I am a social and intellectual historian of Southeast Asia with particular knowledge of the 19th and 20th century colonial Indies and postcolonial Indonesia and Java. I have spent about six years in Indonesia; my first visit to the islands of Java and Bali was in 1972-1973 before I began my graduate career. At that time I spent almost two years in central Java and Bali studying the connections between the Javanese performing arts and Javanese mystical traditions. I also lived in India for a few years and traveled between India and Greece overland several times.
I have carried out research in central Java, Bali, and Jakarta. My specialty is the oral and written literary traditions of Java and Indonesia in Javanese, Indonesian, and Dutch. I have more recently published on the transnational discourse of psychoanalysis as it spanned the world in the 20th century. My teaching runs from more general courses on the 19th and 20th century histories of Southeast Asia to more specialized courses on the performing arts in Java. I also teach about Indonesian Islam, colonialism, imperial formations, and issues of diversity.
- Sears, Laurie. Situated Testimonies: Dread and Enchantment in an Indonesian Literary Archive. Honolulu: U. of Hawai'i Press, 2013. Print.
- Sears, Laurie. Knowing Southeast Asian Subjects. Seattle ; Singapore: In Association with NUS Press, 2007. Print.
- Sears, Laurie. Shadows of Empire: Colonial Discourse and Javanese Tales. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996. Print.
- Sears, Laurie. Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996. Print.
- Sears, Laurie. Autonomous Histories, Particular Truths: Essays in Honor of John R. W. Small. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 1993. Print.
- Lin Hongxuan. "Ummah Yet Proletariat: Islam and Marxism in the Netherlands East Indies and Indonesia, 1915 - 1959." PhD diss., University of Washington.
- Yeo, Woonkyung. Palembang in the 1950s: The Making and Unmaking of a Region. Diss. University of Washington, 2012. Chair: Laurie Sears.
- McCormick, Patrick. Mon Histories: Between Translation and Retelling. Diss. University of Washington, 2010. Chair: Laurie Sears.
- Inherited Destinies, phantom limbs: Empire, settler colonialism, and trauma in the Philippines and Peru, 1920-1928. Seattle. In progress.