Wiji Thukul: What’s the point?

What’s the point of being knowledgable
If only used to deceive
What’s the point of having read many books
If you never break the silence
(an excerpt from “What’s the point”, a poem by Wiji Thukul*)

Original version (Indonesian):
Apa gunanya punya ilmu tinggi
Kalau hanya untuk mengibuli
Apa gunanya banyak baca buku
Kalau mulut kau bungkam melulu
(nukilan dari “Apa guna”, puisi oleh Wiji Thukul)

Written by someone who never went to college, this message rings true especially to some of us who enjoyed privileged access to higher education.

The message also brings a validation for some of us, who have already begun to break the silence of the night and found the calling to speak is often marred with agony.

We must speak. With all knowledge and privileges we have, we must speak. We must speak to break the betrayal of our own silences. We must speak.

Today, August 26th, is the birthday of Wiji Thukul, an Indonesian poet and an activist who went missing in 1998 during the period of protests that led to the fall of the New Order regime. His poems are political, often critical of the Indonesian government (under Suharto) and the social conditions of the country. It’s suspected that he’s one of many anti-government protesters abducted by government forces.

Happy Birthday Wiji Thukul!
Thank you for your bravery and your unwavering quest for freedom and justice.

 

Continue reading Wiji Thukul: What’s the point?

[Book] Digital Activism in Asia Reader

The Centre for Internet and Society has just published a reader entitled “Digital Activism in Asia”. Edited by Shah, Sneha, and Chattapadhyay, the reader  combines stories in multiple forms, including academic essays (one of them is mine), case-studies to grey literature that reveals and points to the debates around digital activism that have emerged in this particular context.  The reader “attempts a crowd-sourced compilation that presents critical tools, organisations, theoretical concepts, political analyses, illustrative case-studies and annotations, that an emerging network of changemakers in Asia have identified as important in their own practices within their own contexts.” Continue reading [Book] Digital Activism in Asia Reader

The “Herrera” moment

with many thanks and congratulations to Juan Felipe Herrera...

let us gather in a flourishing way
en la luz y en la carne of our heart to toil
tranquilos in fields of blossoms
juntos to stretch los brazos
tranquilos with the rain en la mañana
temprana estrella on our forehead
cielo de calor and wisdom to meet us
where we toil siempre
in the garden of our struggle and joy
— an excerpt from “Let Us Gather in a Flourishing Way” by Juan Felipe Herrera

Tears were glistening in her eyes and spilling over to splash down her cheek. She turned her head to look at him, who apparently had already looked at her. She turned her eyes to his eyes. With a teardrop hidden in a corner of his eye, he reached out and gently touched her hand. His eyes were locked on hers.
Continue reading The “Herrera” moment

[TIPS] Handling Q&A session

My graduate students asked for some tips to handle conference’ Q&A session. Here are my answers. I find these useful not only for conferences, but also in everyday interactions.

1. When you think you really know the answer, wait 5 seconds before you say it. Sometimes you don’t really know whether you really know or just think you really know.
2. Avoid a ‘stupid’ moment: before reacting (negatively/harshly/carelessly/…), think of something stupid and don’t say it. Continue reading [TIPS] Handling Q&A session

A neighbor with a beautiful mind

In the last decade or so, I came across some intellectual celebrities in various occasions in various places. No, I don’t have any evidence of my encounters with these people, no autograph, no selfies, nada. I had some email exchanges with a couple of them but I’d keep these to myself. Also, while they’re inspirational, meeting them didn’t not make me any special. Just because they’re brilliant, genius, and famous, it doesn’t mean that I turned brilliant, genius, and famous once I met them. Unlike in scenes of many feel-good Hollywood movies, I don’t have any life-changing moments in any of these encounters. In fact, some of the stories are probably rather ordinary, as exemplified in the story I am going to tell you. Continue reading A neighbor with a beautiful mind

Publishing in academia (2): Co-authorship

Academic articles (also, to a certain degree, books and monographs), especially in science & engineering, frequently are published by multiple authors. Co-authorship has also become more common in social sciences and even in humanities which historically adopted a single-author tradition.

Is there any rule/regulation regarding the co-authorship? If so, what are the rules?

The practices of co-authorship  usually depend on the fields, disciplines, countries, and institutions. But, yes, there are actually rules in place!  Continue reading Publishing in academia (2): Co-authorship

Publishing in academia (1): Basic information

This is a slideshow I made to share some very very basic information about publishing a journal article for graduate students who never published before.https://prezi.com/2wekrbuldmkw/publishing-a-journal-article/

Feel free to share this to those who may need it.

This is the first in the series. Will try to get the next slideshow done soon. Continue reading Publishing in academia (1): Basic information

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