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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Dr. Agus Suwignyo

Dr. Agus Suwignyo

Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta
Junior Fellow
October 2014 - August 2015


AGUS SUWIGNYO earned a PhD in History from Leiden University, The Netherlands in 2012, with a thesis on the transformation of the teachers’ training school in Indonesia from 1890 to 1969. He was the 2010 Indonesian USINDO Fellow in Washington DC for research on the Indonesian-US relations in education in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2012 he was a recipient of Japan-related research grant of the Sumitomo Foundation for research on the knowledge production of tsunami survival strategies. In the summer of 2013 he was a visiting scholar at the Netherlands Royal Institute for Anthropology and Languages (KITLV) in Leiden during which he did a historiography study on the Indonesian national history textbooks after the New Order. His research interests cover past and present education and its influences on identity making, social and institutional changes, welfare and state formation. He is currently an assistant professor in History at Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He will be a FRIAS fellow from October 2014 to August 2015.


Selected Publications

  • “The Great Depression and the changing trajectory of public education policy in Indonesia 1930-1942”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 44, October 2013, pp 465 – 489, doi: 10.1017/S0022463413000337
  • “The making of politically conscious teachers of public school in Indonesia, 1930-1945”, Southeast Asian Studies Vol. 3 No. 1, April 2014, pp. 119 – 149
  • “Indonesian national history textbooks after 1998: What’s new under the sun?”, Bijdragen tot Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 170 (2014), pp. 113 – 131.
  • “Unifying Diversities: Early Institutional Formation of the Indonesian National Education System c. December 1949 – August 1950”, Jurnal Humaniora Vol. XXIV, No 1, 2012, pp. 3 – 16


FRIAS Research Project

Non-state welfare and citizenship institutions as elements of social alignment: A re-account of the transformation of gotong-royong, slametan and rapat warga in the Javanese society 1900 – 2000

Since 1900, the nation-state formation in Indonesia has instigated state welfarism and citizenship that sets aside the role of non-state institutions as elements of social alignment or integration. Although the role of non-state institutions has remained apparent along the practices of state institutions until today, standard scholarship has generally considered them only as anthropological or socio-political construct irrelevant to the changing context of the society across times. The aim of the present research is to explore the notions and the transformation of non-state welfare and citizenship as elements of social alignment in the twentieth century Javanese society. The focus is on the question of how the non-state practices of unpaid social work (gotong royong), religious gathering of thanksgiving (slametan or tahlilan), and people’s meeting and consensus (rapat warga or musyawarah) have changed in form, character, and function in Java from 1900 to 2000. Using the more recent theories of welfare and citizenship (e.g. Niraja Gopal Jayal 2013; Andrzej Marcin Suszycki and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski 2013), this research will be carried out in the nexus of welfare and citizenship framework using an anthropological history approach and archives as sources of data collection.