Book by John Roosa No Longer Banned in Indonesia

I’m proud to say Modern Noise, Fluid Genres is part of the same book series as Roosa’s book.
This is from the University of Wisconsin Press November 2010 newsletter.

(No longer) Banned in Indonesia

A UW Press book played a key role in a landmark free speech ruling in October 2010 by the Constitutional Court of Indonesia, which struck down a 47-year- old law that gave the Indonesian attorney general the power to unilaterally ban books. Earlier this year, author John Roosa learned that his book about Suharto’s 1965 coup had been banned. “When I first heard that the [Indonesian] translation of my book, Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’Etat was banned, I had a deja vu,” wrote Roosa, a historian at the University of British Columbia. “It was like I was still living in the era of Suharto when every printed material was censored, when college students were charged for reading books authored by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, when a lot of my friends were working anonymously and moving underground in the fight against the dictator.”

The Indonesian Institute for Social History (Roosa’s Indonesian-language publisher) challenged the attorney general in the Constitutional Court, Indonesia’s supreme court. The UW Press contributed a letter of support crafted by series editor Alfred McCoy and Press director Sheila Leary, emphasizing the scholarly credentials of the book and the author. Pretext for Mass Murder had recently been a finalist for a book award from the International Convention of Asian Scholars. In the verdict, the court took away the powers of the Attorney General’s Office to unilaterally ban books, saying such power should rest with a judicial court. See the UPI stories on the court case.

Roosa’s book was the first title published in the University of Wisconsin Press series ” New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies,” which we began publishing in 2006 in collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UW–Madison. The series is wide-ranging, welcoming authors from around the world, writing in varied disciplines and genres, and looking at cultural, economic, environmental, political, and social issues. Eight titles have been published so far. The next two books in the series are The Floracrats: State-Sponsored Science and the Failure of the Enlightenment in Indonesia by Andrew Goss of the University of New Orleans, due in February 2011, and Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Thailand by Tyrell Haberkorn of Australian National Unversity, due in March 2011.

One important goal of the series is to bring this research to readers in Southeast Asia. In addition to UW Press’s efforts to sell English-language print and e-book editions worldwide, we have also licensed translation rights or sales territories for books in the series to such publishers as Silkworm Books in Thailand, Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines, the National University of Singapore Press, and the Indonesian Institute for Social History.

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