International Symposium

"Cosmopolitanism of Islam Nusantara:
Spiritual Traces and Intellectual Networks on the Spice Route”

30-31 August 2021, Jakarta

About Symposium

Call for Presentations

We would like to invite researchers, academics, practitioners, and graduate students both from Indonesia and overseas to submit an abstract (in English or Indonesian), a maximum of 500 words.

This event is organized in collaboration between the Faculty of Islam Nusantara (FIN) Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama Indonesia (UNUSIA) Jakarta, the Directorate General of Culture, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of The Republic of Indonesia, and the five scientific associations, such as Community for Manuscript of Nusantara, Association of Oral Tradition, Community of Indonesian Historian, Association of Indonesian Anthropologist and Association of Indonesian Archeologist.

If you have not got any response from the symposium committee (24 hours maximum), please send your questions or concerns to this email:

Terms of Reference

The dynamic interaction of societies over the course of history in maritime Southeast Asia (Nusantara) in general and the Indonesian archipelago in particular has affected the ability of its people to live in coexistence. The interoceanic trade route has been interwoven with cultural exchanges in many ways for centuries. People’s hospitality, as evidenced in today’s life, was an inseparable form of cosmopolitanism that facilitated its relationship in the past with other people from many parts of the world. For example, before the coming of Islam to the region, Javanese society had interacted with various groups of “nations” such Champ, Kalingga, North India, Srilanka, Bengal, Tamil, Malay, Karnataka, Pegu (Burmese) and Cambodia (Lombard, 2005:19). In the ports of Nusantara, all traders were welcomed and basically no people were rejected because of different religion.
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  • This panel disscusses female actors and their movement on the Spice Route of Nusantara archipelago. While the role of male actors in the formation of culture has been frequently exposed, female actors tends to be ignored. Whereas, Asian culture shows its hospitality to women rather than other culture. In the political, spiritual and intellectual realm, there were some women who played important role in their respective position such as Sultanah Shafiyatuddin Tajul Alam, Laksmana Malayati, Ratu Kalinyamat, Syaikhah Fathimah bt. Abdul Shamad Palembang, Nyai Ratu Mas Kilen, and some other figures.

  • This panel discusses spiritual and intelectual network which possibly connect Nusantara regions with other parts of Islamic World. Since the coming of Islam to Nusantara archipelago was presumably spread by traders who traveled through sea-trade route, this trade route facilitated Muslim preachers to the process of islamization and introduced intellectual framework in the spirit of pursue of knowledge. The relations of spiritual teachers (sufi/mursyid) with their disiples have forged a distinct network of loyalty and scholarship for centuries. Identification and revelation of those network become a concern of this panel.

  • This panel focuses on centers of Islamic civilization on the Spice route which encompass ports (urban) and river estuaries. These places became important points of various activities of Islam Nusantara culture which reflects cosmopolitan values, particularly on trading, circulating currency, diplomacy dan knowledge-seeking based contact. There is indication that connection among those spots has been formed on the Spice Route of Nusantara archipelago.

  • This panel investigates textual sources of history which is manifested in manuscript and books, written by auhors from Middle East and Europe. Those sources reveal many informations dealing with the existence of Nusantara archipelago and its route of spices. During 9-15th century, there are indications that topics on travelling, geography, history and medicine were written by Arab and Andalusia Muslims.

  • This panel attempts to capture a dynamic interaction between Islam and other system of beliefs in many parts of Indonesian archipelago (nusantara). While moderate agents of Muslim have shown a benign inclination to other traditions and religions, conservative and puritan factions of Muslims tend to show the opposite way. In a long history of penetration of a variety of religions, Islam has developed from a minority group to be dominant group of Indonesian population. This achievement has left several questions on the strategy of propagation (dakwah) of Muslim agents, formation of mainstreamed-Indonesian Islam and the prospect of Islam in the changing global order.

  • This panel outlines several models of Islamic educational institutions in the changing Indonesian society. While traditional ways of Islamic learning relies on the personal and informal approaches, the new era of technology has forced traditional actors to reconsider the established way. Old pattern of learning in pesantrens (boarding school) and madrasa (Islamic school) are still remain practiced, but new patterns of learning by a more creative ways have been introduced by many educators. This problem has challenged many managers/owners of Islamic institutions to respond and negotiate the changing world with various patterns of Islamic education.

  • This panel presents a variety of cultural negotiations which is carried out by the Nusantara Muslim community in the past. Relying on manuscripts as primary sources, this cultural negotiation arose, among other things, through interactions in trade, marriage, and inter-elite diplomacy. Those pattern of activities later on strengthened the discourse of Islamization in Nusantara through various sectors and have proved the characteristic of cosmopolitan Muslim community in the inter-penetration trend of social and culture of Pacific Rim and beyond.

  • Social sciences and humanities have contributed significant role in understanding human culture and civilization. The development of their ontology, epistemology and methodology shows a crucial progress in pursuing scientific truth as pure science has achieved. However, their role in solving human problems have been frequently questioned, particularly on their efficacy and determinant factor. This problem has risen several questions on how do social scientists understand social and cultural problems; how do they develop their methodology; and to what extent do they conform between the purpose and its method in their search of truth and solution. This panel aims to reveal various methods in social sciences and humanities to encourage new and creative methods in the changing social and cultural constellation.

  • This panel discusses oral traditions among various ethnic of Nusantara society which have been historically transmitted from one generation to another. Unlike written-based tradition, this practice relies on a direct interaction between speakers and their listeners/audiences in the same space and time. Identity and preservation of memory become crucial topic in the discourse of oral tradition. It determines a daily narration which is transformed by actors of tradition and transmitted to another place in a very contextual way.

Event Schedule

Here is our event schedule

This symposium will be held in "hybrid" (offline and online). Offline sessions will be held at Makara Art Center Universitas Indonesia, while online sessions are held via video conference (zoom platform).

Poster        Event schedule (Pdf)

Event Speakers

Here are some of our speakers

Speaker 9

Prof. Dr. KH. Said Aqil Siradj, M.A

Speaker 10

Nadiem Anwar Makarim, B.A., M.B.A

Speaker 11

Prof. Dr. H. Maksoem Machfudz, M.Sc

Speaker 12

Dr. Ahmad Suaedy, M.Hum

Speaker 1

Prof. Dr. R. Michael Feener

Speaker 2

Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, MA, CBE

Speaker 3

Mahmood Kuria, Ph.D

Speaker 3

Dr. Hilmar Farid

Speaker 4

Prof. Dr. Peter Carey

Speaker 5

Prof. Dr. Oman Fathurrahman

Speaker 4

Dr. Elaine Van Dalen

Speaker 5

Prof. Dr. Susanto Zuhdi , MA

Speaker 6

Drs. Sonny Chr. Wibisono, MA, DEA

Event Venue

Event venue location info

Makara Art Center
Universitas Indonesia,

30-31 August 2021