Organized Panel Session
The killings of 1965-66 comprised one of the most traumatic episodes in Indonesian history. This panel features four studies that cut across the social sciences and humanities in their examination of open questions surrounding the violence in the provinces of Central and East Java. The papers address four overlapping themes, including advocacy on behalf of victims in the aftermath of the violence, the apparent lack of resistance shown by the victims, the persistent stigmatization of the victims and their families, and demographic changes, including migration, associated with the violence. Reflecting the interdisciplinary composition of the panel, these studies rely on a diverse array of methods, including oral interviews with witnesses, participant observation, the use of primary and secondary written sources, and statistical analysis. Hearman examines the responses of people imprisoned as the result of the Indonesian Army’s Operation Trisula in South Blitar, East Java. Roosa provides an analysis of why members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) did not organize an effective resistance to the Indonesian Army and its allies during the violence. Stroud focuses on perceptions of the stigma attached to victims of the violence and their families in Central Java. Chandra provides a comparative portrait of demographic change, including migration, in Central and East Java and reasons for variations across the two provinces. Together, these papers illuminate a variety of interrelated and open questions surrounding one of the least understood cases of mass violence in the 20th century.