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Professor Sumarsam
Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT 06459-3208)
Expressing and Contesting Java-Islam through Performing Arts in Indonesia

Preparation of a book on Islam and the performing arts in Indonesia.

Religion and culture are intrinsically linked. As they travel around the world, they create transcultural practices and perspectives manifested in both spiritual and artistic domains. In Indonesia, the performing arts serve as one of the major venues for this blending of beliefs and practices. This study will yield a book-length monograph that examines discourses of transculturalism, the performing arts, and Islam among the Javanese, the largest cultural group in the largest Muslim country in the world. Stemming back to the 15th century, Indonesia’s long process of Islamization has given rise to rich variations in the content and context of the performing arts, such as wayang shadow puppetry and gamelan music. Ultimately, this study aims to address the history and diversity of both traditional and popular Indonesian Muslim expression, while unpacking Indonesia’s modern sociocultural and religious development.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism; Theater History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017