Author of 'Imagined Communities' dies in his sleep in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia (UPDATED) – Indonesia expert and Asian scholar Benedict Anderson died in his sleep Sunday, December 13, in Malang, East Java. He was 79.
Anderson, best known for his book Imagined Communities, had already turned blue by the time he was found by his driver in his hotel room in Batu, Malang.
According to his publisher, Marjin Kiri, Anderson had gone to the toilet in the middle of the night. After going back to sleep, he started to make unusual sounds, prompting his driver to check in on him.
Calls to the hospital went unanswered. Anderson died soon after being checked by his driver.
Anderson was a scholar with special focus and interest on Indonesia, although he has also written on the Philippines and Thailand. The Irish academic who was born in China wrote a paper on the political situation in Indonesia as a graduate student in Cornell University.
The paper resulted in Suharto barring him from the country during his regime, although Anderson was able to re-enter upon Suharto's fall.
Anderson "left a deep imprint on Southeast Asian studies, shaping the way power was understood in Indonesian society, placing Thailand not alongside 'uncolonized' Japan but with the semi-colonies of the unfederated Malay states, and tracing the intimacy between Philippine cacique democracy and the American Guilded Age," according to Filipino Professor Patricio Abinales, who's now based at the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.
"He placed the youth at the center stage of Southeast history and politics, whose rich experiences became the basis for his path-breaking book Imagined Communities, which explains origins of nationalism," Abinales added.
Just two days before his death, Anderson discussed his newest book Di Bawah Tiga Bendera (Under the Three Flags) at the University of Indonesia. – Rappler.com