Chairpersons & Discussants




Wijayanto holds a PhD from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is currently a lecturer of Government Science at Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia, and Director of Center for Media and Democracy, LP3ES, Jakarta, Indonesia. He focuses on government studies. He regularly participates in research projects, such as Cyber Troops and Public Opinion Manipulation: A Mixed-Method Study of Social Media Propaganda in Indonesia (CYTPOM) (2020 – 2021); Initiator and Project Manager (Funded by KNAW, the Netherlands, in collaboration between Diponegoro University, University of Amsterdam, LP3ES and Universitas Islam Indonesia); Co-option of Digital Public Sphere and Cyber Terror towards Indonesian Anti Corruption Activist (2020); Initiator and Project Manager  (Funded by Indonesian Commission on Corruption Eradication (KPK) in collaboration with Diponegoro University).


Serina Rahman is Visiting Fellow at the Malaysia Programme and the Regional Economics Studies Programme. A conservation scientist and environmental anthropologist, she is fascinated with all facets of Malaysia’s rural outskirts. Her varied publications are all tributaries of this interest, ranging from rural politics to poverty and livelihoods to socioeconomic values of coastal habitats and the Islamic radicalisation of rural women. She was awarded the Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Award 2014 (for Environmental Protection – Individual), and is the Malaysian Ambassador for Citizen Science Asia. She is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at NUS.


Vatthana Pholsena is a research fellow at the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research). She taught at the National University of Singapore between 2004-2006 and 2014-2017 and was posted to IRASEC between 2011 and 2013. Her current research covers the social and political history of the Cold War from the vantage point of the Lao-Vietnamese and Lao-Thai borderlands, and the nexus between state, local elite, and ethnicity in post-socialist Laos. More generally, her research interests include the processes of state and social formation in borderlands, the interaction between the past and personal and collective memories, and issues relating to ethnicity and multiculturalism in Southeast Asia.


Jamie S. Davidson graduated with a PhD from the University of Washington in 2002. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He has published on ethnic conflict, democracy, infrastructure politics, and indigenous peoples movements in Indonesia and on rice politics in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He is presently writing a manuscript on the latter topic. Shortly he will assume the headship of the Identities research cluster at the Asia Research Institute of NUS. He has also supervised PhD students working on Myanmar, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Michele FORD

Michele Ford is a Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on Southeast Asian labour movements, the intersection between national and international trade unions, labour migration, and labour’s engagement in the political sphere. Michele’s primary focus is on Indonesia, but she works across the region. She is currently leading Australian Research Council-funded projects on Myanmar’s garment industry and trade union responses to gender-based violence in Cambodia’s construction industry. Michele is an interdisciplinary scholar, who draws on constructs and methods associated with anthropology, geography, sociology, and political science. Michele has been involved in extensive consultancy work for the ILO, the international labour movement, and the Australian government.


Astrid Norén-Nilsson is an associate senior lecturer at the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University. She holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge (2013), where she was a Gates Scholar. Her scholarship focuses on the politics of Cambodia in the post-conflict reconstruction era (1993 -). Her research interests include democratic change, authoritarian innovation, nationalism, political and civil society elites, and emerging citizenship notions in Cambodia. She is the author of Cambodia’s Second Kingdom: Nation, Imagination, and Democracy (Cornell SEAP 2016) and has published extensively in journals including the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Peace Review, Pacific Affairs, SOJOURN, and the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.


Iqra Anugrah is a political scientist specialising in development, democracy, social movements, and modern and contemporary political theory. Currently, he is a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellow at Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. Concurrently, he serves as a Research Associate at the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Education, and Information (LP3ES) in Jakarta. His works have been published in venues such as Cornell University Press, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Japan Focus, New Mandala, and Political Science and Politics. He has held fellowships and received funding from institutions such as JSPS, Transparency for Development Fellowship, and Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, among others. He obtained his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. He is an editor for IndoProgress, a progressive media connecting scholars, activists, and social movements in Indonesia.


Silvia Vignato is Associate Professor in anthropology at the Università di Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB). Besides a monography about Indonesian Tamil migrants, other Sumatranese ethnic minorities, and their levels of subjective integration into the State (Au nom de l’hindouisme, L’Harmattan, 2001), she has published articles and edited collections about Malaysian factory workers and post-conflict and post-disaster young Acehnese people (children, teenagers, young parents). She now carries out research on work, marginal environments, gender, evolving structures of families (with a focus on matrifocality), and independent children in Indonesia (Aceh) and Malaysia. She was WP leader in Seatide (Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion), 7th Frame Project of the European Commission, and is now in charge of a section in Crisea, a Horizon 2020. She was chief editor in Antropologia and is currently president of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (Euroseas). She has recently edited Dreams of Prosperity: Inequality and Integration in Southeast Asia, Silkworm, Chiang Mai, in press.


Mary Racelis is a Research Scientist at the Institute of Philippine Culture, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, and its former Director. Her current teaching in the Ateneo’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology (DSA) and the University of the Philippines Department of Anthropology most recently include Engaged Anthropology and the Anthropology of Justice and Human Rights. She served as UNICEF Senior Adviser for Women’s Development, Community Participation, and Family/Child Welfare in New York 1979-83 before becoming the UNICEF Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya from 1983-92. She returned to the Philippines as the Country Director of the Ford Foundation and in 2000 to the Ateneo as IPC Director until 2003. Notable is her continuing activities with NGOs and organized urban poor people’s organizations. At the invitation of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, she became an active member in 2003—04 of his Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations—Civil Society Relations. Her research has focused on urban informal settlements, community organizing, gender, children, reproductive health, and sociocultural change largely in the context of human rights. She is a strong advocate of knowledge generation as co-production, co-implementation/co-ownership and co-benefits with people through community research partnerships.

Idhamsyah EKA PUTRA

Dr Idhamsyah Eka Putra is Lecturer in Psychology Graduate Programs at Persada Indonesia University, Director in the Division for Applied Social Psychology Research (DASPR), and Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology (JSPP). He earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Indonesia (2007) and a Doctorate with distinction in Social Psychology from Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria (2015). His research interests are in Social Psychology, in particular prejudice, violent (Islamic) extremism, religious fundamentalism, intergroup and interreligious relations, social stigma, social exclusion, and intergroup conflicts. He is a recipient of the Sarlito W. Sarwono Award (2017) granted to rising Indonesian scholars actively involved in psychological research and its dissemination in Indonesia, by the Konsorsium Psikologi Ilmiah Nusantara (KPIN/ Nusantara Psychological Science Consortium).

Danielle P. OCHOA

Danielle P. Ochoa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of the Philippines Diliman, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in Developmental Psychology and Field Research Methods and serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator. She recently completed her PhD with a focus on Developmental Psychology at the same institution. Her dissertation examined Filipino young adults’ moral reasoning from a cultural-developmental approach using discourse analysis. She is active in research on moral psychology, collective action, gender equality, and parenting, as well as children’s rights advocacy work. She is currently the secretary of the National Association for Philippine Psychology.


Grace Leksana obtained her doctoral degree from Leiden University. Since 2007 she has been working on the issue of state violence in Indonesia, particularly the anti-leftist violence in 1965. Her interest covers the field of memory studies, oral history, state violence, agrarian and village studies, and informal politics. She is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, Universitas Negeri Malang. She is now developing a new project on socio-historical transformation in plantation areas in East Java.


Dr Rosalia Sciortino Sumaryono is a cultural anthropologist and development sociologist by training. She earned her master’s and a doctoral degree with honours from the Vrije Universities, Amsterdam. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Visiting Professor at the Master in International Development Studies (MAIDS), Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, and Senior Social Development and Health Advisor to Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction Program (MAMPU), a joint initiative of the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) implemented by Cowater in Indonesia. She founded the Foundation for Southeast Asian Studies and its core activity “SEA Junction“, a public venue for interaction and cross-learning in Southeast Asia (, where she became its director. Most recently, Dr Sciortino was IDRC Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia in Singapore (2010-2014), Senior Adviser for the Health Program to the Australian Agency for International Development in Indonesia (2009-2010), and Regional Director for Asia of the Rockefeller Foundation (2000-2007) establishing during her tenure the Foundation’s Southeast Asia Office in Bangkok. Before that, she was a program officer for Gender, Health, and Human Development at the Ford Foundation‘s Indonesia and Philippines offices from 1993 to 2000. Dr Sciortino acts as a consultant for international and regional organizations, as an adviser for academic and international development institutions, and is a scientific and institutional board member. In November 2017, she received a medal from the Vietnamese Association of Social Sciences for her contribution to social sciences in Vietnam. She has published widely on development issues in Southeast Asia, particularly philanthropy, international development, regional integration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and ASEAN, poverty and vulnerability, social protection, migration, gender, social health, sexual and reproductive health.


Catherine SCHEER

Catherine Scheer is a lecturer in anthropology at the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient and affiliated with the Centre Asie du Sud-Est, Paris. She obtained her Ph.D. in anthropology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in 2014. After a post-doctoral fellowship in the ‘NGOs and Religion in Asia’ project at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2015-2017), she joined the Institute for Anthropology, Heidelberg University as a lecturer (2017-2019). Catherine has done extended field research in the Cambodia-Vietnam borderlands with Bunong highland dwellers who are navigating through intense environmental and socio-economical transformations. More recently, she followed language in education experts across international institutional settings in Southeast Asia. The intersections of Christianity, development, politics of recognition, and indigeneity constitute nodes of particular interest to her.


Saskia E Wieringa is an honorary Professor at the University of Amsterdam, holding the Chair on Women’s Same-Sex Relations Crossculturally. From 2005 till 2012, Wieringa was the Director of Aletta, Institute for Women’s History in Amsterdam. She is also the co-founder of the Kartini Asia Network. Since the late 1970s, Wieringa has conducted research on women’s movements, sexual politics, and same-sex relations in many parts of the world, particularly in Indonesia. Wieringa worked at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, where she contributed to the Women and Development program’s construction in the early 1980s and led a comparative research project on women’s movements around the world. She helped set up women’s studies programs in the Caribbean, Namibia, Sudan, and Bangladesh. She has also lectured widely, for instance, in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and South Africa.

Her recent research projects focus on women’s same-sex relations from a historical perspective in Indonesia and on the post-1965 violence in East Java. In 2013, observing the ongoing impunity concerning human rights abuses committed in Indonesia, Wieringa helped set up the Foundation of the International People’s Tribunal 1965 (IPT 65), for Crimes against Humanity committed under the New Order of the Suharto regime. She has published regularly about Indonesia, among which “the Crocodile Hole” and “Sexual Politics in Indonesia”.  Recently, together with Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, she published “Propaganda and the Genocide in Indonesia, a monograph on the military’s propaganda campaign that incited the genocide in Indonesia.