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Encountering Indonesia as a student, then and now


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Hatley, BL 2009 , 'Encountering Indonesia as a student, then and now' , Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, vol. 43, no. 1 , pp. 95-103 .

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‘Why aren’t there any Australian Indonesianists today like those of the
past?’ an Indonesian friend asked me recently. By ‘those of the past’ he explained
that he meant people retiring about now. The question further stimulated thoughts
I had been having about the study of Indonesia then and now, and differences in
the experiences of academics and students over the years. There are certainly few
Feith-like unravelling brown jumpers among contemporary lecturers. There are no
students bumbling off to Indonesia by boat after security concerns have stopped
flights from Australia, as a class-mate and I did in late 1965. But what might be
some of the deeper dimensions of change? What kind of students are choosing to
study Indonesian language and culture and where are they headed? How is
undergraduate teaching and learning and postgraduate study affected by institutional
insistence on ‘strategic’ choices in terms of time allocation, research topics and
publishing outlets? Organised in-country study programs, particularly those provided
by the ACICIS consortium, allow more extended, targeted encounters than the
wanderings of the students of my time. What has been the impact of such
developments? Where have the graduates of these new programs gone, to what extent
are they pursuing Indonesia-related careers? Might a new guard of ‘Indonesianists’
be emerging from their ranks, or is the term itself perhaps no longer meaningful?

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hatley, BL
Keywords: Indonesian studies, Australian academy, Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Study (ACICIS), memoir
Journal or Publication Title: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs
ISSN: 0815-7251
Additional Information:

© 2009. The Association for the Publication of Indonesian and Malaysian Studies Inc.

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