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Professor Robert Lemelson.

Thanks to the generous gift, the UCLA Indonesian Studies Program will be able to fund both travel expenses for graduate students in Indonesia and an intensive Indonesian-language program in the country this summer.

International Institute, UCLA, May 20, 2014 — The UCLA Indonesian Studies Program has received a generous gift of $40,000 from the Robert Lemelson Foundation to fund travel expenses for UCLA graduate students conducting field work and archival research in Indonesia this summer.

The gift will also support the Consortium for the Teaching of Indonesian summer abroad program 2014, an advanced-level language immersion course. As a result, it will benefit both language students and winners of the competitive Lemelson Fellowship, which is awarded annually.

Lemelson Fellowships on Indonesia are part of the Indonesian Studies Program of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Established in 2008 with a substantial gift from Robert Lemelson, the program funds UCLA graduate students to do research in Indonesia, sponsors conferences and workshops at UCLA on Indonesian Studies, and brings experts on Indonesia (both Indonesian and non-Indonesian) to conduct research and give lectures on campus.

“Indonesia — both the largest country in Southeast Asia and the largest Muslim-majority country in the world — is a diverse and increasingly important actor on the world stage,” said Lemelson. “Scholarly programs that create knowledge of this complex and fascinating society are surprisingly few in number, particularly ones that focus on understanding the factors leading to a more robust, open and vibrant civil society.”

“The Robert Lemelson Foundation is proud to partner again with the UCLA International Institute to build a program that furthers the cause of awareness and knowledge about this emergent democracy and important U.S. partner in the Pacific Rim.”

“We are grateful for this gift from Professor Lemelson, which helps us to build upon our strengths in Indonesian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies more generally, and positions us to advance our intellectual leadership in these important fields,” said Chris Erickson, professor, senior associate vice provost, and director, UCLA International Institute.

Lemelson’s research focuses on in Southeast Asian Studies, psychological anthropology and transcultural psychiatry. He has made numerous contributions to Indonesian Studies at UCLA, allowing the field to expand and establish a significant presence on campus. With this gift, Professor Lemelson and the Lemelson Foundation have now given over a quarter of a million dollars to the Indonesian Studies Program.

Robert Lemelson received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and his doctorate in anthropology from UCLA. He currently works as a research anthropologist at the renowned Semel Institute of Neurosciences and as a lecturer in the anthropology department at UCLA. He is also trained as a clinical psychologist.

A noted philanthropist and advocate for Indonesian Studies, Lemelson is also the president and founder of The Foundation for Psychocultural Research and director of the ethnographic documentary film production company Elemental Productions. He has produced over 10 feature and short documentary films, including “40 Years of Silence: An Indonesian Tragedy” (2009) and “Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia” (2010).

For more information about the Lemelson Fellowships on Indonesia, click here.

UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies

11274 Bunche Hall
Box 951487
Los Angeles, CA 90095 1487
Contact: Barbara Gaerlan, Assistant Director
310 206 9163 or

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Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014