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The Sixth Cornell Modern Indonesia Project Conference on Languages and Linguistics Held in Indonesia

CMIP in Indonesia
January 8, 2021

The study of Indonesia has been an integral part of the Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) since its founding in 1954. That year, the Ford Foundation awarded SEAP a grant to build US scholarly expertise on Indonesia, and the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project (CMIP) was born.

Under the directorship of George Kahin and associate director John Echols, CMIP supported a wide range of studies on Indonesian politics and government in the rapidly changing context of the post-independence years. In later years CMIP expanded its focus to include Indonesian culture, history, and international relations, launching the journal Indonesia in 1966. The project also supported the translation of critical monographs and reports from Indonesian and Dutch into English. This collection is freely available on Hathi Trust (  

In 2011 CMIP held the “State of Indonesian Studies Conference,” its first conference and an opportunity to revitalize the project in a new millennium. The conference brought eighteen scholars from around the world to Cornell to participate in six panel discussions on Indonesian anthropology, art history, history, language and literature, government and political science, and ethnomusicology. In the years that followed, SEAP faculty organized a series of conferences stemming from each of those six panels to explore Indonesian studies across a variety of disciplines.

Building on this legacy of scholarship, the sixth conference of CMIP entitled “Indonesian Languages and Linguistics: State of the Field” ( convened in Jakarta February 16-18, 2020. The conference was organized by SEAP Director Abby Cohn and co-hosted by Atma Jaya Catholic University, making this the first conference of CMIP to be held in Indonesia – a critical step to ensure extensive participation by Indonesian scholars, and harkening back to the roots of CMIP as a project to both develop scholarship on Indonesia and to expand access to such scholarship.


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