“When I retire, I’m going back to SOAS!”

By Ben Murtagh|July 10, 2017|Indonesia, SOAS Students|0 comments

“When I retire, I’m going back to SOAS!” This phrase became something of a mantra for me during my final years of teaching. However, as the time to apply grew closer and this aspiration looked like becoming a reality, I started to become nervous. After all, I had left SOAS in 1982 with a BA in Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies and an unfinished doctoral thesis and much water had passed

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Researching in the Jakarta Film Archive

By Ben Murtagh|March 27, 2017|Current Research, Indonesia, SOAS teachers|0 comments

Dr Ben Murtagh, Senior Lecturer in Indonesian and Malay, researches and teaches Indonesian cinema. Here he writes about the main film archive in Jakarta. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my research on Indonesian cinema has been the opportunity to spend time at Sinematek, the Indonesian film archive, in Kuningan, Jakarta. The archive holds a treasure of resources that are vital to anyone researching on Indonesian film. Occupying several floors

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From an MA at SOAS to a Career at Cornell

By Ben Murtagh|February 12, 2016|SEA Careers, SOAS Students|0 comments

Dr Chiara Formichi  completed her MA in South East Asian Studies at SOAS back in 2005. She then continued at SOAS to write her doctoral thesis in the Department of History.  After holding positions in Singapore (post-doctoral fellow at the Asia Research Institute), Leiden (research fellow at the KITLV), and at the City University of Hong Kong, Dr Formichi is now Assist. Prof. in Southeast Asian Studies at Cornell University. Her monograph

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Looking Back on a Degree in Indonesian

By Ben Murtagh|February 2, 2016|SOAS Students, Year Abroad|0 comments

Lukas Fort graduated with a 1st class degree in BA Indonesian and Social Anthropology in 2015. Here he reflects on his time in the South East Asia Department and his year abroad in Indonesia. My six-month stay in Indonesia in 2002 first sparked my interest and intrigue in Indonesian cultures. And it was this personal curiosity about South East Asia and Indonesia in particular that subsequently led me to SOAS, where

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A year abroad in Indonesia and Myanmar

By Ben Murtagh|December 24, 2015|SOAS Students, Year Abroad|4 comments

Sarah Watt is in the 4th year of her BA South East Asian Studies (with a year abroad). As a student of both Indonesian and Burmese she chose the best of both worlds during her year abroad, spending one semester in Yogyakarta and one semester in Yangon. I was told it would be the most memorable, unique year of my life. It probably was. As part of my degree in

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How one student’s decision to take Indonesian led to greater things

By Ben Murtagh|December 9, 2015|SOAS Students|0 comments

Tavan Dutton is currently in the third year of his BA Chinese Studies at SOAS.  He also studies Indonesian Language as an ‘open option’ and last academic year he took time off from SOAS to spend a year in Indonesia. As is often the case, my decision to learn Indonesian at SOAS was completely unforeseen but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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SOAS Student wins Malay Speech Competition

By df9|November 9, 2015|SOAS Students|2 comments

Back in February 2015 I received an e-mail from my Indonesian lecturer Pak Din explaining how every year the Malaysian authorities run a speech competition, and that he’d like to put me in for it. Indonesian and Malay are similar enough to be mutually intelligible, but since I had only just learnt to tell the time, Pak Din aptly ended the e-mail with the words “we shall discuss this further,

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