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Being an apologist?: The Cornell Paper and a debate between friends

CollectionsTransmission of academic values in Asian Studies workshop (2009)
Title: Being an apologist?: The Cornell Paper and a debate between friends
Author(s): Purdey, Jemma
Date published: 2011
Publisher: The Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration (ANRC)
Citation: Purdey, J. (2011). Being an apologist?: The Cornell Paper and a debate between friends. In R. Cribb (Ed.), Transmission of academic values in Asian Studies: workshop proceedings. Canberra: Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration
For those who knew Herb Feith, Indonesia scholar, humanist and peace studies pioneer it is perhaps unimaginable that he could be regarded as an apologist for atrocities committed in Indonesia. But in early 1966, in the midst of the ongoing massacres of communists and their suspected sympathisers after the so?called 'coup' attempt the previous year on 30 September, some of Herb's close and respected colleagues were perplexed at what they took as words from Herb condoning the military? sponsored violence. This article is an attempt to present a closer look at the conversation that took place between these scholars of Indonesia at this critical moment, because it raises pertinent questions still relevant in Indonesian and Asian studies more broadly about how we balance our obligations as analysts seeking substantiated truth and fact, with the moral obligation to speak against tyranny and injustice and the pressures we experience from within our own national contexts.
ISBN: 978-1-74076-225-0


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