“Escaping the Homeland: Contesting Diasporic Narratives”

"Escaping the Homeland: Contesting Diasporic Narratives"


The 17th Northeastern Conference (NEC) on Indonesia, April 21, 2018 – Yale University


Over 6 million Indonesians live outside the country, with millions more estimated to have become citizens of others. According to the World Bank, the Indonesian diaspora contributed over $8 billion in remittances in 2017, making Indonesia among the highest recipients of remittances in the world. While the diaspora’s economic potential is clear, much less research has addressed their relationship with Indonesia, their adopted countries, and the fault lines of Indonesianness. Attempts to include diasporas into existing developmental practices is problematic as it tends to assume that diasporas share common interests with the development industry and homogenizes Indonesians of diverse legal statuses and heritages into a monolithic diaspora group.

For the 2018 Northeastern Conference (NEC) on Indonesia, the Yale Indonesia Forum (YIF) invites proposals from all disciplines to address the politics, culture, arts, identities, connectivity, environment, education, history, and transnationalism of overseas Indonesians. We invite works that engage critically with questions such as: what are the diverse experiences of living beyond one’s birthplace? How do these experiences shape norms and politics in Indonesia? How are diasporic Indonesians viewed historically? What are the forces shaping the debate on dual citizenship and the politics of return? How, and to what extent, do Indonesians reaffirm or unsettle their national identities in new cultural contexts? How are memories created or negotiated by conflicting identities? Are the rights of Indonesian workers and migrants adequately protected abroad, and what are the impacts of forced and voluntary migration? How are these migrations shaping discourses on security concerns or issues on extremism? What is the political participation of diasporas in host countries? What roles do Indonesian migrant workers play in different economic sectors? What are the on-the-ground dynamics of the Indonesian border zone? How does technology mediate the diaspora network and what are the dangers of mapping the diaspora? What have we missed in our attempts to understand, categorize, record or write about overseas Indonesians? What are the challenges in conducting research on overseas Indonesians and what new approaches can be developed through these challenges?

The program will begin on Friday, April 20, 2018 at Yale University with an interactive 2018 YIF Spring Dialogue that will feature scholars who have researched and written extensively on Indonesia, as well as practitioners who have engaged with issues relating to overseas Indonesians. Attendees are encouraged to join the dialogue. The discussion continues through the 17th Northeastern Conference on Indonesia on Saturday, April 21, 2018, with a keynote address and paper presentations.


Proposal Submission


Please submit your proposal as a .doc or .docx file only. The proposal is limited to 450 words (excluding references). Your proposal should include: 1) a description of your project; 2) research questions; 3) perspective(s) or theoretical framework; 4) methods; 5) conclusions/tentative key findings; 6) the significance of the work; and 7) a short list of references to situate your work in the literature. In your email body, please include your name (and co-presenters, if any), institutional affiliations and department, status (undergraduate or graduate and what year or post-doc), title of the paper/presentation, email address, and phone number (including the area/country code). Please send all materials to necatyaleuniv@gmail.com. All questions should be directed to that address as well.

While the conference committee will provide accommodation (1 night) for selected presenters, they are encouraged to seek additional funding from their home institutions.

Proposal Submission Deadline: March 26, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Notification of Acceptance via email

The Northeastern Conference (NEC) on Indonesia is an initiative of the Yale Indonesia Forum (YIF) and the Cornell Indonesia Student Association (CIA).  The 17th Northeastern Conference in New Haven is organized by the Yale Indonesia Forum and funded by the Council on Southeast Asia Studies (CSEAS) at Yale University.