Professor Peter Carey: Lest We Forget

When: Tue, Dec 16, 5:30pm – 7:00pm, 2014
Where: Lecture Theatre 4, Sunway University Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Admission: Free
Info: Registration [Website down]

Professor Emeritus Peter Carey has spent a lifetime in and around Southeast Asia. Born and raised in Burma, he returned to Southeast Asia in 1970 and lived in Indonesia for four years (1971-73 and 1976-78) while researching his Oxford doctoral thesis on Prince Diponegoro and the Making of the Java War, 1825-1830 (1976).

Taking the Syair Lampung Karam, a description of the violent August 1883 eruption of Mt Krakatau, by the Lampung writer, Muhammad Saleh, as his starting point, he looks at what happens when a people forgets its own history.

His overall message is 'lest we forget', an injunction which President Sukarno would later put pithily as, jangan sekali-kali meninggalkan sejarah (never forget your history) (1967).

He will argue that a people which forgets its own history, like contemporary Indonesia, not only loses its cultural moorings but also exposes itself to huge dangers - the loss of any vital tradition of oral and written history of natural disasters being the most salient. This is a Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series lecture.