Jeffrey Alan Hadler

Jeffrey Alan Hadler (1968–2017) received undergraduate training at Yale, where he designed his own major, combining literary studies, anthropology and political science. He completed his M.A. (1994) and Ph.D. (2000) at Cornell University under the supervision of Takashi Shiraishi and Benedict Anderson producing a dissertation on the Minangkabau community of West Sumatra. After graduating from Cornell, Jeff was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2001, he came to Berkeley, where he served, first as Assistant Professor, and then as Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies until his passing.

Jeff rose to become a bright star of Indonesian Studies, researching and publishing broadly on such varied topics as Indonesia during the Soeharto years, the nineteenth-century Islamic cleric Tuanku Imam, and Indonesian anti-Semitism. His 2008 book, Muslims and Matriarchs: Cultural Resilience in Indonesia through Jihad and Colonialism (Cornell University Press) was awarded the 2011 Harry Benda Prize in Southeast Asian studies by the Association of Asian Studies. The breadth of Jeff’s knowledge and interests might be seen most clearly in what was to be his last book project—situated at the intersection of history, art history, and literary studies—on the renowned twentieth-century Indonesian philosopher and painter, Nashar. One can but regret that this groundbreaking project was left unfinished, his work cut short by his illness and death.