The purpose of the Indonesian Studies Program is to promote the study of Indonesia by UCLA graduate students and faculty through conferences, lectures, and fellowships. The program will promote deeper understanding of Indonesia and its global significance.
The UCLA Indonesian Studies Program was created in October 2008 through a generous grant from Robert Lemelson. It is part of UCLA's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, which in turn dwells under the auspices of the UCLA International Institute.
The Indonesian Studies Program currently has three components:
- It provides grants to UCLA graduate students to travel to Indonesia to conduct field work and archival research. The recipients are known as Lemelson Fellows;
- it sponsors conferences and workshops on Indonesian Studies at UCLA; and
- it brings to the UCLA campus Indonesia experts (both Indonesian and non-Indonesian) both to conduct research and to enhance the regular curriculum by giving lectures, and by meeting with students and faculty.
In addition, UCLA is currently the only university in Southern California to offer Indonesian language instruction at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.
The Indonesian Studies Program is governed by a faculty steering committee, chaired by Geoffrey Robinson, Associate Professor of History, and including Douglas Hollan, Professor of Anthropology; and Michael L. Ross, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. All are experts on Indonesia.
Robert Lemelson, Ph.D., is an anthropologist who received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate from the UCLA Department of Anthropology. He is currently a research anthropologist at the Semel Institute of Neurosciences at UCLA, and lecturer in the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology. He is also the president and founder of The Foundation for Psychocultural Research, a non-profit research foundation supporting research and training in the neurosciences and social sciences, and the director of Elemental Productions, a ethnographic documentary film production company.