Review of Identity and Pleasure

Review of Identity and Pleasure: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture, Singapore and Kyoto: NUS Press and Kyoto CSEAS Series on Asian Studies, 2014.

  • 2017_12_II Identity and pleasure, on screen-c
    “Heryanto successfully demonstrates that screen culture is a site where post-New Order Indonesians question what various identities mean to them and share, consume and interrogate their moral and political convictions, all while enjoying their leisure time.”
    Review by Fadjar I Thufail (LIPI), Inside Indonesia, 130: Oct-Dec 2017,
  • 2016_75-4_JAS-c
    Identity and Pleasure is ambitious and wide-ranging. In analyzing multiple and varied contemporary Indonesian pop cultural forms against the backdrop of recent political and religious developments, this book constitutes an important resource, not just for specialists of Asian popular cultures, but for scholars of Indonesia and of Southeast Asia in general.
    It also offers intriguing and important comparisons with Muslim Middle Eastern countries, which are engaged in their own struggles over the proper place of popular culture and media in an age of political and religious contestation.”
    Review by NANCY J. SMITH-HEFNER (Boston University) Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 75 – Issue 4 – November 2016: pp. 1162-1164.
  • 2016_V5-N1_SEAS-c
    Identity and Pleasure: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture is a brilliant study of the diverse and seemingly contradictory forces at play in the world’s fourth largest nation state. . . . Perhaps the most striking feature of Identity and Pleasure is Heryanto’s ability to find meaning in seemingly trivial and mundane aspects of popular culture.” Michael G. Vann, Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, April 2016, pp. 160-163.
  • “This book makes an important contribution and is likely to become required reading in undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in Indonesian studies, Asian studies, media studies and cultural theory”.Review by James B. Hoesterey, Sojourn, 31 (1/March) 2016: 327-331,
  • 2016_89-1_PA Review IaP-c
    “In this fascinating study, . . . Heryanto’s arguments are theoretically careful, nuanced, and innovative, always seeking more detailed understandings and explanations for the popularity (or lack of it) of his subjects; Islamic lifestyles and films, films about the tragic events of 1965–66, K-pop, and increasingly entertainment oriented political campaigns.”
    Review by Michael Bodden, Pacific Affairs, 89 (1/March) 2016: 228-230.
  • 2016_26-2_Asian Journal of Communnication-c
    “Written from a cultural studies perspective, Identity and pleasure’s diversity of cases will be of interest not only to scholars of media and critical studies, but to those interested in cultural politics and South East Asian studies in general. The book fills in a gap in the study of popular culture, which is too often forgotten in academic examinations of contemporary media usage and consumption, particularly in regards to how it relates to cultural politics and identity formation.”
    Review by Dani Madrid-Morales, Asian Journal of Communication, 26(2), 2016: 197-199.
  • 2016_73_NL-IIAS _How popular culture defines identity-c“In this book he looks into the role of media and screen culture (film, digital appliances …) in the life of young, urban-based Indonesians living in the first decade of the 21st century and how the use of these media has helped them to redefine their identity.””How popular culture defines identity”,
    a review by Patrick Vanden Berghe, IIAS The Newsletter, 73 (Spring) 2016: 23,
  • 2016_Vol47-No1_JSEAS -c
    “The author’s analysis of Indonesian films and audience reactions to them, is very compelling. This new study adds significantly to an important topic which has not received much scholarly attention. In addition, Heryanto’s book will serve as a broad introduction to Indonesian popular culture and politics which would make it suitable for undergraduate courses.”
    Review by Kania A. Sukotjo, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 47 (1/February), 2016: 148–149.
  • 2016_01_29_TJG Fascinating Journey Into Subterranean Halls of Indonesian Popular Culture-c
    “Ariel’s Identity and Pleasure is a fascinating journey into the subterranean halls of the often-overlooked Indonesian popular culture. In many ways, it is delightful in many of its unexpected twists and turns. The author keeps us going at a nimble pace while leaving us to wonder what to find around every corner: be it new insights or perspectives.””
    Fascinating Journey Into Subterranean Halls of Indonesian Popular Culture”, by Johannes Nugroho, The Jakarta Globe, 29/01/2016.
  • 2015_171_BIJDRAGEN-c
    “Heryanto’s work is an important contribution to the study of media, politics, and culture in Indonesia. The book offers a very comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography of works in Indonesian studies, and it highlights the importance of popular culture as an area often overlooked by those who study Indonesian politics mainly through top-level political elites and government policies.”
    Review by Intan Paramaditha, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 171, (2015): 574-577.
  • 2015_08_10_TJP All the World’s a Stage-c
    “The book, though scholarly and restrained in its prose, has a critical fervor to it and it could generate energy for social change in the future if it is picked up by a younger generation of Indonesians.”“All the World’s A Stage: Ariel Heryanto and the politics of screen culture”,
    by Duncan Evans and Retno Darsi Iswandari, The Jakarta Post, 10/08/2015.


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