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Indonesian Studies Initiative

Minang WomanAs Indonesia continues its emergence as an economic and political power in Southeast Asia, the Center for Southeast Asia Studies (CSEAS) at UC Berkeley is seeking donor support for a new initiative designed to promote greater attention to Indonesia on campus. Through our efforts, we plan to provide undergraduates and graduate students at Cal with opportunities to learn about, and engage with, one of the world’s largest democracies and its most populous Muslim-majority nation.

UC Berkeley has long been an important center for Indonesian Studies and the home to a number of respected scholars in the field over the decades. Prominent graduates from Indonesia include Ali Wardhana, Bambang Susantono, Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Emil Salim, Gunawan Tjahjono, Hasbullah Thabrany, Johannes Sumarlin, Mely G. Tan, Muhammad Prakosa, Sehat Sutardja, Todung Mulya Lubis, Wicaksono Sarosa, and Widjojo Nitisastro.

Berkeley is also one of the few universities in the U.S. that offers instruction in the Indonesian language, as well as in Javanese and Balinese gamelan, during the academic year.


CSEAS core faculty with long-standing research interests in Indonesia:

Affiliated faculty whose work intersects with Indonesian Studies include Richard Buxbaum (Law), Pheng Cheah (Rhetoric), Jeroen Dewulf (Dutch Studies), Steven Fish (Political Science), Lisa Gold (Music), Midiyanto (Music), and Ninik Lunde (South and Southeast Asian Studies)

Recent Courses Taught:

Introductory & Intermediate Indonesian
Malay Letters and Oral Traditions
Beginning & Intermediate Javanese Gamelan
Balinese Gamelan
Self, Representation and Nation
Peoples and Cultures of Island Southeast Asia
Mythologies of Island Southeast Asia
Culture & Politics of Islam in Southeast Asia
The Indonesian Connection
Music and Theater in Southeast Asia
Political Anthropology of Indonesia
Southeast Asian Cultures and Texts
Articulations of the Female in Indonesia
Indonesia: Theories and Histories
Gender, History & Modernity in Southeast Asia
The City in South & Southeast Asia
Modern Southeast Asian History
Politics of Southeast Asia

As part of this history and for the future, CSEAS invites alumni, parents, and friends to join in supporting Indonesian Studies at Cal. Specific priorities proposed for the Berkeley Indonesian Studies Initiative include:

  • Establishing an endowed Chair in Indonesian Studies to support faculty research and course development
  • Funding fellowships for graduate students from Indonesia to pursue degree programs at UC Berkeley, and,
  • Promoting academic exchange between Indonesian universities and UC Berkeley through support for short-term visiting scholars and for conferences and workshops.

Levels of Support

  • $2 million to endow a Named Faculty Chair in Indonesian Studies
  • $1 million to endow a Named Postdoctoral Fellow in Indonesian Studies
  • $750,000 to endow a Named Graduate Student Fellowship for an Indonesian student to study at Cal
  • $100,000 to endow a Named Summer Research Award for graduate students to travel and conduct research in Indonesia
  • $25,000 annually or $500,000 to endow a conference on Indonesian Studies
  • $5,000 annually or $100,000 to endow a Named Distinguished Lecture Series

All donations are tax deductible. Gifts may be made as cash contributions, as pledges to be paid over several years, or as bequests. Online donations can be made to CSEAS through the Give to Cal gateway.