The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Wednesday, 14 November 2018)

Speaker: Prof Geoffrey Robinson, Visiting Fellow, Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellowship (IMMF) & Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles

Date : Wednesday, 14th November 2018

Time : 3.00pm to 4.30pm

Venue : FASS Faculty Lounge Level 2, The Deck

Please email to to register

In this lecture, Professor Robinson will explore the problem of mass violence through a close examination of the shocking anti-leftist purge that gripped Indonesia in 1965–66. The book on which the lecture is based, The Killing Season, challenges conventional narratives that portray the violence as arising spontaneously from religious, cultural, and social conflicts. It argues instead that the violence was the product of a deliberate campaign led by the Indonesian Army. The book also details the critical role played by the United States, Britain, and other major powers in facilitating the mass murder and incarceration – and the more than 50 years of silence and inaction that followed. In contrast to prevailing approaches, The Killing Season seeks to locate Indonesia’s experience in a comparative historical and analytical framework. In doing so, it engages wider theoretical debates about the logic and legacies of mass killing and incarceration, as well as the histories of human rights, US foreign policy, Southeast Asia, and the Cold War.

Geoffrey Robinson is a Professor of History at UCLA where he teaches and writes about political violence, genocide, human rights, and mass incarceration. He received his PhD from Cornell University. His major works include: The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali (Cornell, 1995); East Timor 1999: Crimes against Humanity (Elsham & Hak, 2006); “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die”: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor (Princeton, 2010); and most recently, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Princeton, 2018). Before coming to UCLA, Robinson worked for six years at Amnesty International’s Research Department in London, and in 1999 he served as a Political Affairs Officer with the United Nations in Dili, East Timor. He is currently co-editing (with Douglas Kammen, NUS) a book of photographs and images related to the mass violence of 1965-66 in Indonesia.