Helen Creese, born in Hobart, Australia, in 1955. Ph.D. from the Australian National University. Reader in Indonesian at The University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Fellow (1 September 2010 - 30 June 2011)
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD: BALINESE HISTORICAL TRADITIONS AND COLONIAL ENCOUNTERS, 1880-1920
My NIAS project comprised an historical-literary study of the destruction of Bali's pre-colonial world order. At the core of the project is a Balinese metrical song-poem entitled “The Destruction of the World” (Bhuwanawinasa). This poem narrates a series of internal Balinese conflicts that took place in the late nineteenth century, as well as the final Dutch military conquest of Lombok in 1894 and the remaining independent kingdoms of South Bali between 1906 and 1908. Composed over the course of a decade by Pedanda Ngurah of Tabanan and completed in 1918, this text provides a distinctive Balinese perspective on the cataclysmic political and military events that shook the island between 1880-1917 as pre-colonial indigenous forms of power, politics and knowledge were subsumed under Western colonial domination and administrative reforms. During my NIAS fellowship I have completed an edition and English translation of the Bhuwanawinasa and have undertaken archival research to provide the historical context of the text.