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Summer School in Indonesia

17 July 2023 - 29 July 2023

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Universitas Gadjah Mada, is organising a summer school in Indonesia from 17 to 29 July 2023, entitled: '''The Empire Writes Back" Revisited - Imagination, (Post)Colonial and Transnational Dialogues.'

Indonesian and Dutch literary fiction have developed more or less separately, but during this summer school, the two countries engage in a dialogue. The starting point will include Ashcroft's seminal 1989 essay 'The Empire Writes Back'. Important themes such as post-colonial and transnational perspectives on the colonial past of Indonesia and other former colonies will be discussed. Sources for these conversations comprise the study of historical, literary and new media sources such as novels, films and, oral histories, as well as monuments in and around Yogyakarta from past and present.

Location: University of Gadjah Mada (and online)

Learning goals:

  • Becoming familiar with theories and debates in the field of intertextuality, transnational and postcolonial studies, focused on Southeast Asia and Europe, with a special focus on Indonesia and the Netherlands.
  • Becoming familiar with themes in Indonesian and Dutch (post)independence literature from past and present.
  • Promoting dialogues between Indonesian, Dutch and other writers, scholars and students.

Course structure

The duration of the course is two weeks: six days of lectures, two days of excursions and two days of presentation of research by the students. The lectures are comprised of introductory courses on intertextual, postcolonial and transnational theories and the study of literary works and sources from Indonesian, Dutch and other (post)colonial literatures.

Since the summerschool programme will provide a comparative perspective on the transnational nature of national (post) colonial literatures with Indonesian/Dutch perspectives as a case in point, the participation of each student to contribute to the discussion using the examples and insights of their own history and literature is essential for the success of the lectures. Each student will be encouraged to break away from his or her national group and cultivate a distance in order to place himself/herself in a broader international perspective.

During the summerschool the students will meet with members of several communities in Yogyakarta and participate in some form of activities, from having lunch in a restaurant to cultural activities.

Both the meeting and activities can hopefully create new linkages.

About Summer School in Indonesia

Starting date

  • 17 July 2023 - 29 July 2023

Organised by

  • VU Amsterdam and Universitas Gadjah Mada


  • English

Dr. Abdul Wahid (UGM)

Dr. Ramayda Akmal (UGM)

Dr. Sudibyo (UGM)

Prof. Dr. Susan LegĂȘne (VU)

Prof. dr. Jacqueline Bel (VU)