• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Asian Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ross Tapsell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course deals with central issues in contemporary Indonesia, from the malls of Jakarta to the rice fields of Bali, from the mosques of Aceh to the mountainous villages of Papua. This course emphasises the dynamics of social relations in specific cultural and historical contexts of the Indonesian and Malay archipelago, and current issues in the light of recent technological and societal change. The unifying focus of the course is on 'everyday life' of Indonesians, with specific references  to culture, media, anthropology, and environment. This allows students to study not only about the facts and figures of Indonesia today, also 'how' modern Indonesia is being debated and constructed, and how it has changed over time. This course will look at the dynamic changes, such as urbanisation, digitalisation, climate change, decentralisation, cosmopolitanism and much more. This course is central to any student's understanding of the  contemporary social and cultural analyses of life in Indonesia, with particular attention paid to its role in the Malay world.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. identify issues of interest in the field under consideration;
2. discuss these issues coherently and persuasively;
3. assess arguments made in the field;
4. explain the complex attitudes people have to these issues;
5. analyse and compare relevant data;
6. collaborate with other students and staff to select and combine materials for a case study;
7. research, present and justify the results of their collaboration with other students and staff with respect to the case studies;
8. reflect on and articulate how their own views on the field have developed over the course of the semester

Indicative Assessment

* Weekly class participation (ongoing) 10% (Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) 
* In-class assessments (35%) (LOs 1,2,3,4,5,7). 
* In-class presentation (20%) (LOs 1,2,3,4,7,8)
* Research essay 2,500 words (35%) (LOs 1,2,3,4,5,8)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course requires three contact hours each week. The total workload for the course is 130 hours including independent study. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 48 units of university courses. This course is incompatible with ASIA2517 and ASIA6517.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be provided on the Wattle page.

Preliminary Reading

Cribb, Robert (1999) “Nation: Making Indonesia”, in D. Emmerson (ed.), Indonesia Beyond Suharto, Armonk, NY: Asia Society, pp. 3-38.

Burr, Vivien (1995)  “Introduction; What Is Social Constructionism?”, in An Introduction to Social Constructionism, London & New York: Routledge, pp. 1-16.
Fechter, Anne-Meike (2005) “The Other stares back: Experiencing Whiteness in Jakarta”, Ethnography 6 (1): 87-103.

Noszlopy, Laura (ed.) (2006) “The Schapelle Corby Show: Drugs, Media and Society”, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 17 (1): 70-85.
Zurbuchen, Mary S. (1990) “Images of Culture and National Development in Indonesia: The Cockroach Opera”, Asian Theatre Journal, 7 (2): 127-49.

Coutas, Penelope (2008) “Fame, Fortune, Fantasi”, in A. Heryanto (ed.), Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics, London & New York: Routledge, pp. 111-29.
Wallach, Jeremy (2003) “Goodbye My Blind Majesty” in H.M. Berger and M.T. Carroll (eds), Global Pop, Local Language, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, pp. 53-86.

Yamashita, Shinji (1994) “Manipulating Ethnic Tradition: the Funeral Ceremony, Tourism, and Television among the Toraja of Sulawesi”, Indonesia, 58: 69-82.
Sen (2006) “‘Chinese’ Indonesians in national cinema”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 7 (1): 171-84.

Smith-Hefner, Nancy J. (2007) “Javanese Women and the Veil in Post-Soeharto Indonesia “, The Journal of Asian Studies, 66 (2/May): 389–420.
Allen, Pam (2007) “Challenging Diversity?: Indonesia’s Anti-Pornography Bill”, Asian Studies Review, 31 (June): 101-15.

Anderson, Benedict (1990) “Languages of Indonesian Politics”, in Language and Power; Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia, Jakarta: Equinox, pp. 123-51.
Smith-Hefner, Nancy J. (2007) “Youth Language, Gaul Sociability, and the New Indonesian Middle Class”, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 17 (2): 184–203.

Hatley, Barbara (2008) “Hearing Women’s Voices, Contesting Women’s Bodies in Post New Order Indonesia”, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 16 (March).
Nilan, Pam (2009) “Contemporary Masculinities and Young Men in Indonesia”, Indonesia and the Malay World, 37 (109): 327-44.

Wright, Erik O (2009) “Understanding Class”, New Left Review, 60 (Nov-Dec): 101-116.
Rinaldo, Rachel (2008) “Muslim women, middle class habitus, and modernity in Indonesia”, Contemporary Islam, 2 (1): 23-39.

Foulcher, Keith (1990) “The Construction of an Indonesian National Culture: Patterns of Hegemony and Resistance”, in A. Budiman (ed.), State and Civil Society in Indonesia, Clayton: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 301-20.
Bourchier, David (1998) “Indonesianising Indonesia: Conservative Indigenism in an Age of Globalisation”, Social Semiotics, 8 (2/3): 203-14.

Sen, Krishna (2003) “Radio days: Media-Politics in Indonesia”, The Pacific Review, 16 (4): 573-89.
Steele, Janet (2003) “Representations of ‘The Nation’ in Tempo Magazine”, Indonesia, 76 (October): 127-45.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9483 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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