Campus Directory: Janice Newberry

University of Lethbridge

Janice Newberry
Anthropology Department
Office: A866 (University Hall)
Phone: (403) 329-5121
Fax: (403) 329-5109


Indonesia, political and economic anthropology, child studies, urban studies, gender and development

Research Areas

Political anthropology, state and community, child studies, democratization and early childhood education, the informal sector and domestic labour, gender and development, urban studies, cultural meanings of landscape and built form, mapping as cultural practise, central Java, Indonesia

About Me

I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in central Java, Indonesia, since 1992. My original work considered women and their domestic labour in lower class urban communities. My book Back Door Java: State Formation and the Domestic in Working Class Java (University of Toronto) considers house, household, and home as political, economic and conceptual categories produced through community and state formation processes.

My recent research projects relate to the new child studies. One project examines the introduction of early childhood care and development (ECCD) programs in Indonesia as a form of globalization that challenges local meanings of childhood and childrearing.

Another is a collaborative and participatory action research project with Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society of Lethbridge. This project is aimed at testing photo-elicitation as a method of auto-ethnography among a group of Blackfoot families.


Co-Director (and co-founder), Institute for Child and Youth Studies (I-CYS), University of Lethbridge, 2010-2015

Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Lethbridge, 2015

American Anthropological Association/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in
Undergraduate Teaching, 2014

Board of Governors Teaching Chair, University of Lethbridge, 2011-2013

Research Fellow, In Search of Middle Indonesia Project, KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Leiden, Netherlands, May-July 2009

Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Sept. 2007-April 2008

1997 Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, University of Arizona; dissertation entitled Making Do in the Imagined Community: Domesticity and State Formation in Working Class Java

1988 M.A. in International Studies, University of Wyoming

1979 B.A. in Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia

Selected Publications

2014 Women and Children First: Networked Care and the Re-emergence of the Domestic Community. TRaNS: Trans -Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, Volume 2/2: 271-291.

2013 Back Door Java: Negara, Rumah Tangga dan Kampung di Keluarga Jawa. Translated by Bernadetta Esti Sumarah. Jakarta: Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia and KITLV-Jakarta.

2012 Durable Assemblage: Early Childhood Education in Indonesia. WPS 194. Asia Research Institute Working Papers Series, National University of Singapore.

2012 How to Make Good Subjects: Guiding Girls, Creating Citizens, Constructing Consumers. Special forum on Discovering, Exploring and Colonizing the Realms of Childhood for Jeunesse. Co-authored with Elizabeth Galway and Louise Barrett. 4(1): 107-118.

2015 Empowering Children or Disempowering Women. In Gender Justice and Development: Local and Global. Christine Koggel and Cynthia Chambers, eds. Routledge.

2014 Class Mobil: Circulation of Children in the Making of Middle Indonesia. In
Search of Middle Indonesia, edited by Gerry Van Klinken and Ward Berenschot.
Leiden: Brill.

2012 Empowering Children or Disempowering Women? Early Childhood Care and Development in Indonesia. Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3):247-259.

2010 The Global Child and Non-governmental Governance of the Family in Post-
Suharto Indonesia. Economy and Society 39(3): 403-426.

2008 Double Spaced: Abstract Labour in Urban Kampung. Anthropologica 50(2):241-
254. Special issue on urban anthropology.

2007 Rituals of Rule in the Administered Community: The Javanese Slametan
Reconsidered. Modern Asian Studies 11(6):1295-1330.

2006 Backdoor Java: State Formation and the Domestic in Working Class
Java. Peterborough, Ontario: University of Toronto Press.

Research Interests


The state and governance: theories of the state, state formation as cultural process, political authority, governmentality, governance, community, political anthropology

Child studies: childhood as a cultural category; empowerment, democratization and early childhood education; photo-elicitation as a method for understanding childrearing

Economic anthropology: international political economy, theories of exchange and economy, the informal sector and domestic labour

Domesticity and gender: the historical emergence of the domestic sphere and its relationship to gendered identity and the economy, gender and nationalism

Space and place: political ecology, cultural meanings of landscape and built form, mapping as cultural practise

Urban studies: urban neighbourhood as social and spatial formation

Indonesia: fieldwork in central Java, Indonesia since 1992

Curriculum Vitae


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