George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Indonesia: Gender and Conflict

Students on a Mason Abroad Trip to Indonesia

This extraordinary program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University.

Indonesia is a land of breathtaking contrast. The fourth most populous country in the world, it is a place of extraordinary diversity, home to more than 300 ethnic groups speaking over 700 languages. It is home to the world’s largest population of Muslims, and also to substantial Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian and animist minorities. And as the world’s third largest democracy, it has made extraordinary strides towards ensuring civil rights and freedoms for its citizens. Yet Indonesia today is facing tremendous challenges. The legacies of state-sponsored violence and ethnic conflict that marked Indonesia in the 20th century have yet to be addressed, and communities of survivors continue to call for truth and justice. Indonesia’s environment is under threat from unrestrained development and corporate greed, as well as the ravages of climate change. In many parts of the country, traditional tolerance for cultural and religious difference is giving way to heightened religious conflict, and widespread corruption continues to mark Indonesia’s democratic progress.

This course will explore Indonesia and its challenges by turning a gendered lens on issues of conflict, civic engagement, violence, development and justice. Working in close collaboration with a range of local organizations, course participants will learn about the experiences of Indonesian women and men working for a more equitable future. While visiting the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java, participants will engage with a trans-disciplinary range of social theories and materials from U.S. and Indonesian contexts, investigating issues related to the social construction of gender, gender and culture, gender and religion, post-colonial feminism(s), the political economy of gender in Indonesia, and gender and post-conflict peace-building. Students will visit with local NGOs working on gender justice, gender-based violence, transitionaljustice, migration, violent extremism, fair trade, and inter-religious conflict resolution issues.

Led by Dr. Leslie Dwyer