Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change

Faculty and Staff

Ni Wayan Ariati, PhD, Academic Director
Ni Wayan Pasek Ariati (Bu Ary) completed her doctoral work at Charles Darwin University of Darwin, Australia, a city whose location on the north coast of Australia makes it a natural partner in the future of Indonesian-Australian relations. Ary comes from a small rice-farming community in the Tabanan region of Bali and is still involved in the social and religious life of her native town. She completed her BA in English literature and linguistics at Udayana University in Denpasar in 1988 and joined the Indonesian language teaching staff of the SIT Indonesia program in 1991. She received a Fulbright grant in 1996 as one of the Indonesian language teachers for the SEASSI (South East Asian Summer Study Institute) program held at Arizona State University. She was appointed coordinator of that program in 1992 and served in that capacity until 1997, when she and her family shifted to Darwin, Australia. In Darwin she worked as an instructor in Indonesian language before returning to the SIT program in Bali in 1999. In 2000–2001, she served as one of the academic directors for the Bali program, and subsequently took up posts with SIT in Western Samoa and North India. Her experiences in North India kindled her desire to make a comparative study of female images in the Hinduism of India and Bali. This led to her doctoral work at Charles Darwin University (CDU), where she completed her dissertation in history and women’s studies titled “Journey of a Goddess: Durga in Indi, Java and Bali.” Her published articles include “Theodicy in Paradise” (Journal of the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion, New Delhi, June 2010).

Garrett Kam

Garrett Kam, MA, Academic Advisor
Garrett Kam is from Hawaii but has been active in Indonesian studies since 1975. He has a BA in textile arts and Asian religions and an MA in Southeast Asian history and Asian theater. He studied Javanese dance and culture for three years in Yogyakarta and teaches, performs, and choreographs Javanese and new Asian dances. Since 1987 Garrett has lived in Bali where he researched rituals as a Fulbright scholar. He has been a temple assistant since 1990. He is curator of the Neka Art Museum and has organized many exhibitions and written many books, catalog essays, and articles. Garrett has assisted with the SIT program since 1989 as ISP advisor and seminar presenter.

Gede Yudistira

I Wayan Gede Yudistira, Homestay Coordinator
Wayan Gede Yudistira (Pak Gede) earned his degree in political science from the Warmadewa University Denpasar in 1989. He worked as a bank manager in Denpasar and in the Ubud area for five years before he joined the SIT Study Abroad Bali program in 2006.

Language Program Coordinator and Staff
The intensive Indonesian language course is taught by highly qualified instructors who graduated from the Udayana University Denpasar, Bali. They are the authors of Bahasa Indonesia for Beginners, used exclusively on the SIT Study Abroad Bali program.

Language instructors include:

I Made Yudiana, Language Coordinator and Program Assistant
Made Yudiana (Pak Yudi) joined the SIT program in Bali in the fall of 2001. He completed his BA in English at Udayana University the following year. Before joining the SIT program in Bali, he worked for many years in the NGO field, especially for Bali Hati, an NGO specializing in educational support for children of lower income families in Gianyar and Badung regencies. He devotes much of his free time to further developing his mastery of English and often provides assistance to local institutions delivering English language courses to native speakers of Indonesian.

Aries Pratiwi, Language Instructor
Aries Pratiwi earned her bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Udayana University in 2009. She joined SIT Study Abroad Bali as a language instructor in spring 2011. Before joining the SIT Study Abroad program, she taught English as a second language for four years while she was still in university. She feels her experience in both learning and teaching English has helped her relate to foreign students in their language learning.

Other lecturers include:

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Ahnaf, Lecturer
Dr. Iqbal holds a BA in Islamic theology from the State Islamic University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; an MA in comparative religious studies from the Centre for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia; an MA in conflict transformation from the Centre for Justice and Peace-building, Eastern Mennonite University, US, as a Fulbright grantee; and a PhD in public policy from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He also has received training in automated text analysis from Social Science Automation Inc., Ohio, US. He has been an intern at the Search for Common Ground, US; a country representative at Asian Muslim Action Network; a trainer of peacebuilding strategies for Indonesian civil society activists at the Centre for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University; and a researcher and analyst for the Security Monitor Program of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Iqbal’s work focuses on two issues: Islamist movements in democratic context and religious-based violence and peacebuilding. He studied the changes of Islamist movements as the result of their interactions with the democratic context of the Muslim world. He facilitated interfaith bridge-building programs bringing interfaith leaders including those associated with hard line movements. At present, he conducts a research project on multi-religious coexistence in Indonesia.

Dr. Baskara T. Wardaya, Lecturer
Dr. Baskara T. Wardaya is an Indonesian national and a professor of history at Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He holds a master’s degree and a PhD in history from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During his studies and upon the completion of his studies he has been conducting research on post-independence Indonesia, especially with regard to the 1965 anti-communist purge in Indonesia, its international context and its impact. He has published several books on the topic, including Suara di Balik Prahara: Berbagi Narasi tentang Tragedi ‘65 (Voices Behind the Tempest: Shared Narratives on the 1965 Tragedy) (2011), which has been translated into English and published in Melbourne, Australia, as Truth Will Out: Indonesian Accounts of the 1965 Mass Violence (2013). He is also the author of the book Cold War Shadow: United States Policy toward Indonesia, 1953–1963 (Yogyakarta, 2007).

Based on his academic studies and research experience, he has substantial knowledge of the political, ethical, and other problems of human rights documentation and archiving. Since 1998 he has been conducting archival research in several US libraries, such as the Truman Library (Independence, MO), the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (Abilene, KS), the John F. Kennedy Library (Columbia Point, MA), the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library (Austin, TX) and the Library of Congress. While working as Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of California-Riverside (2011–2012) he was also doing archival research at the Richard M. Nixon Library (Yorba Linda, CA) and the Ronald Reagan Library (Simi Valley, CA).

Dr. Siti Syamsiyatun, Lecturer
Dr. Siti Syamsiyatun is the associate director of ICRS-Yogya. She is also a lecturer at the Department of Dakwah UIN (State Islamic University) Sunan Kalijaga (1996–present). Dr. Syamsiyatun has been a member of Pusat Studi Wanita (the Center for Women's Studies), UIN Sunan Kalijaga from 2006 to the present. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Syamsiyatun was the director of the UIN Sunan Kalijaga International Office.

Dr. Syamsiyatun earned her master's degree in Islamic studies from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in 1998. Her master's thesis was entitled: "Al-Shahrastani on the Shi\'i Doctrine of Imama: An Analysis of the Views Expressed in His Works of Al-Milal wa al-Nihal and Nihayatul Iqdam fi \'Ilmi al-Kalam." Dr. Syamsiyatun received her doctoral degree in politics from Monash University, Australia, with a dissertation entitled "Serving Young Islamic Women: The Dynamic of the Development of Gender Discourse in Nasyiatul Aisyiyah 1965–2005."

Dr. Syamsiyatun has received several awards and scholarships. In 2009, she was a Fellow of the Asian University Leader Program (AULP), hosted by the United Board for Christian Higher Education (UBCHEA). In 2008, she was named a Fulbright Visiting Specialist, for the program entitled Direct Access to the Muslim World at the College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho. During 2002–2006, she received an Australian Development Scholarship to undertake her doctorate program at Monash University.

Dr. Syamsiyatun specializes in Islamic and gender studies. She is now teaching at ICRS-Yogya and UIN Sunan Kalijaga. Some courses that she recently taught are: "The Development of Modern Islamic Thought, History of Islamic Culture/Civilization, Multiculturalism, Gender Analysis in Islamic Perspectives, Approaches to Islamic Studies, Religion and Gender, Women, State and Civil Society, History of Religions in Indonesia Part II (From 1900 to present).”

Olivier Pouillon, Lecturer
Olivier was an SIT Study Abroad Bali program student in 1991. His Independent Study Project (ISP) was on the Bemo System in Bali, the public transportation system in Bali. Olivier has over 17 years’ experience working in the environmental field, particularly in managing solid waste pollution in Indonesia. He first worked for the Wisnu Foundation, Bali’s first locally established Indonesian environmental organization, from 1994 to 1998. During that time, in 1995–97, he designed and established the first professional waste management system on the island, which became the company PT Jimbaran Lestari. Post-Asian financial crisis from 1999 to 2007, Olivier ran his own export company before returning to Jimbaran Lestari as their business development executive. He worked there for another two years before leaving to establish a new waste recycling company called Peduli Bali, also known in English as Bali Recycling. CV Peduli Bali (an acronym for Perusahan Daur Ulang Limbah Bali, which in English means Recycling Company of Bali) is the first fully licensed waste management, recycling, and hazardous waste processing facility in all of Bali. Peduli Bali is a pioneer in locally effective methods to collect, process, and recycle rubbish. In a very short time it has established itself as an innovative company where rubbish is either recycled, composted, or reused and that has developed new methods to recycle difficult items such as Styrofoam, batteries, and wine/liquor bottles. Olivier is married to an Indonesian woman and has two children ages 6 and 18.


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Bedulu, central southern Bali

Language Study: Bahasa Indonesia,  Balinese

Prerequisites: None

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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