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Faculty Profile

Abidin Kusno
Institute of Asian Research
University of British Columbia
1855 West Mall CK Choi Building
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Tel: 604-822-3805


Director, Centre for Southeast Asia Research



1004-2014: Canada Research Chair in Asian Urbanism and Culture (Tier 2)

2011: Visiting Research Fellow, York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), York University

Summer 2010: Senior Visiting Research Fellowship, Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore, June-August.

2007-2010SSHRC Standard Research Grant for research on the contemporary remaking of the capital city of Indonesia.

2007: Visiting Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Uppsala University, March-June.

2006: Research Development Funds, College for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia

2006: Theme Development Fund, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies on Visual Cultures of Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia and North America

2005: Early Career Senior Scholar, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia

2005: Research Fellow, Netherlands Institute of War Documentation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Summer.

2004-2009: UBC-Canada Research Chair in Asian Urbanism and Culture (included CFI Funds for Asian Urban Lab)



Books (In English):

After the New Order: Space, Politics and Jakarta. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2013.

Appearances of Memory: Mnemonic Practices of Architecture and Urban Form in Indonesia. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.

Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.


Books (In Indonesian):

Perumahan Rakyat dan Utopia Jakarta [Social Housing and the Utopia of Jakarta], Yogyakarta: Ombak Press, 2013.

Zaman Baharu dan Generasi Modernis [Modernist Generations and the New Time], Yogyakarta: Ombak Press, 2013.

Ruang Publik, Identitas dan Memori Kolektif: Jakarta Pasca-Suharto [Public Space, Identity, and Collective Memory: Jakarta in the Post-Suharto Era], Yogyakarta: Ombak Press, 2009.

Penjaga Memori: Gardu di Perkotaan Djawa,  [The Guardhouse in Java: A Political History] Yogyakarta: Ombak Press, 2006.


Articles in Journals / Book Chapters:

“Jakarta’s City Hall: A Political History,” in City Halls and Civic Materialism: Towards a Global History of Urban Public Space, edited by Swati Chattopadhyay and Jeremy White. London: Routledge, 2014: 255-275.

“Urban Temporalities: Jakarta – Abidin Kusno in Conversation with Meredith Miller and Etienne Turpin,” Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, Political Economy, 5, Summer / Autumn 2013: 181-205.

“The Postcolonial Unconscious: Observing Mega-imagistic Urban Projects in Asia,” in The Emerging Asian City: Concomitant Urbanities and Urbanisms, edited by Vinayak Bharne. NY: Routledge, 2013: 168-178.

“The Ruko: Changing Appearances and Association of Shophouses in Urban Indonesia,” International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 1, 2, 2012: 217-241.

“Housing the Margin: Perumahan Rakyat and the Future Urban Form of Jakarta,” Indonesia (Cornell), 94, (October 2012), 23--56.

“Peasants in Indonesia and the Politics of (Peri-)urbanization,” in Global Capitalism and the Future of Agrarian Society, edited by Arif Dirlik, Roxann Prazniak and Alexander Woodside. London: Paradigm Publishers, 2012: 193-220.

“Rethinking the Nation,” in The Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory, edited by Greig Crysler, Stephen Cairns and Hilde Heynen. London: Sage, 2012: 213-230.

“Homogeneity of Representation: Salvation or Menace?” in Homogeneity of Representation: Knowledge Constructions, edited by Modjtaba Sadria for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. London: I.B. Tauris, 2012: 143-156.

“Master Q, Kung Fu Heroes and the Peranakan Chinese: Asian Pop Cultures in New Order Indonesia,” in Popular Culture and Co-productions and Collaborations in East and Southeast Asia, edited by Nissim Otmazgin and Eyal Ben-Ari (eds)., Singapore: NUS Press in association with Kyoto University Press, 2012: 185-206.

“A Hero in Passage: The Chinese and the Activist Youth in Riri Riza’s Gie” in Film in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Cultural Interpretation and Social Intervention edited by David Lim and Hiroyuki Yamamoto in for Routledge’s Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series. London: Routledge, 2011: 130-146.

“Architecture, Indonesia and Making Sense of the New Order: Notes from My Student Years,” in Decentring and Diversifying Southeast Asian Studies: Perspectives from the Region, edited by Goh Beng Lan. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011: 260-274.

“Green Governmentality in an Indonesian Metropolis,” Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 32, 2011: 314-331.

“Runaway City / Leftover Spaces,” (co-guest-editors with Melani Budianta and Hilmar Farid for a special issue on Jakarta,  Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 12, 4, Dec 2011: 475-483 (80 percent contribution to the article)

“Runaway City: Jakarta Bay, the Pioneer and the Last Frontier,” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 12, 4, Dec 2011: 515-530.

 “(Re-)searching Modernism: Indonesia After Decolonization” in Non-West Modernist Past: On Architecture and Modernities, edited by William Lim and Jiat Hwee Chang. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2011: 81-90.

“Tropics of Discourse: Notes on the Re-invention of Architectural Regionalism in Southeast Asia in the 1980s” Fabrications: The Journal of Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, 19, 2, 2010: 58-81.

“Colonial Cities in Motion: Urban Symbolism and Popular Radicalism,” Susastra No. 7, Jurnal Ilmu Sastra dan Budaya, [Susastra: Journal for Literature and Culture] Himpunan Sarjana-Kesusastraan Indonesia. [Indonesian Literary Scholars Association] Penerbit: Yayasan Obor Indonesia, Jakarta 2008: 1-31.

 “Back to the City: A Note on Urban Architecture in the New Indonesia,” in Arts, Popular Culture and Social Change in the New Indonesia, edited by Michael Leaf, Seminar Proceedings of Conference, Consulate General of Indonesia, Vancouver and the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, 2008: 59-93.

“Di Bawah Bayangan Bung Karno: Arsitektur Modernis dan Sejarah Kita” (Under the Shadow of Bung Karno: Modernist Architecture and Our Histories), in Tegang-Bentang: Ketegangan dan Perdebatan dalam Sejarah Arsitektur Moderen Indonesia, edited by Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur. Jakarta: Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur Indonesia, Erasmus Huis and KITLV, 2007: 60—74. (In Indonesian)

“Space, Power and Identity: Patches of the Postcolonial Past, Present and future Jakarta,” Journal of Comparative Cultural Studies in Architecture, 1, 2007: 37-42.

“The Cosmology, the Disciplinary and the Informality: Power and Space in Colonial Indonesia,” Trialog: Journal for Planning and Building in the Third World, 93, 2, 2007, pp. 32-36.

“The Afterlife of the Empire Style, the Indies Architecture and Art Deco” for The Past in the Present: Contemporary Architecture in Indonesia, Peter J. Nas (ed.) Rotterdam: NAI Press in association with KITLV Leiden, 2007: 131-145.

“The Seen and the Unseen Urban Kaleidoscope” in Jakarta Metropolis Amsterdam: Valiz Publishers, 2007: 17-21.

“Guardian of Memories: Guardhouses in Urban Java,” Indonesia (Cornell), 81, April 2006: 95-149.

“An Interview with Abidin Kusno,” by Kivanc Kilinc, METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 23, 1, 2006: 5-18.

“Whither Urban Nationalism? Public Life in Governor Sutiyoso’s Jakarta,” Urban Studies, 41, 12, Nov. 2004: 2377-2394. (Reprinted in Globalisation and the Politics of Forgetting, edited by Yong-Sook Lee and Brenda S.A. Yeoh, London: Routledge, 2006: 83-100 and On Global Grounds: Urban Change and Globalization, edited by Julia Nevarez. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009: 61-74.

 “Visualizing Ethnic Chinese: Towards an Agenda for Research,” Chinese Heritage Center Bulletin, 6, December 2005: 6-11. 

 “The Significance of Appearance in the Zaman Normal, 1927-1942,” in Kota Lama, Kota Baru: Sejarah kota-kota di Indonesia sebelum dan setelah kemerdekaan, [The history of the Indonesian city before and after Independence] edited by Freek Colombijn, Martine Barwegen, Purnawan Basundoro, Johny Alfian Khusyairi (eds) Yogyakarta; Ombak Press, 2005, pp. 493-520.

 “Postcolonial Urbanity: A Review Essay.” The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 12, 1, Spring 2005: 96-108

 “Remembering and Forgetting May Riots: Architecture, Violence and the Making of ‘Chinese Culture’ in the Post 1998 Jakarta,” Public Culture, vol.15, no.1, Spring 2003: 149-177.

“’The Reality of One-which-is-two’, Mosque Battles, and Other Stories: Architecture, Religion and Politics in the Javanese World,” Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 57, 1, 2003: 57-67.

"From City to City: Tan Malaka, Shanghai and the Politics of Geographical Imagining,”Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 24, 3, November 2003: 327-339.

"Architecture after Nationalism: Political Imaginings of Southeast Asian Architects," in Tim Bunnell, Lisa Drummond, Ho Kong Chong (eds) Critical Reflections on Cities in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Times Academic Press, 2002: 124-152.

“Professional Dreams: Architecture and the Imagery of ‘Indonesia’ in the Late Colonial Netherlands East Indies.” In Gregory Blue, Martin Bunton, and Ralph Croizier (eds.) Colonialism and the Modern World: Selected Studies, London: M.E. Sharpe, 2002: 265-282.

“Violence of Categories: Urban Design and the Making of Indonesian Modernity,” In Thomas Bender and Michael Peter Smith (eds), Nation and City: Rethinking Place and Identity. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2001: 15-50.

“On Be(ij)ing in the World: ‘Postmodernism,’ ‘Globalization,” and the Making of Transnational Space in China,” (with Anthony King) in Arif Dirlik and Xudong Zhang (eds)., Postmodernism and China. Durham: Duke University Press, 2000: 41-67. 

"Beyond the Postcolonial: Architecture and Political Cultures in Indonesia," Public Culture, vol. 10, issue 3, Spring, 1998: 549-575.

"Custodians of (Trans)nationality: Metropolitan Jakarta, Middle Class Prestige and the Chinese.” City, Space, Globalization: An International Perspective, edited by Hemalaka C. Dandekar, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1998: 161-170.

"Modern Beacon and Traditional Polity: Jakarta in the Time of Sukarno," Journal of Southeast Asian Architecture, vol. 2, no. 1, November 1997: 25-45.

"Angels in the Temple: The Aesthetic Construction of Citizenship in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum," (with Greig Crysler), Art Journal, vol. 56, no. 1, Spring 1997: 52-64.


Guest Co-Editor: Theme Issue of Journal:

“Changing Asia,” (co-editor with Marco Cenzatti, Lisa Findley), Theme Issue of Journal of Architectural Education, 63, 2, 2010

“Runaway City / Leftover Spaces” (co-editor with Melani Budianta and Hilmar Farid), Theme Issue of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 12, 4, 2011. 


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