Being Modern in Bali

Being Modern in Bali

Yale Southeast Asia Studies Monograph #43

BEING MODERN  IN BALI: Image and Change

Edited by Adrian Vickers

This collection of eight essays is organized around the theme of perceptions of modernity and tradition in Bali ranging from the nineteenth century to the present day.  They demonstrate the ongoing role of debates about modernity and tradition in Southeast Asia, particularly the way these debates relate to issues of national and ethnic identity.  The essays also provide a link between the increasing complexity and sophistication of debates within Bali studies to wider developments in the study of Southeast Asia.

The introductory essay by Adrian Vickers discusses “being modern” in Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia.  Raechelle Rubinstein uses a nineteenth-century poem to examine the complex links between royal patrons, Dutch missionary linguists, and writers keen to describe new developments using old literary forms.  Tilman Seebass’s study is of a distinctly Balinese form of modernism, the musical form of kebiar.  I Gusti Ngurah Bagus links political developments in Bali to general features of Indonesian nationalism.  Michel Picard examines Western attempts to come to terms with Balinese dance and drama.  Linda Connor’s case study of ngaben discusses changes in the exemplary and emblematic “traditional” rite of Bali, cremation.  Frederik deBoer looks at different paths of modernist theatre through a discussion of drama gong.  The final chapter by I Gusti Made Sutajaja is a study of Balinese in the transmigration area of Lampung.

1996; 299pp

>Paper $20.00; ISBN 978-0-938692-58-4

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