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Sri Margana holds the Van Leur chair for early modern history of Indonesia

Dr Sri Margana succeeded Bambang Purwanto last September as professor in the Faculty of the Humanities. Margana is a specialist in the early modern history of Indonesia. The appointment will run for five years.

Dr Sri Margana

The new chair continues the close collaboration between the history institutes of Leiden University and of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). This collaboration has been ongoing for 18 years, allowing the successful TANAP, ENCOMPASS and COSMOPOLIS programmes to be established, programmes that have trained more than 150 Asian students in researching and using Dutch primary sources. These programmes were led by emeritus professor Leonard Blussé van Oud Alblas and professor Jos Gommans.

The establishment of a chair in Leiden for the shared history of the Netherlands and Indonesia at UGM in 2008, and especially the continuous efforts of previous chairholder Bambang Purwanto, have made significant contributions towards the success of this collaboration. 

About Dr Sri Margana

Dr Sri Margana is one of the few established experts who focuses specifically on earlier, more unique, but at the same time less accessible Dutch East India Company archives. His expertise fits well with the new Cosmopolis Advanced programme (2018–2023), which specifically involves studying these Dutch East India Company archives. These archives have never before been exploited on a large scale by Indonesian scholars. Margana’s task as the Indonesian coordinator is to work with Leiden University to further advance the programme and select new candidates. Additionally, he will facilitate the Cosmopolis Advanced programme in Indonesia by organising a relevant training programme in Indonesia conducted in English.

After receiving his doctorate from Leiden University in 2007 with a dissertation on the early modern history of Indonesia, Margana returned to Indonesia as a lecturer in the History Department in the Faculty of Cultural Studies at Gadja Mada University. There he has been chair of the History Department since 2011. Margana is also involved in much of the research and in many academic partnerships with Leiden University and was a researcher at the NIOD in Amsterdam. He also worked in the History Department at the University of Hamburg and was an academic fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin.

The Van Leur chair for the early modern history of Indonesia
The new title of the chair—the Van Leur chair for the early modern history of Indonesia—refers to Leiden historian Jacob Cornelis van Leur (1908–1942), who was the first Dutch scholar to advocate a more Indonesian-centric perspective on colonial history. His revisionist work was a source of inspiration for a new generation of Dutch and Asian historians.

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