Universiteit Leiden

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Ratna Saptari Soetikno Slamet

Assistant Professor

Dr. R. Saptari Soetikno Slamet
+31 71 527 3472

Short CV

Ratna Saptari studied Anthropology at the University of Indonesia. She obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 1995 based on research on workplace and household dynamics of cigarette factory workers in Malang, East Java. From 1996-1997 she held a Post-Doc position at the University of Nijmegen in a project on social security in Indonesia. From 1997-2005 she coordinated the multi-country research programme on Changing Labour Relations in Asia (CLARA) at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

Her continued focus on industrial workers was inspired by her involvement with Indonesian worker politics during Soeharto's authoritarian regime. Currently she is also involved with the Indonesian Migrant Workers' Union in the Netherlands. Her research has focused on the multi-sited nature of workers’ lives. By following cigarette workers’ lives within the global production chain, she examines the historical transformations of the global connections between foreign and domestic companies.


In the last fifteen years, she has written extensively on gender and labour relations; workplace politics; domestic workers; collective and individual memories. She has been part of the project ‘Alternative Indonesian Historiographies (in collaboration with KITLV/Leiden, funded by KNAW); and a subproject within the project “Plants, People and Work: The Social History of Cash Crops in Asia, 18th to 20th Centuries” (IISH/UvA/Amsterdam, funded by NWO).  

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Culturele Antropologie/ Ontw. Sociologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3A33


  • Samuels A. & Saptari R. (2019), Moral Politics of Nationhood: Constructions of Political, Sexual and Religious Others in Contemporary Indonesia, Inside Indonesia 138.article in magazine/newspaper
  • Saptari R. (8 February 2017), Engaged research: Should anthropologists be involved in activism?. Leiden Anthropology Blog [blog entry].other
  • Saptari R. (2016), 'Keeping Land and Labour under Control?': Reporting on Tobacco-shed Burnings in Besoeki (Java). In: Van Schendel W. (Ed.) Embedding Agricultural Commodities: Using Historical Evidence, 1840s-1940s. Oxon: Routledge. 78-99.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2016), Kerja dan Politik Pada 'Masa Sulit': Buruh Rokok Kretek di Jawa Timur dan Persoalan Periodisasi. In: Saptari Ratna (Ed.) Dari Krisis ke Krisis. Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press.book chapter
  • Erman E. & Saptari R. (Eds.) (2013), Dekolonisasi buruh kota dan pembentukan bangsa. Jakarta: KITLV.editorship of book
  • Saptari R. (2013), Melalui lensa domestik: Pembantu rumah tangga dan masalah ingatan dalam proses dekolonisasi. In: Erman E., Saptari R. (Eds.) Dekolonisasi buruh kota dan pembentukan bangsa. Jakarta: KITLV. 342-382.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2012), Production Systems and Forms of Labor Control in the Javanese Cigarette Industry, 1920s and 1930s.. In: Linden M. van der, Lucassen L. (Eds.) Working on Labor: Essays in honour of Jan Lucassen. Leiden: Brill. 99-121.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2011), Collective Memory, Labour and Nationhood: The Public and the Private in Remembering the Indonesian Past.. In: Mittag J., Unfried B. (Eds.) The Memory of Labour and Social Movements: A Global Perspective. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsanstalt.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2011), Domestic servants in colonial times.. In: Legene S., Dijk J. van (Eds.) The Netherlands East Indies at the Tropen-museum.. Amsterdam: A colonial History. 67-80.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2009), Servant problems: Regulation, boundary work and trans-border links. A review essay, International Review of Social History 54(2): 275-286.article in journal: refereed
  • Saptari R., Schulte Nordholt H. & Purwanto B. (Eds.) (2008), New Perspectives in Indonesian History-Writing (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia, Pustaka Larasan and KITLV.editorship of book
  • Saptari R., Schulte-Nordholt H. & Purwanto B. (2008), Rethinking Indonesian historiography. Introduction. In: Saptari R., Schulte-Nordholt H., Purwanto B. (Eds.) New perspectives in Indonesian history-writing (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia, Pustaka Larasan and KITLV. 1-31.book chapter
  • Saptari R. (2008), The politics of workers contention: The 1999 Mayora strike in Tangerang, West Java, International Review of Social History 53: 1-35.article in journal: refereed
  • Saptari R. (2008), Writing about a strike in Tangerang: The link between public and private. In: Saptari R., Schulte-Nordholt H., Purwanto B. (Eds.) New perspectives in Indonesian history-writing (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia, Pustaka Larasan and KITLV. 277-313.book chapter
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