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Yatun Sastramidjaja

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam

Yatun Sastramidjaja is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, where she also obtained her PhD and Master’s degrees in Anthropology. Previously she held research and teaching positions at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Yatun’s main research interests include youth and student activism, democratisation and digital technologies, political culture and citizenship, and popular cultures in Indonesia and more broadly Southeast Asia in a transnational context. While continuing to be committed to the topic of her PhD dissertation (titled "Playing Politics: Power, Memory and Agency in the Making of the Indonesian Student Movement"), her current research has expanded to two new projects that investigate the complex relationship between digital technologies and fragile democracy processes in Southeast Asia from different angles. The first project, titled "Viral Citizenship: Digitised Youth Activism and Reconfigurations of Democratic Citizenship in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore," is a comparative research on multi-mediated youth activism and democratisation in Southeast Asia; this research is supported by a visiting fellowship at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. The second project, titled "Cyber Troops and Public Opinion Manipulation," is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research on social media propaganda in the context of political conflict in Indonesia; this research is supported by an Anticipation Grant Indonesia-The Netherlands from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences / KNAW.

Covering both topics, Yatun is preparing an edited book tentatively titled "From #Activism to Cyber-Surveillance: Digital Technologies and Democracy in Southeast Asia", with case studies from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and The Philippines. She has written several articles and book chapters based on her previous and current research (published and forthcoming); a book on Indonesia's student movement, based on her PhD dissertation and follow-up research, is forthcoming.


  • –present
    Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam