Linguistics and Literature Association (LITA)

The Department of English Literature, Faculty of Adab and Humanities, UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta in collaboration with LITA (Literature and Linguistics Association) conducted an English Seminar Series entitled “Cultural and Diasporic Studies” on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 by using the Zoom Meeting platform. This seminar invited two outstanding speakers, Febriyanti Lestari, Ph.D. can, a Fulbrighter at the University of Arkansas as well as an English lecturer at UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, and the second speaker was Ida Rosida M.Hum., the  English lecturer at UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. Hundreds of participants both lecturers and students joint the seminar enthusiastically. The Seminar was moderated by Alfi Syahriyani, M.Hum, the English lecturer at UIN Jakarta. As the host of this webinar series, Head Department of English Literature UIN Jakarta, Hasnul Djohar, Ph.D. delivered her opening remarks. She stated two important things, first was about her incredible experience in studying the diasporic literature during her Ph.D. program at Exeter University. Second, she introduced LITA to the participants. She also reminded us about the International Conference with ADIA the next July 2021.

The first session of the seminar was taken by the excellent speaker, Febriyanti Lestari, Ph.D. can. She delivered her presentation with the title “Muslim and Diasporic Studies. She first gave the clear definition about diaspora that migrants or descendants of migrants whose identity and sense of belonging, either real or symbolic, have been shaped by their migration experience and background. She conveyed that the concept of Muslim diaspora is still understudied, despite its potential to offer an understanding of the contemporary realities of Muslim minorities in a global context. Then how do Muslims write their diasporic experiences? She concluded that writing about the diasporic experience is a strategy of rehoming that internalizes the continual return to one’s cultural origin and rebuild a home in a dialogue between here and there, past and present. Muslim diaspora’s national identity is oftentimes shaped by their emotional relationship, rather than political ideology. This incredible speaker also emphasized that the Muslim diaspora’s notion of a nation as a homeland stretches beyond the conventional definition of a nation. Home is not fixed or given. Instead, it is reconstructed due to its transnational interactions. Lastly, this Ph.D. candidate of Arkansas University stated that diasporic writing becomes a mirror, not only for the readers but also for the diasporic writer.

The second session was taken by another remarkable speaker, Ida Rosida M.Hum. Her topic was very interesting, namely “The Lens of Cultural Studies in Woman’s Daily Routine on Youtube”. As her expertise in cultural studies, she explained clearly that cultural study is understood not just as textual or artistic products like books, music, or films, but in the broader sense of dynamic and complexly patterned ways of life. YouTube is now becoming a new culture in Indonesia. She found that there is a large number of videos created by Indonesian women which contents is sharing their personal life such as doing daily routines, cleaning the house, cooking, taking care of babies, pregnancy moment, childbirth, and many more. She argued that sharing those daily routines bring the issues of women, gender, religion, patriarchal ideology, consumption, and capitalism. She also elaborated the circuit of cultures which consists of regulation, production, consumption, representation, and identity. From those circuits, there is a very interesting one, It is about the representation of identity. According to this incredible speaker, what the content creator shares within their YouTube channel bring the representation of Indonesian woman as an ideal Muslim woman (Saleha). In closing her speech, she concluded that this YouTube channel is a kind of Islamic cultural industry as the content is presenting a series of images, practices, and religious values which is marketed especially to Muslim women. (TH)

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