Anthropology Seminar Series 2023 | Sorowako mining: 45 years of ethnography, 50 years of anthropology | Kathryn Robinson
Anthropology Seminar Series:
Sorowako mining: 45 years of ethnography, 50 years of anthropology
Speaker: Kathryn Robinson, Professor Emerita, ANU
A02, Room 441 and Zoom: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/89591372620
Host: Dr Robbie Peters
Sorowako (Indonesia) mining facility/town was established in the 1970s under new foreign investment laws issued by the post-nationalist Suharto government. This was my doctoral research site and following 2 years research in the 1970s and 80s I have continued to be engaged with the indigenous people and chart their fate. This paper links their history to developments in anthropology as well as Indonesian politics, and global capitalism over the 50 years that I have been a student of anthropology. How did global politics and postcolonial contestations in anthropology influence my choice of research site, and how have subsequent developments on both global and national scales impacted on the lives of the people of Sorowako and how does the ‘anthropological lens ‘ shift? These questions inform the new book I am writing on this ethnographic project.
Kathryn Robinson is Professor Emerita in Anthropology, College of Asia and the Pacific at ANU. Her research has focused on Indonesia—especially Sulawesi and parts further east- and Southeast Asia. The mining town of Sorowako is South Sulawesi has been an ongoing focus of research, including through three ARC grants on: mining in eastern Indonesia; Indonesian youth and their futures; and Islam in eastern Indonesia. Publications include Stepchildren of Progress: The Political Economy of Development in an Indonesian Mining Town (1986); Gender Islam and Democracy in Indonesia (2009); and most recently Mosques and Imams: Everyday Islam in Eastern Indonesia (2021). She founded, and edited for many years The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. A graduate of the Anthropology Department at University of Sydney (1974), her PhD was in Anthropology from ANU (1984).