Sunday October 4th, 09.15 – 10.15
King’s College, London
Indonesia Scholar International Convention
Details and conference tickets

Wednesday October 14th, 11.00 – 11.45
Frankfurt Book Fair, 4.0 C80
The Art of Travelling
I’ll be moderating a discussion with the wonderful Agustinus Wibowo and other travel writers at the Indonesia pavilion, to celebrate my Bad Boyfriend’s status as Guest of Honour at the world’s biggest book industry event.

Saturday November 7th, 16.00 – 17.00
Singapore Writers Festival
The fluid identities of Southeast Asia
With sociologist and fellow wanderer Kennie Ting I’ll be discussing how hard it is even to identify “Southeast Asia”. Details here.

Saturday November 7th, 20.30 – 17.00
Singapore Writers Festival
The Hidden
The programme notes say: “Elizabeth Pisani and Samanth Subramanian travel through Asia seeking truth in the sex industry, the backwater islands of Indonesia, and the post-war lives of Sri Lankans.” And for once, it’s not me that’s talking about the sex industry! Details here.

Thursday November 19th, 16.00 – 18.00
University of Toronto, Canada
Sultans Rising: The Reinvention of Local Identity in Contemporary Indonesia
In this public lecture, I’ll be looking at how politics and culture are interacting to turn Indonesia into an ever more colourful kaleidoscope. Details here.


Saturday September 5th – 16.00 – 17.00
Southbank Centre, London
Many, Yet One
Free event: Panel discussion as part of the Discover Indonesia Festival.

Friday May 15th – 15.00 – 16.30
Asia House, London
Indonesia Uncovered
Details and tickets

Friday May 15th, 7 pm
Lost Lectures, London
Secrets of a Bad Boyfriend

Tuesday May 12th
The Centre Cannot Hold: Decentralisation in the Jokowi Era

Indonesian Embassy
38 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HW
The event is organized by the Anglo Indonesian Society (AIS).
As invitations are sent privately to members of the AIS, you may contact the organizing committee

Wednesday April 29th – 12 noon
Can corruption be a good thing? Lessons from Indonesia
10383 Bunche Hall, 10th floor
Free admission. Open to the public.
Event Page

Tuesday April 28th – 5pm – 6:30pm
University of California Irvine
Humanities Gateway 1010 (Humanities Gateway Building 1st floor)
Death Sentences: The Art and Science of Writing about Disease and Disaster
(part of the Communicating Science Series)

Monday April 27th – 8:00 am – 5:00pm
University of California Irvine
Comparing China: Hopes and Fears of a Rising Power
RSVP Online

Thursday April 23rd – 19.30 – 22.30
GAUDRON, Place Brugmann 3, 1050 Brussels,
Full Circle Dinner: The upside of corruption
Details and tickets

Friday April 24th – 13.00 – 14.30
Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), Rue du Trone 130, 1050 Brussels
Lunch Talk: 
AIDS is Dead. Long Live HIV!
Details and tickets

Asia Society – NY

Join writer and social activist (?) Elizabeth Pisani for a discussion of her latest book Indonesia, Etc. with journalist Margaret Scott, New York University. Followed by a book sale and signing.
15 December 2014
6:30pm – 8:30pm
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York
$10 members; $12 students/seniors; $15 nonmembers.
Event page here

Seminar at SOAS, London

What: Can corruption reduce conflict? Lessons from Indonesia
London’s School of Oriental and African Studies is home to some of Europe’s best thinkers about the issue of corruption and development, as well as some great Indonesian scholars. I expect to learn a lot from the discussions following this talk.
When: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 17.00
Where: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London W1
More info here.

The science of public health: Where’s the evidence?

What: Away from Indonesia and on the familiar territory of public health, a discussion of the use of evidence in making public health policy. I describe the Great Public Health Fallacies, including the belief that people are too stupid to decide for themselves which risks to take. Part of the Barbican’s Battle of Ideas festival.
When: Sunday, October 19, 2014, 14.00
Where: Barbican Theatre, London
Details here

Kaliedescope Nation

What: Talk about Indonesia’s cultural diverstity. My contribution to the fourth annual IKON Festival, a celebration of the best of contemporary Indonesia.
When: Saturday, October 18, 2014, 14.45
Where: SOAS University, London

The Asian Library at Leiden

What: Discussion with Gert Oostindie and Wim Schulte Nordholt.
Likely to cover notions of history and the construction of national and personal identities. Or not.
When: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 14.00
Where: East Asian Library, Leiden University, Netherlands

TED Global, Rio de Janeiro

What: TED talk
Delighted to have been invited back onto the TED stage, which has this autumn moved to Rio. I’ll be talking about why the world should pay more attention to Indonesia
When: October 9th.

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival – Bali, Indonesia, October 1-5

What: Destination Unknown
On July 11, 2014, with two men still claiming victory in the presidency, I was sent this confident catalogue copy:
With a new president firmly in place what can Indonesia and the world learn from the last election? Three influential minds will grapple with that question and examine what lies in store for the world’s third largest democracy. Chair: Janet Steele with Elizabeth Pisani, Goenawan Mohamad, Azyumardi Azra
When: 09:45 – 11.00 am, Thursday October 2
Where: Neka Art Museum, Ubud

What: Korupsi
With Australian journalists Jill Jollife and Kirsti Melville, we discuss corruption in its various forms.
When: 11.45 – 13.00, Saturday October 4
Where: The Left Bank, Ubud

What: Indonesia Etc.
With another veteran of the Jakarta press corps — Dutch journalist Step Vaessen — I bat about stories of Indonesia, trying not to avoid the difficult issues that make the country as infuriating as it is captivating.
When: 10.00 – 11.00 am, Sunday October 5
Where: Where: Neka Art Museum, Ubud

Full programme :


What: Talk and discussion about changing nature of politics and patronage in Indonesia
When: Tuesday Sept 30th, time TBC
Where: The Habibie Center Jl. Kemang Selatan no. 98, Jakarta 12560

The Indonesian Heritage Society

What: Rumahku: The Indonesian Heritage Society
When: Thursday September 25th, 10.30 am
Where: Private residence, by invitation


What: Elizabeth will discuss the gap between life for young people in Jakarta and those in Indonesia’s outer islands. She’ll be joined by young Indonesians from the country’s best universities, who chose to spend a year teaching in some of the country’s remotest primary schools.
When: Thursday September 25th, 6.30 pm.
Where: Pacific Place Mall 3rd Floor #325, Jendral Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Kebayoran Baru, Central Jakarta, 12190

Jakarta Foreign Correspondent’s Club

What: Discussion of the current political landscape with Jakarta Foreign Correspondent’s Club members.
When: Friday September 26th 10 am, Intercontinental Hotel

TEDx Ubud – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, September 6

What: Perhaps a talk about the sometimes rather successful marriage between corruption and conflict in Indonesia?
When: September 6th, 2014
Where: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
More info:

Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney

What: Corruption makes the world go round
Actually, I’ll be arguing that the thing that we lazily label “corruption” is a many-headed beast. Politics is inherently transactional; some forms of “corruption” may be needed to hold complex countries together.
When: Saturday 30th August, 2014. 12.30
Where: Sydney Opera House
More info:


What: Women for sale
The programme notes about this panel discussion speak for themselves. Though apparently women who are for sale can’t — there are no sex workers on the panel. Expect a feisty discussion.
When: Sunday 31th August, 2014, 13.45
Where: Sydney Opera House

Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Weekend of 23rd August

What: AIDS is Dead! Long Live HIV!
Discussion with Melbourne service provider Colin Batrouney about HIV in a post-AIDS world. People have already objected to the title, so I hope it will be a lively session.
When: Friday August 22nd, 2014, 11.30
ACMI Studio 1, Melbourne, Australia

What: The highest bidder? Inside Indonesia’s legal system

Reflections on the multi-layered legal system Indonesia inherited from the Dutch. What that means for contracts, cops and corruption today.
When: Thursday August 21nd, 2014, 12.00
Private law firm, Melbourne, Australia


What: Building your digital presence
When: Saturday 23 August, 14.00
Where: Wheeler Centre, Melbourne
As part of the “Book Passage” session for aspiring travel writers, Torre DeRoche and I will talk about building up a digital presence. Though virtually everything I have to say can be summed up in two words: “Time consuming”.


What: Great Journeys: Indonesia
The programme promises I’ll dish dog for dinner. Session chair Janet DeNeefe, who knows Indonesian cuisine well, says she’ll provide the recipe.
When: Sunday August 24th, 2014, 11.30
Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne, Australia


What: Talking Points: Understanding Indonesia
Moralising Westerners sometimes look at Indonesia and see corruption where at home they would simply see politics. With Indonesian writer Ahmad Fuadi, I discuss the importance of patronage in maintaining stability and national unity in Indonesia.
When: Sunday August 24th, 2014, 16.00
Where: Deakin Edge, Fed Square, Melbourne
More info:

Edinburgh International Book Festival, Thursday August 14th

What: Discussion about mad countries in Asia with John Sweeney, author of North Korea Undercover. Indonesia and North Korea couldn’t be more different, except perhaps in their level of eccentricity. Chaired by Andrew Franklin. Should be fun!
When: Thursday August 14th, 2014, 19.00
Where: Scottish Power Foundation Studio, Edinburgh, Scotland
More info:

Latitude Festival, July 18/19th

What: Indonesia Etc: People, Nations and Lies
When: Friday, July 18th, 2014, 15.00
Where:Shed of Stories, Henham Park, Suffolk
The theme of Latitude this year is Secrets and Lies, so I get to talk about the way people, and nations, lie about their past, and how that affects their future.
More info:


What: Secrets and Freedom: Can we have both?
A panel discussion about data, privacy etc., sponsored by the Wellcome Trust. I see from the programme I’ve been cast, by implication as “for” intrusion into privacy. Ho Hum.
When: Saturday, July 19th, 2014, 12.00
Where: Literary Arena, Henham Park, Suffolk
More (rather garbled) info: here

Sunday Papers Live Sunday June 1st, 2014
What: Dog Liver for Dinner: What’s missing from the travel pages.
Secret Forum’s Sunday Papers Live, described as “A day of talks, walks, performances & food that bring the broadsheets to life”
When: Sunday June 1st, 2014
Where: Cecil Sharp House, Regent’s Park, London
More info:

Hay Festival Saturday May 31st, 2014, 4pm
What: Indonesia Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation
First official talk, and (pre-publication!) chance to see, touch, and buy the book, at one of Britain’s liveliest (and muddiest) celebrations of great reads.
When: Saturday May 31st, 2014, 4pm
Where: Good Energy Stage, Hay-on-Wye, Wales
More info:

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