Keynote Address

Introductory Keynote Address 

  • Tania Murray LI, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada Alter-Politics and the Challenge of Articulation in Rural Indonesia
  • Discussant: Catherine Scheer (Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient; Centre Asie du Sud-Est)
  • Host institution: ALTERSEA (Co-Host: SEA Junction)

Bionote: Tania Li’s early research in Southeast Asia concerned urban cultural politics in Singapore. Since then she has focused on culture, economy, environment, and development in Indonesia’s upland regions. She has written about the rise of Indonesia’s indigenous peoples’ movement, land reform, rural class formation, struggles over the forests and conservation, community resource management, and state-organized resettlement. Her book The Will to Improve (2007) explores a century of interventions by colonial and contemporary officials, missionaries, development experts and activists. Powers of Exclusion (2011) examines agrarian transition to see what happens to farmers’ access to  land in the context of competing land uses (e.g. conservation, urban sprawl, plantation agriculture). Land’s End (2014) tracks the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders when they enclosed their common land. Her current writing project is an ethnography provisionally titled Living with Oil Palm. It explores the forms of social, political, cultural and economic life that emerge among people in the orbit of this massively expanding plantation crop. Future work will focus on the problems faced by people who are pushed off the land in contexts where they have little or no access to waged employment.

Keynote Address (51 minutes): Alter-Politics and the Challenge of Articulation in Rural Indonesia