Plantation Worlds: Towards Ethnographic Collaboration

JHI Alumni logo
Hosted by

Jackman Humanities Institute

170 St. George Street, 1st floor, Room 100

Tania Li and Pujo Samedi

Plantation Worlds: Towards Ethnographic Collaboration

Plantations are huge institutions; not one field site but many. They are rigidly hierarchical, segregated by gender and ethnicity, and they have complex relations with the surrounding society.  It is difficult for a single researcher to become familiar with multiple plantation worlds, suggesting the need for a team approach.  In this talk Tania Li and Pujo Semedi describe the rewards and challenges of team based ethnographic research drawing on work they carried out in Indonesia’s oil palm plantations together with around 100 students from their two universities (Toronto, Gadjah Mada). They also discuss the practices they devised for co-authoring a book, while navigating differences in prior knowledge, writing style, academic and political stakes.

Tania Murray Li teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her publications include Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Duke University Press, 2014), Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia (with Derek Hall and Philip Hirsch, NUS Press, 2011), The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics (Duke University Press, 2007) and many articles on land, labor, development, resource struggles, community, class, and indigeneity with a particular focus on Indonesia.

Pujo Semedi teaches in the Department of Anthropology at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. He is the author of Close to the Stone, Far from the Throne: The Story of a Javanese Fishing Community, 1820-1990 (Amsterdam University, 2003), and articles on plantation worlds in Java and Kalimantan.

Thursday 27 February at 3:00 p.m.

Jackman Humanities Building Room 100, 170 St. George Street, Toronto

This event is free and open to all.  If you require an accommodation for disability, please contact Dr. Kim Yates, JHI Associate Director, at 416-946-0313 or


Li poster