Universiteit Leiden

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Els Bogaerts

Guest Researcher

Dr. E.M. Bogaerts
+31 71 527 2727

Fields of interest

Els Bogaerts is particularly interested in performing arts, the effects of cultural encounters and in the interface between art and science. Currently she is conducting research into the representation of Javanese culture on Indonesian television.

Current research

Representation of Javanese Culture on Indonesian Television

Already from its start, Indonesian television has broadcast traditional Javanese drama. The dramatic genres were adapted to and appropriated by the television industry, as well as inspired the medium to create new genres, all of which had an impact on live performances. The study will reveal how national, regional, public and private television stations in Indonesia – each in their own ways and for their own aims - represent aspects of Javaneseness.
The way traditional drama has been used by the Indonesian television industry for several purposes – the representation of the ‘local’/’the regional’, the preserving and nurturing of ‘national culture’, culture as commerce or propaganda, diversification as a counter voice to global or ‘Jakartan’ influences, and multiculturalism – will be put into the framework of discursive practices concerning local and national culture in the electronic media as well as into the framework of meta discourse about these themes in the disseminated dramatic genres themselves.
The analysis will focus on the changes in the contents, form and status of Javanese drama because of and on television from the nineteen nineties to the first decade of the twenty first century. The approach will be both chronological and thematic.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Ben Arps



  • MA (cum laude) Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, Leiden University: specialization in Indonesian, Classical Malay and Javanese language and culture\
  • Classical Javanese dance and music, Akademi Seni Tari Indonesia (ASTI, now Institut Seni Indonesia), Pamulangan Beksa Ngayogyakarta and Mardawa Budaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Balinese and Sundanese dance and music at ASTI and with private teachers
  • MA Germanic Philology: English and German, theatre science and translation theories, Antwerp University, Belgium
  • Master’s Teaching Credential, Antwerp University, Belgium


Els Bogaerts is an experienced lecturer and researcher, and coordinator of academic programmes. For many years she taught at the Department of Languages and Cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, Leiden University. As a guest lecturer she has worked at universities in the Netherlands, Indonesia and Belgium. She coordinated the research programme ‘Indonesia across orders. The reorganisation of Indonesian society, 1930-1960’ at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, Amsterdam, and several other academic programmes. She has worked as a book editor, organizer of series of talks for a wide public, and translator.

Els Bogaerts performs classical Javanese dance, and has given talks on Indonesian performing arts at the main fora in the Netherlands.

Recent publications

‘Mediating the local: Representing Javanese cultures on local television in Indonesia, 1998-2008.’ JSEAS, 48-2 (June):196-218.

‘The installation of Prince Mangkubumi: Performing Javanese history.’ Wacana 17-3:473–505. [Stories and storytelling in Indonesia II]

Barendregt, Bart dan Els Bogaerts (Penyunting), Merenungkan gema: Perjumpaan musikal Indonesia-Belanda. Penerjemah: Landung Simatupang. Jakarta: KITLV & Yayasan Obor. [Indonesian translation of Recollecting resonances: Indonesian-Dutch musical encounters, 2013]

Barendregt, Bart dan Els Bogaerts, ‘Merenungkan gema: Menyimak warisan musik Indonesia-Belanda.’ In: Bart Barendregt dan Els Bogaerts (Penyunting), Merenungkan gema: Perjumpaan musikal Indonesia-Belanda, pp. 1-36. Jakarta: KITLV & Yayasan Obor.

‘Like heavenly nymphs: Dancing a myth in Java today.’ In: Sri Kuhnt-Saptodewo, Mary Somers-Heidhues and Bettina Zorn, Danced creation: Asia’s mythical past and living present, pp.48-53. Exhibition Catalogue Weltmuseum Wien. Vienna: Christian Brandstätter Verlag. [Also published in German translation]

Barendregt, Bart and Els Bogaerts (eds), Recollecting resonances. Indonesian-Dutch musical encounters. Leiden: Brill/KITLV. [VKI 288]

Barendregt, Bart and Els Bogaerts, ‘Recollecting resonances. Listening to an Indonesian-Dutch musical heritage.’ In: Barendregt, Bart and Els Bogaerts (eds), Recollecting resonances. Indonesian-Dutch musical encounters, pp.1-30. Leiden: Brill/KITLV.

‘“Whither Indonesian culture?” Rethinking ‘culture’ in Indonesia in a time of decolonization.’ In: Jennifer Lindsay and Maya H.T. Liem (eds), Heirs to world culture: Being Indonesian 1950-1965, pp.223-253. Leiden: KITLV Press. [VKI 274] www.kitlv.nl

Bogaerts, Els and Remco Raben (eds.), Beyond empire and nation. Decolonizing societies in Africa and Asia, 1930s-1970s. Leiden: KITLV Press. www.kitlv.nl

Bogaerts, Els and Remco Raben, ‘Beyond empire and nation.’ In: Beyond empire and nation. Decolonizing societies in Africa and Asia, 1930s-1970s, pp.7-21. Leiden: KITLV Press.

‘“Kemana arah kebudayaan Indonesia?” Menggagas kembali ‘kebudayaan’ di Indonesia pada masa dekolonisasi.’ In: Jennifer Lindsay and Maya H.T. Liem (penyunting), Ahli waris budaya duni. Menjadi Indonesia 1950-1965, pp.255-285. Denpasar: Pustaka Larasan / Jakarta: KITLV-Jakarta.

Opera Java. Opera voor de 21e eeuw. Amsterdam: Tropentheater. (Text and editing) 

Guest Researcher

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Indonesie

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden



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