Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationChicago, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9757
Approve DateOctober 24, 2018
Project TitleHakim, Rafadi, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Enregistering Democracy: Gender and Political Discourse in Eastern Indonesia,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
RAFADI HAKIM, then a postdoctoral student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Enregistering Democracy: Gender and Political Discourse in Eastern Indonesia,’ supervised by Dr. Susan Gal.This project theorizes how emerging forms of democratic public speakerhood contribute to a shift in the gendered nature of governance. Through twelve months of fieldwork in Jakarta, the capital, and the district of Kupang (Province of East Nusa Tenggara), the grantee analyzed how women who are seen as skillful orators in churches and neighborhood meetings become those who are authorized to ‘speak in front of the public’ (Kupang Malay: baomong di depan umum), particularly in ‘townhalls’ (Indonesian: musyawarah) and other democratic decision-making forums. These forms of public speaking are particularly consequential after U.U. Desa, a 2014 law, instated an annual allocation of approximately US$80,000 to every rural administrative unit across the nation. In fact, the law allows local town-halls to become forums where crucial budgetary decisions are negotiated through public debate. In response to these shifts, the research analyzed how public speaking becomes a gendered form of social and political capital. While public speaking in ethnolocal languages continue to privilege men as public speakers, women increasingly assume roles of public speaking in Indonesian and in Kupang Malay, the two modernist languages associated with democratic processes of governance.