CfP: ASEAS 7(2): Imagining Indonesia: Exilic, Diasporic, and Migratory Homeland Utopias and the Power of Longing



This upcoming issue 7(2) of the Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies (ASEAS) will feature a focus on political utopias and homeland imaginaries held by Indonesians at home and abroad. The latter include labor and marriage migrants, overseas students, political exiles, and refugees living outside of their home country. However, being in exile does not always require ultimate departure from the homeland. As people can retreat into an “inner exile”, this special issue also takes into account the imaginaries of those who are physically within the boundaries of Indonesia yet in one way or another voluntarily or involuntarily ‘exiled’ from the rest of society, such as political and religious activists or prisoners. While away from ‘home’, the ‘homeland’ shapes the post-migratory life significantly and therefore remains a special point of reference for people’s biographies.


Despite modern communication technologies and more affordable transportation options that both allow for regular real-time contact and ‘staying in touch’ with current developments in Indonesia, homeland imaginaries are shaped to large extends by other, often rather emotive, factors. Indonesian diasporic or exilic populations, like others in the same situation, often opt for cherishing past memories (or traumas) over taking into account current developments, thereby generating ‘distorted’ homeland views. This said, homeland imaginaries are by no means homogeneous or static; quite to the contrary, they develop over time and they may turn out to be rather fragmented, ambivalent, or outright ‘unrealistic’ as the ‘outside’ Indonesians see their homeland in different lights.


Internal and external exiles may delve into memories of their past and might dream of their return and of brighter futures for Indonesia more generally. Hence, their imaginaries become a multi-facetted canvas for projections of longings for a better tomorrow and of a golden yesteryear. Yet, Indonesians who face the everyday realities in the homeland might not necessarily share these interpretations of the past or the visions for Indonesia’s future.


For the special issue, we specifically encourage papers that highlight:

  • Gender and class dynamics of utopias
  • Transnational dimensions of separatist conflicts and political utopias
  • Labor migration and remittances
  • Overseas student activism and religious networking
  • Marriage migration and gender dynamics
  • Cultural representations and folkloristic production of Indonesian artists abroad
  • Material expression of homeland longing

Guest editors: 

  • Antje Missbach & Henri Myrttinen

 Deadline for Submissions:

  • 15 January 2014

Further Details:

  • If you intend to submit a paper, please contact: and
  • We also accept contributions outside the focus; in this case please contact the ASEAS editorial team
  • You can find all our Guidelines for Submissions and the link to our Editorial Platform (to submit you paper) here.
  • Find this Call for Papers 7(2) as a PDF here.


Teaser Photo CC-BY John Yavuz Can