Laurie Sears

Professor Emeritus
Laurie Sears

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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1986

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.


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