Profile: Jonathan McLeod


Jonathan mcleod

Jonathan McLeod is a PhD Candidate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. His interest in studying environmental issues in Indonesia has roots during his high school years spent in Singapore, when he experienced the effects of the massive El Nino forest fires of 1998 during the fall of the Suharto regime. His doctoral works explores the intersection of environmental conservation, development, and indigenous land rights and identity in West Papua, Indonesia. This little explored and rapidly developing region of Indonesia is becoming a rising priority for global climate change initiatives due to Papua's vast tracts of remaining forests. Since March of 2017, Jonathan has conducted ethnographic research in collaboration with the Abun people in Tambrauw, a “kabupaten konservasi” that is one of Indonesia’s poorest districts. As the Abun and Tambrauw's other tribes seek alternative and culturally appropriate pathways to prosperity, a key component of their efforts is integrating, and even reviving, indigenous traditions. For many Papuans, this is changing a centuries-old narrative about the supposed incompatibility of indigenous culture and progress, yet also means such peoples face challenging questions about how to “develop” while maintaining their identity and values. He expects to wrap up research for his dissertation at the beginning of next year, and is already at work on several journal publications.


For an example of Jonathan's writing, click here.

Profile: Henry Spiller


Henry Spiller

Henry Spiller is an ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music at UC Davis.  He focuses his research on Sundanese music and dance in West Java, with particular interests in how these things are used to articulate ethic, gender, religious, and national identities


An accomplished musician and scholar of Sundanese music and dance from West Java, Henry Spiller is a Professor of Music at UC Davis.  He holds a MA in harp performance from the Holy Names College, and an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley.  Henry has published prolifically on Indonesian music, often focusing on gender identity, ritual performance, and social identity in music and dance.  He has published three books on gamelan and Indonesia.  His most recent book, Javaphilia: American Love of Javanese Music and Dance, was awarded the 2016 Bruno Nettl Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology.  The book offers an innovative look at western interest in and appropriation of traditional Javanese music, addressing the cultural, psychological, and artistic motivations of four different American artists working with Javanese music and dance.


Javaphilia:  An American Love Affair with Javanese Music and Dance, University of Hawai'i Press, 2015

Erotic Triangles:  Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java, University of Chicago Press, 2010

Focus: Gamelan Music of Indonesia, Routledge, 2008

Gamelan: The Traditional Sounds of Indonesia, Santa Barbara, 2005

Henry's writing is also included in the recent anthology, Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Hawai'i, Asia, and the Pacific.