Spyer, Prof. P.E. (Patricia)

  • Full professor
  • Chair of the Cultural Anthropology of Contemporary Indonesia
  • Visual and material culture
  • Media
  • Violence
  • Religion
  • Indonesia

Short CV

Prof. dr. Patricia Spyer holds the Chair of Cultural Anthropology of Contemporary Indonesia since 2001 at the institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology of Leiden University. Educated in the Netherlands and United States, she obtained her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She was a William Rainey Harper Fellow in the University of Chicago’s College, a founding member of the Research Center Religion & Society at the University of Amsterdam, a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University’s Center for Religion & Media and Department of Anthropology (2009-12), and a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University (2014).


She is the author of The Memory of Trade: Modernity’s Entanglements on an Eastern Indonesian Island, Duke (2000), editor of Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, Routledge (1998), co-editor of the Handbook of Material Culture, Sage (2013) and of Images That Move, SAR Press (2013).

She has published, among other topics, on violence, media and visual culture, materiality, and religion. Her current book project Orphaned Landscapes: Violence, Visuality, and the Work of Appearances in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia focuses on the mediations of violence and post-violence in the religiously inflected conflict in the Moluccas, Indonesia.

Relevant links

'Sidetracks' - Photo exhibition Johannesburg

'Sidetracks' - Photo exhibition Johannesburg

Current Research Projects:

Other links:

PhD candidates

Ongoing PhD Chair / Co-chair Leiden University:

  • Tamsyn Adams

  • Basri Amin

  • Zamzam Fauzanafi

  • Sophie Feyder

  • Nuril Huda

  • Nuraini Juliastuti

  • Hari Nugroho

  • Lusvita Nuzuliyanti

  • Christoph Rippe

Ongoing PhD committee member outside the Netherlands:

Aryo Danusiri (Harvard University)

Past defenses chair or co-chair:

  • Johannes Merz

  • Wendelmoet Hamelinck

  • Leena Avonius

  • Amber Gemmeke

  • Roos Gerritsen

  • Lizzie van Leeuwen

  • Merlyna Lim cum laude

  • Annemarie Samuels cum laude

  • Wiwik Sushartami

  • Intan Paramaditha (Core committee member, New York University)