Dr. Katharine McGregor

Kate McGregor is a historian of Indonesia. Her research interests include Indonesian historiography, memories of violence, the Indonesian military, Islam and identity in Indonesia and historical international links between Indonesia and the world. She teaches in the areas of Southeast Asian history, the history of violence and Asian thematic history. In February 2014 Kate commenced a four year Australian Research Council Future Fellowship on the project: Confronting Historical Injustice in Indonesia: Memory and Transnational Human Rights Activism. Kate co-founded the Historical Justice and Memory Network and was part of the organising committee for the network's first international conference in Melbourne 2012. The network under the name Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory is now being run by Columbia University. She has organised a range of workshops, conferences and events related to the 1965 Violence in Indonesia and is co-editor with Dr Jemma Purdey of the Translating Accounts of the 1965 Mass Violence in Indonesia Series sponsored by the Herb Feith Foundation. She is currently Convenor of The University of Melbourne's Indonesia Forum. Her first book History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of the Indonesian Past (NUS Press, 2007) explored the historical orthodoxy of the military dominated Suharto regime. She also co-edited the book, The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia 1965-68 (NUS Press, 2012). 

Presidential frontrunner 'Jokowi' is urging a "mental revolution" to a more optimistic, self-sustaining, self-believing Indonesia, invoking the language and ideas of the Sukarno era, observes Katharine McGregor.

Image: President Sukarno, Washington DC, 1956.

Joko Widodo is seen as the most committed to human rights of Indonesia’s potential leaders, but what priority the next Government will give to dealing with the nation's dark history remains unclear, writes Katharine McGregor and Jemma Purdey.