Exploring the Diasporic Imagination in Recent Indonesian Popular Novels and Films (2000-2020)


Since 2000, there has been a boom in Indonesian popular novels and films set overseas, showing young Indonesians living in foreign countries and having life changing adventures there. In the last 20 years, there have been at least 150 such novels and films released – many more than in the first 55 years of Indonesian independence.

In this episode, Associate Professor David Reeve speaks to Dr Natali Pearson about his latest project looking at Indonesian romance novels and films set overseas, discussing the reasons behind the rise of this literary genre and how it conflicts with the lived experiences of many in the Indonesian diaspora.

About Associate Professor David Reeve:

Associate Professor David Reeve has been visiting Indonesia for over 50 years as a diplomat, researcher, historian, lecturer, language teacher and project manager. He was a founding figure in Australian Studies at Universitas Indonesia in the 1980s and was Resident Director of the ACICIS program in Yogyakarta in the late 1990s. He has worked in eight Indonesian universities and several in Australia. He is retired from UNSW and is now completing a biography of Indonesian historian Onghokham, to be published in January 2022.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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