Vickers, Adrian 1958–

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Vickers, Adrian 1958–


Born 1958, in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.


Office—University of Sydney, Rm. 637, Brennan MacCallum Bldg. A18, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia; fax: 612 9351 2319. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, editor, and educator. University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, professor of South East Asian studies, 2007—.


Bali: A Paradise Created, Penguin Australia (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 1989, Periplus Editions (Hong Kong), 1997.

(Editor, with David Walker and Julia Horne) Australian Perceptions of Asia, Australian Cultural History, School of History, University of New South Wales (Kensington, New South Wales, Australia), 1990.

(Compiler and author of introduction) Traveling to Bali: Four Hundred Years of Journeys, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) Being Modern in Bali: Image and Change, Yale University Southeast Asia Studies (New Haven, CT), 1996.

(Editor, with I Nyoman Darma Putra and Michele Ford) To Change Bali: Essays in Honour of I Gusti Ngurah Bagus, Bali Post/Institute of Social Change and Critical Inquiry, University of Wollongong (Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia), 2000.

(With Andrew Wells) Explaining the Anti-globalisation Movement, University of Wollongong (Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia), 2001.

A History of Modern Indonesia, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Journeys of Desire: The Balinese Malat in Text and History, KITLV Press (Leiden, Netherlands), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Indonesia Today: Challenges of History, edited by Grayson Lloyd and Shannon Smith, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), 2001; Inequality, Crisis, and Social Change in Indonesia: The Muted Worlds of Bali, edited by Thomas Reuter, Curzon/Routledge (London, England), 2003; and Good Neighbor, Bad Neighbor: Australia's Relations with Indonesia, Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Center (Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia), 2006.

Author of the Adrian Vickers's Indonesia Blog. Contributor to periodicals and journals, including TAASA Review, IIAS Newsletter, History Australia, and Indonesia. Coeditor of the Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Studies (RIMA), 1990-2003. Bali: A Paradise Created has been translated into German, Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian.


Writer, editor, and educator Adrian Vickers serves as a professor of South East Asian studies at the University of Sydney in Australia. As a scholar, Vickers has been researching Indonesia for more than thirty years, he stated in an autobiography on the University of Sydney Web site. Throughout this three-decade academic engagement, he has been an observer of the shifting relationship between Australia and Indonesia, he said in his autobiography. The multilingual Vickers studies original resources in the Indonesian language as well as Balinese, Dutch, and Kawi (Old and Middle Javanese). Combining an academic background in anthropology, history, and culture studies, Vickers conducts research on topics such as Indonesian art, Indonesian history and historiography, labor and globalization issues in the South Pacific, relations between Australia and Indonesia, and the presence and proliferation of Panji stories in Southeast Asia—narrative tales originating in East Java that tell the tales of wandering princes who are searching for wandering princesses, Vickers explained on the Adrian Vickers's Indonesia Blog. Vickers's teaching duties include classes on Indonesian history, culture, and society; the history of Southeast Asia; and empires and states, he reported on the University of Sydney Web site.

Being Modern in Bali: Image and Change, edited by Vickers, presents a collection of papers that originated in an academic conference of the Society for Balinese Studies at Princeton University in 1991. The contributors concentrate on issues related to modernity in Bali, what modernity has meant to Bali over the course of many years, and how the process of modernity is represented in Balinese culture, literature, performance, and ritual.

Vickers himself "contributes a substantive introductory essay that presents a framework, outlines significant historical developments, and then links the key points of each subsequent article to this background," noted Pacific Affairs reviewer Timothy G. Babcock. In his contribution, Vickers assesses contrasts between Western and Balinese concepts of modernity, and concludes that the meaning of the word has changed over time, and that it was "not always congruent with what Westerners may have meant at any particular time in history," Babcock noted. Babcock further stated, "This is a reasonably coherent collection of case studies that well illustrate the chosen theme." Reviewer F. Hughes-Freeland, in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, concluded that "the book will be of great value to researchers of the region because of the depth of its scholarship, and its contribution to the deconstruction of crude conceptualizations of ‘traditional’ and modern which have been responsible for much of the cultural stereotyping of Bali."

In A History of Modern Indonesia, Vickers offers an "introductory survey of Indonesia from the late-nineteenth century up to 2004," noted reviewer Daniel Webster in the Canadian Journal of History. He provides a detailed description of Indonesia's cultural and physical characteristics, its size and geography, and its population and demographics. Vickers's "opening description of Indonesia as the fourth-largest country in the world by population, with 220-million people sprawling over 19,000 islands traversing an area as wide as the United States" may already be known by area specialists, but also "may serve as an indication of the importance of a little-known country," Webster remarked. Throughout, "Vickers draws a compelling narrative of cogent historical detail, while also incorporating insights from other disciplines such as literature, anthropology, sociology, and political science," commented Pacific Affairs reviewer Trevor W. Preston. Preston called the volume an "appealing alternative general Indonesian history that incorporates the perspectives and experiences of ordinary Indonesians." In assessing the book, Webster concluded that "Vickers has written a useful book that provides an entertaining and mostly informative account of a country whose history should be better known."



Asian Affairs, November, 2006, Kerry Brown, "Indonesia: The Great Transition," p. 399.

Canadian Journal of History, winter, 2006, Daniel Webster, review of A History of Modern Indonesia, p. 616; spring-summer, 2007, David Webster, review of A History of Modern Indonesia.

Far Eastern Economic Review, June, 2006, Sadanand Dhume, review of A History of Modern Indonesia, p. 58.

Journal of Asian Studies, May, 1997, Lizzy van Leeuwen, review of Being Modern in Bali: Image and Change, p. 572.

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, March, 1992, Kathleen M. Adams, review of Bali: A Paradise Created, p. 183.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, September, 1997, F. Hughes-Freeland, review of Being Modern in Bali, p. 645.

Pacific Affairs, spring, 1999, Timothy G. Babcock, review of Being Modern in Bali, p. 135; spring, 2007, Trevor W. Preston, review of A History of Modern Indonesia, p. 129.


University of Sydney Web site, (May 28, 2008), author profile.