influenced the ability of migrant workers to exercise their labour rights. At a theoretical level, the workshop will develop a model for understanding the intersections between smuggling, trafficking and labour migration.

Culture and the Nation: Arts in the shadow of Lekra 1950 – 1965 will be held from 5 to 7 October 2009 in Jakarta. The academic leaders are Prof Henk Schulte Nordholt from KITLV & University of Amsterdam and Dr Jennifer Lindsay from The Australian National University. The workshop summary is as follows:
This research project examines Indonesia’s cultural history from 1950-65, when Indonesia’s political links with the world and its sense of nationhood were vigorously negotiated domestically on the cultural front. A workshop on Cultural Traffic Indonesia-Abroad 1950-1965 will be held from 7 - 9 April 2009 in Leiden, and will examine the exchange of artists, writers and ideas between Indonesia and various countries, both within Southeast Asia and on a wider global scale, the development of cultural networks, and ways these networks interacted with and influenced cultural expression and discourse in Indonesia. The second workshop Culture and the Nation: Arts in the shadow of Lekra 1950 – 1965 will focus on activities within Indonesia, opening new areas of investigation into the politicization of culture and artistic experimentation of this period.

Human security and religious certainty in Southeast Asia will be held from 15 to 17 January 2010 in Chiang Mai. The academic leaders are Prof Oscar Salemink from VU University Amsterdam, Dr Philip Taylor from The Australian National University and Dr Chayan Vaddhanaphuti from Chiang Mai University. The workshop summary is as follows:
Throughout Southeast Asia one can discern an upsurge of public ritual and religious practice, linking this-worldly economic, political and existential concerns with transcendental beliefs. We can think of pilgrimages, mass-mediated events, transactional rituals, or devotional practices, that seek to either syncretistic or purifying bricolage. This workshop will seek to answer the question if, and how, the religious upsurge can be interpreted as compensation for the risks, uncertainties, opaqueness and unpredictability characterizing the neoliberalization of everyday life in Southeast Asian risk societies. In so doing, the workshop will link existential concerns with a notion of ‘human security from below’.

Congratulations to these workshop leaders.