Sumarsam has played Javanese gamelan since childhood. He is also a keen amateur dhalang (puppeteer) of wayang puppet play. His research on the history, theory, and performance practice of gamelan and wayang, and on Indonesia-Western encounter theme has resulted the publication of numerous articles and two books: GAMELAN: CULTURAL INTERACTION AND MUSICAL DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL JAVA (1995) and JAVANESE GAMELAN AND THE WEST (2013). His recent research focuses on the intersections between religion and performing arts. Examining discourses of transculturalism, the performing arts, and Islam among the Javanese, Sumarsam will carry out field and archival research in Indonesia, under the auspicious of NEH and ACLS fellowship grant (2016-17).
Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm