Accepted Paper:

Doing anthropology in Indonesia under Suharto and beyond: a critical reflection on the impact of state repression and development agendas on the production of anthropological knowledge  
Thomas Reuter (University of Melbourne)

Paper long abstract:

From 1966 to 1998, Indonesia was under the authoritarian rule of General Suharto, whose New Order regime repressed political dissent and criticism as well as implementing a sometimes ruthless development and modernisation policy, often against the wishes and contrary to the interests of local communities. Both domestic and foreign anthropologists working in Indonesia were restricted in their practice due to their dependence on the support of the state, either as Indonesian public servants working in local universities or as foreign visitors who needed to obtain visas and research permits, and hence had to avoid offending the authorities. Criticism of the regime and its policies had to be communicated in a diplomatic fashion, or were muted altogether. Subsequent to the fall of Suharto and the democratisation of Indonesia, anthropologists have had more scope to engage. This paper examines some of the effects of political repression and recent liberalisation.

Panel W004
Diverse anthropologies with multiple publics: Crisis or imaginative responses? [WCAA workshop]