The International Indonesia Forum is the outgrowth of the Yale Indonesia Forum that
was founded in late 2003. The Yale Indonesia Forum had and still has as mission
to be “an interdisciplinary group that serves members of the Yale community with
a common interest in Indonesia and Indonesian affairs” by bringing various people
The forum was founded in cooperation between students and faculty with Indriyo
Sukmono acting as the Yale Faculty Advisor to the group. The YIF Program Archives are
available on their homepage. http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIF.htm
The Yale Indonesia Forum began as a small effort, held together by several dedicated
people donating their time and energy. Over time, the YIF gradually grew and several
workshops and conferences have been held at Yale University since 2006. In late 2007
the idea arose to hold such a conference in Indonesia to facilitate access between scholars based inside as well as outside Indonesia with the philosophical approach that both had a different perspective and knowledge could be gained by bringing these two groups together. The Yale Council on Southeast Asia Studies provided some sponsorship for the publication of the papers resulting from the conference and Atma Jaya Yogyakarta
University was willing to shoulder the financial burden of hosting the conference for
what was to be the very first in a long and productive series of in-country conferences.
The concept of the new conference series was to promote an equal partnership through
mutual respect and willingness to learn based on the unique knowledge that each group
of scholars, internal and external, brought to the mix. The International Indonesia Forum
has been a voluntary effort of various people who have contributed their time and energy
ever since and has never charged any fee to presenters of their academic work in the
conference. The conference has been lucky to receive many voluntary contributions of
senior researchers from major universities all over the world and this has enabled the
organizers to provide opportunities to more junior scholars from Indonesia as well as
The first call for papers was launched in 2007 and the first conference was held in the
summer of 2008. The cooperation of scholars from Indonesia, Europe, Asia-Pacific and
the USA contributed to make the event successful. The group was an extension of the
concept behind the Yale Indonesia Forum – to become a forum to foster interaction,
dialogue, and an open exchange of ideas between Indonesian and non-Indonesian
scholars. Many friends and Indonesianists came together and many alumni from Yale
University helped to lend their scholarly stature to raise the level of the conference.
Senior scholars from Indonesia also participated as volunteers and all contributed to make the event highly successful. http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIF-Yogyakarta08.htm
Having participated in the 2008 forum, Sanata Dharma University volunteered to become
the next host of the 2nd Yale/International Indonesia Forum. The group reconnected and
in the summer of 2009 the second Yale International Indonesia Forum was held in what
was an important step in ensuring that this collaboration could grow further and become a yearly event. http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIF-Yogyakarta09.htm
The conference grew in size, quality and importance after both Diponegoro University
in 2010 and Yogyakarta State University in 2011 graciously agreed to host the forum
and the yearly call for papers was answered by more and more scholars both locally and
In 2011 a gradual autonomy became visible as the group matured and grew more independent from its parent organization, the Yale Indonesia Forum, now officially becoming the International Indonesia Forum sponsored by Yale University and Yogyakarta State University as the then host in 2011. http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIF-Yogyakarta2011.htm
In late 2011, the last academic year that the founder of the International Indonesia Forum was a graduate student at Yale, his former Alma Mater in Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University volunteered to become host for the 2012 edition and the result was a gigantic inflow of talented scholars, both junior and senior, from local universities as well as international universities – almost 100 papers were presented! The tremendous efforts of Gadjah Mada University ensured that no fees were charged to presenters. http://www.yale.edu/seas/IIF-GadjahMada2012.htm
The sheer size of the event and frankly the graduation of the organizer from Yale demonstrated the need for a more permanent body to be created and the International Indonesia Forum as it exists now came into being. It remains what it always has been: a group of very diverse scholars pooling their resources on a basis of goodwill and cooperation in order to further the sharing of knowledge and understanding on a basis of mutual respect. The group tries to continue to provide opportunities for scholars to grow academically and gratefully acknowledges the support given in the past by individual scholars as well as institutions from Indonesia as well as abroad.
For 2013 Sunan Kalijaga University has graciously agreed to become the host of the 6th International Indonesia Forum. All procedures implemented during the last 5 years remain in effect.
The 2014 conference, themed “Representing Indonesia”, was hosted by Sunan Gunung Djati Islamic University in Bandung from 19 to 20 August. A total of 52 speakers representing 10 countries presented. The conference again received coverage in the Indonesian media, including in Republika and Pikiran Rakyat.