Critical Histories of Activism: Indonesia’s New Order and its Legacies

UCLA Indonesian Studies Conference


April 13-14, 2013, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
Conveners: Jeffrey Hadler and Nancy Peluso (University of California, Berkeley)

This conference will give scholars and activists an opportunity to reassess the emergence or resurgence of new forms of activism and protest during the New Order period in Indonesia. In the face of state violence and repressive actions towards large segments of the population political and cultural activists developed techniques of action and expression that survived policing or thrived in its constant presence. Some of these modes of action and activism lasted beyond the fall of Suharto but for others the new political era required different critical tactics.

Nevertheless, many of the new communities and institutional forms born under the New Order lived on in its wake. We are calling for papers that address the histories of cultural and political movements and organizations as they developed under the New Order, as well as those that explore the legacies of the New Order in contemporary Indonesia. Topics might include political activism, literature, human rights, visual and performing arts, environmental justice, pedagogical reform, agrarian movements, and religious movements.

The New Order is an unpopular subject for analysis. There is little romance in apparent counter-revolution or the activism of disillusioned anticommunists. We will challenge a monolithic analysis of the New Order through an exploration of cultural and political activism in particular places and at particular moments. Activists and artists were able to generate a vital if occasionally veiled politics of resistance.

What to Submit:

  1. CV/Resume
  2. Title of Paper
  3. 300-500 word abstract of conference paper that addresses one or more of the above themes
  4. Writing Sample (not more than 5 pages): may be an excerpt from a journal article, dissertation chapter, or conference paper that reflects your academic interests

Please submit electronically to the Indonesian Studies Conference application here  by January 7, 2013.  Questions can be directed to

Other dates:

  • February 1, 2013: Notification of acceptance for participants
  • February 20, 2013