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About Me

Welcome to my page. I am Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of General Studies at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). In geographic focus, my research area of concentration is Southeast Asia and the Middle East. However, I am also interested in the research and study of religious and Muslim societies, cultures, traditions, and politics—past and present—outside these regions. In theoretical approaches, historical, political, socio-cultural, and religious anthropology, as well as conflict and peace studies interest me greatly. My academic trainings, furthermore, revolved around the studies of Islam and Muslim societies as well as conflict and peace from the perspectives of multiple disciplines: anthropology, sociology, history, Islamic studies, among others.

A native of Central Java, Indonesia, I had been living, studying, and teaching in the United States for nearly ten years. Prior to joining KFUPM, I taught at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) and Boston University (Massachusetts), where I received my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, particularly political and religious anthropology with an emphasis in the studies of Muslim cultures and societies. During my doctoral studies, I took multiple courses on issues around Muslim cultures and politics across the globe—Arab and the Middle East, Indo-Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, among others—with notable specialists in the fields.   
 
My doctoral thesis focused on the study of the complex, ambiguous role of religious discourses, organizations, actors, and networks—within Islam and Christianity—in both communal violence and interreligious peace in the Christian-Muslim conflict zones of the Moluccas in eastern Indonesia. It also examined the contributions of state and non-state actors, including civil society, religious, and women groupings, in the post-violence reconciliation and peacebuilding. The dissertation research won grants from the National Science Foundation in the United States and Boston University’s Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship. The dissertation is now under consideration for publication in the “Oxford Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding” series, a joint project between University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Oxford University Press.  
 
Before completing my PhD at Boston University, I obtained an MA in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Virginia, United States, where I conducted a research on the contributions of American Muslim, Christian, and Jewish scholars on interreligious dialogue and global peace. I also hold a Master’s degree in Sociology of Religion from the Satya Wacana Christian University (Indonesia), where I wrote a thesis, supported mainly by Global Ministries Churches of the Netherlands, on the role of Chinese Muslims in the spread of Islam in Indonesia. My B.A. is in Islamic Law from Indonesia’s State Institute for Islamic Studies. During my childhood and teenage, I spent nearly eight years in Islamic schools (madrasah) and Islamic boarding schools (Javanese: pesantren) in Java of Indonesia to learn the Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic, and Islamic sciences from respected Muslim teachers and scholars.    
 
I have authored, co-authored, and edited 13 books, dozens of journal articles, and hundreds of popular essays, both in English and in Indonesian. Moreover, my scholarly articles and reviews appeared and forthcoming in various academic journals including Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Journal of Islamic Studies, International Journal of World Peace, International Journal of Asian Studies, Peace Research: the Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Sociology, Journal of Asian Society for International Relations and Public Affairs, Journal of Indonesian Islam, Studia Islamika, Borneo Journal of Religious Studies, and Al-Jami’ah Journal of Islamic Studies, to name a few.

Outside my primary activities at KFUPM, I am a contributor to the Middle East-Asia Project Bulletin at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. Last but not least, beside conducting research, teaching, and writing, I like—and fall in love with—fishing (in a river, not a sea), singing (in a bathroom, not on a stage), travelling (in exotic, beautiful places), dancing (in my house), listening (to music), and watching (comedy, action, and adventure movies).

About me | Publications | Work in Progress | Awards & Grants | Teaching | Contact