Matthew Cohen, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in 1966. Ph.D. from Yale University, New Haven. Professor of International Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Fellow (1 September 2011 – 30 June 2012)
THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE IN MODERN INDONESIA
During my time at NIAS I drafted a book with the working title Modernity and the Performing Arts in Indonesia: Colonialism to Revolution. The book draws on theories of modernity, mainly the work of Anthony Giddens, to examine the reordering of old traditions, emergence of new cultural forms, and development of ethnic and national awareness via the performing arts during the period of roughly 1811 to 1949. The proximity of world-class Indonesia libraries in Leiden and Den Haag expertly facilitated by the superb library staff of NIAS has been crucial for my work. I have also been able to visit important collections of performing objects in the Netherlands and Germany, attend Indonesian cultural events related to my research, and meet with researchers from the Netherlands, Indonesia, and other countries. Also important has been the fine quality of life in Wassenaar — excellent biking, beautiful countryside, superb food.