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Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the Origins of the Indonesian Nation and Radical Politics Today.
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the Origins of the Indonesian Nation and Radical Politics Today.
WhenFriday, Nov 3, 2017, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus room317
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsSoutheast Asia Center 

This talk will discuss the contribution, primarily through his Buru Tetralogy novels and some essays, of Pramoedya Ananta Toer to an analysis of the origins of the Indonesian nation. The talk will argue that Toer's dynamic-materialist approach pointed implicitly to the revolutionary nature of the nation-creation project. Recovering that revolutionary moment and all that was created in the longer period surrounding it (circa 1910-1965) is now posed as a project for contemporary radical politics. The fact that neither Pramoedya nor any of his contemporaries made a critical historical assessment of the successes and failures of their own generation underlines how this challenge also requires a major intellectual effort of renewal.

Dr. Max Lane is the author of Unfinished Nation: Indonesia Before and After Suharto (Verso, 2008); Catastrophe in Indonesia (Seagull/University of Chicago Press, 2010); Decentralization and Its Discontents: An Essay on Class, Political Agency and National Perspective in Indonesian Politics, (ISEAS, 2014); Indonesia and Not: Poems and Otherwise: Anecdotes Scattered (Djaman Baroe, 2016); and Indonesia Tidak Hadir di Bumi Manusia (Djaman Baroe, 2017). He has just completed a new book anticipated to be released in 2018: The Politics of Indonesia’s Trade Union Movement: An Introductory Essay and is also at work on The Buru Books and Their Publication: The Coming Return of Indonesia from Exile. He is the translator of the Penguin editions of This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Nations, Footsteps, and House of Glass, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, as well as Toer’s Arok of Java (Arok Dedes) and The Chinese in Indonesia.  He has also translated works by Rendra including The Struggle of the Naga Tribe.

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