Buried Histories with Dr. John Roosa

Tuesday April 2, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

The UBC History Empires and (Post-)Colonialisms in the Asia-Pacific Cluster features local non-UBC scholars who have recently published monographs to have informal discussions about a chapter or two of their book. We invite all faculty and graduate students with interests in modern Asia/-Pacific (broadly defined) and the themes of empire, colonialism, or postcolonialism/decolonization to join, regardless of discipline or department. 

The UBC History Empires and (Post-)Colonialisms in the Asia-Pacific Cluster is pleased to invite you to a seminar with Dr. John Roosa on his latest award-winning monograph Buried Histories: The Anticommunist Massacres of 1965-1966 in Indonesia. This seminar will be held on Tuesday April 2, 12:00-1:30 pm in Buchanan Tower 1112. Lunch will be provided.

Dr. John Roosa is Associate Professor of History at the Department of History at UBC, and is the author of the author of Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’État in Indonesia. Buried Histories was awarded the 2023 George McT. Kahin Prize, given biennially to an outstanding scholar of Southeast Asian studies from any discipline or country specialization to recognize distinguished scholarly work on Southeast Asia beyond the author’s first book.

In Buried Histories, Roosa asks:

“In 1965-66, supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia were regularly killed in army-organized massacres. Very few of these atrocities have been studied in any detail, and answers to basic questions remain unclear. What was the relationship between the army and civilian militias? How could the perpetrators come to view unarmed individuals as dangerous enemies of the nation? Why did Communist Party supporters, who numbered in the millions, not resist?”

Interested participants should read the Introduction, Chapter 6 “Invisible Worlds: The Kapal Massacre in Bali,” and the Conclusion of Buried Histories. A PDF version of these chapters will be emailed to those on the cluster mailing list and will also be provided upon email request.

If you are interested in joining the cluster, please contact Quinton Huang (qhuang98@student.ubc.ca) to be added to the mailing list, and please direct other inquiries to Ryan Sun (rchsun29@student.ubc.ca).