Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff - Jaap Timmer

Contact Details

Position: Senior Lecturer  

Dr Jaap Timmer

Location: W6A 603
Consultation Hours: tba
Telephone: +61-2-9850-8121
Fax: +61-2-9850-9391
Web Blog:
Postal Address: Department of Anthropology
Faculty of Arts
Macquarie University
NSW 2109


Teaching & Academic Background

Jaap is Lecturer and Director of the Applied Anthropology Program in the Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University 
since January 2010. Before moving to Sydney he was based in Jakarta where he worked as a Senior Research Fellow and Project Manager for Leiden University Access to Justice Project. Jaap has a broad regional interest in the Southwest Pacific and Southeast Asia, with particular emphasis on Melanesia (Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands) and Indonesia (Kalimantan, Papua and Maluku). His anthropological research focuses on the cultural politics of knowledge with particular emphasis on religion, ethnicity, migration, tenure arrangements, access to justice, governance, and non-state regulations. Jaap is also interested in designing, undertaking, and managing research, and organising and managing projects that take a lively interest in the history, use and meaning of indigenous knowledge.

Research Profile

Forthc. Translatio Terrae Sanctae in North Malaita: The Holy Land in Solomon Islands. In Lynda Newland and Terry Brown (eds), Judaism in the Pacific, Special Issue of Oceania. Accepted.

Forthc. The All People's Prayer Assembly in Solomon Islands as an Alternative Reality. Nova Religio. Accepted.

Forthc. Papua Coming of Age: The Cycle of Man's Civilisation and Two Other Papuan Histories. In Martin Slama (ed.), From "Stone-Age" to "Real-Time": Exploring Papuan Temporalities, Mobilities, and Religiosities. Canberra: ANU Epress. Accepted.

2013. The Sovereign and the Banyan. Review article of Danilyn Rutherford, 2012, Laughing at Leviathan: Sovereignty and Audience in West Papua, and Eben Kirksey, 2012, Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power. Journal of Pacific History 48(3): 330-336

2013. Becoming Like the State. Oceania 83(3): 153-157 (with Daniel Fisher)

2013. The Threefold Logic of Papua-Melanesia: Constitution-writing in the Margins of the Indonesian Nation-State. Oceania 83(3): 158-174

2013. Review of Michael Eilenberg, 2012, At the edges of states: Dynamics of state formation in the Indonesian borderlands. Asian Ethnicity

2012. Menentang Kulturalisme di Tanah Papua ('Against Culturalism in the Land of Papua'). In I Ngurah Suryawan, Jiwa yang Patah, pp. 21-39. Manokwari: Pusbadaya Universitas Negeri Papua and Kepel Press

2012. Peace and Statebuilding as Architecture and Pillars. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 13(5): 1-7 (with Anna-Karina Hermkens)

2012. Straightening the Path from the Ends of the Earth: The Deep Sea Canoe Movement in Solomon Islands. In Lenore Manderson, Wendy Smith, and Matthew Tomlinson (eds), Flows of Faith: Religious reach and community in Asia and the Pacific. Pp. 201-214. Dordrecht and New York: Springer Publishing Company

2012. Visualizing the Lost Temple and Mapping a Straightening World in Solomon Islands: Two Cultural Products of the Deep Sea Canoe Movement. In Carole M. Cusack and Alex Norman (eds), Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production, pp. 737-752. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion. Leiden: Brill

2012.  Review of Resosudarmo, Budy P. and Frank Jotzo, eds., 2009, Working with Nature Against Poverty: Development, Resources and the Environment in Eastern Indonesia. The Newsletter 59: 43

2011. Cloths of Civilisation: Kain Timur in the Bird's Head of West Papua. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 12(4): 383-401

2011. Conflicting States: Violent Politics in North Maluku, Indonesia. Etnofoor 23(2): 57-77 (with Anna-Karina Hermkens)

2011. Compensation and State Avoidance in the Bugis Frontier of the Mahakam Delta, East Kalimantan. Discussion Paper 2011/5, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University

2011. Access to Compensation in the Bugis Frontier Culture of the Mahakam delta, East Kalimantan. Van Vollenhoven Institute Access to Justice Working Paper Series. Leiden: Van Vollenhoven Institute, Faculty of Law, Leiden University

2011. Review of Stephen Levine (ed.), 2009, Pacific Ways: Government and Politics in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Affairs 84(2): 405-407

2010. Being Seen Like the State: Emulations of Legal Culture in Customary Labor and Tenure Arrangements in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. American Ethnologist 37(4): 703-712

2010. Patron-clientship and Non-state governmentality in a shrimp frontier of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In Huub de Jonge and Toon van Meijl (eds), On the Subject of Labour: Essays in Memory of Frans Hüsken, pp. 120-124. Nijmegen: In de walvis/Roelants

2010. Review of Peter Kenilorea, 2008, Tell It As It Is: Autobiography of Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Kenilorea, KBE, PC, Solomon Islands' First Prime Minister. Pacific Affairs 82(4) 

2009. Pacific States, Conflicts and Identities in the Making. Review article of Donald Denoon, A Trial Separation: Australia and the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea, 2005, Anthony J. Regan and Helga M. Griffin (eds), Bougainville before the conflict, 2005, and Toon van Meijl and Jelle Miedema (eds), Shifting Images of Identity in the Pacific, 2004. Oceania 79(3): 316-329

2009. Review of Elizabeth Fuller Collins, 2007, Indonesia Betrayed: How Development Fails. Asian Studies Review March, 33: 131-132

2009. Review of John Barker, 2007, The Anthropology of Morality in Melanesia and Beyond. Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific Series.. Bijdragen tot the Taal-, Land en Volkenkunde 165(2-3): 366-370

2009. Review of Diana Glazebrook, 2008, Permissive residents: West Papuan refugees from the Indonesian Province of Papua living in Papua New Guinea. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land en Volkenkunde 165(4): 576-584

2009. Review of Simon Haberberger, 2007, Kolonialismus und Kannibalismus: Fälle aus Deutsch-Neuguinea und Britisch-Neuguinea 1884-1914. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land en Volkenkunde 165(4): 584-586

2008. Spectres of Indonesianisation and Secession in Papua. In P.J. Drooglever (ed.), Papers presented at the Seminar on The Act of Free Choice, Held in The Hague 15 November 2005 on the occasion of the book launch of P.J. Drooglever, Een Daad van Vrije Keuze. De Papoea's van westelijk Nieuw-Guinea en de grenzen van het zelfbeschikkingsrecht (An Act of Free Choice. The Papuans of western New Guinea and the limits of the right of self determination), pp. 23-38. The Hague: Institute of Netherlands History

2008. Kastom and Theocracy: A Reflection on Governance from North Malaita, Solomon Islands. In Sinclair Dinnen and Stewart Firth (eds), Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands, pp. 194-212. Canberra: Asia Pacific Press

2008. Review of Barbara Hocking (ed.), 2005, Unfinished Constitutional Business?: Rethinking Indigenous Self-determination. Pacific Affairs 80(4): 702-703

2007. A Brief Social and Political History of Papua, 1962-2004. In A.J. Marshall and B.M. Beehler (eds), The Ecology of Papua, pp. 1098-1123. The Ecology of Indonesia Series Volume VI. Singapore: Periplus Editions

2007. Erring Decentralisation and Elite Politics in Papua. In Henk Schulte Nordholt and Gerry van Klinken (eds), Renegotiating Boundaries: Local Politics in Post-Suharto Indonesia, pp. 459-482. Leiden: KITLV Press

2007. Desentralisasi Salah Kaprah dan Politik Elit di Papua. In Henk Schulte Nordholt dan Gerry van Klinken (eds), Politik Lokal di Indonesia, pp. 595-625. Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia

2007. Review of Jacques Bertrand, 2004, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia. The Journal of Pacific History 41(1): 110-111

2006. By Aeroplane to 'Pygmy Land', Revisiting the 1926 Stirling Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea. IIAS Newsletter 42: 35

2006. Review of Jon Fraenkel, 2004, The Manipulation of Custom: From Uprising to Intervention in the Solomon Islands, and Clive Moore, 2004, Happy Isles in Crisis: The historical causes for a failing state in Solomon Islands, 1998-2004. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 162(4): 566-569

2006. Conflict Resolution in Papua. Jakarta Post, Opinion, 5 January 2006

2005.  Decentralisation and Elite Politics in Indonesian Papua. Discussion Paper 2005/6, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. Available on

2005. Melanesia in Review: Issues and Events, 2004 - Papua. The Contemporary Pacific 17(2): 448-456

2005. Review of Bruce Knauft, 2002, Exchanging the Past: A Rainforest World of Before and After. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 6(1): 88-90

2005. Review of Dirk Vlasblom, 2004, Papoea: een geschiedenis. The Journal of Pacific History 40(1): 117-119

2005. Review of Roy Ellen, 2003, On the Edge of the Banda Zone: Past and Present in the Social Organisation of a Moluccan Trading Network. Asian Studies Review 29(1): 100-101

2005. 'Getting Lost in a Deep, Dark Hole in Port Moresby'. Review of Adam Reed, 2003, Papua New Guinea's Last Place: Experiences of Constraint in a Postcolonial Prison. Focaal 45: 173-176

2005. Bagaimana Mendekati Konflik Papua? (How to Approach the Conflict in Papua?). Harian Suara Pembaruan, 7 December 2005

2004. Melanesia in Review: Issues and Events, 2003 - West Papua. The Contemporary Pacific 16(2): 409-419

2004. Government, Church, and Millenarian Critique in the Imyan Tradition of the Religious, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. In Holger Jebens (ed.), Cargo, Cult and the Critique of Culture, pp. 117-136. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press

2004. Conflict Dynamics in Eastern Indonesia: Resources, Ethnicity and the Military. In Molloy, Ivan (ed.), Eye of the Cyclone: Issues in Pacific Security, pp. 60-66. Sippy Downs, Queensland: The Pacific Islands Political Studies Association (PIPSA) and The University of Sunshine Coast

2004. Review of Jan Boelaars H.M.C., and Arnold A.C. Blom, 2001, Mono Koame 'wij denken ook'. The Journal of the Polynesian Society 113(1): 93-96

2004. Review of Dirk Vlasblom, 2004, Papoea: een geschiedenis. West Papua courier: opinieblad over de situatie in west papua 25(3): 4-8

2003. Narratives of Government and Church among the Imyan of Papua / Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Discussion Paper 2003/5, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. Available on

2003. "Papua leeft!": Een expositie van de oudste en omvangrijkste collectie van objecten van de Kamoro van Zuidwest Papua (Irian Jaya). West Papua courier: opinieblad over de situatie in west papua 25(2): 4-6

2003. Review of Dirk Smidt (ed.), 2003, Kamoro Art: Tradition and innovation in a New Guinea culture; With an essay on Kamoro life and ritual by Jan Pouwer. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 159(4): 666-670

2002. Conflict and Anthropology: Some notes on doing consultancy work in Malukan battlegrounds (Eastern Indonesia). The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 3(2): 65-88

2002. A Bibliographic Essay on the Southwestern Kepala Burung (Bird's Head, Doberai) of Papua. Papuaweb:, 30 pages

2002. An Annotated Bibliography for the Communities of Berau Gulf and Bintuni Bay, Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia. Papuaweb:, 70 pages (with Chris Ballard)

2001. Huli Wigmen engage Tourists: Self Adornment and Ethnicity in the Papua New Guinea Highlands. Pacific Tourism Review 4(1): 121-135

2001. Government, Church, and Millenarian Critique in the Imyan Tradition of the Religious, Papua. Antropologi Indonesia 25(65): 40-59

2000. Living with Intricate Futures: Order and Confusion in Imyan Worlds, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Nijmegen: Centre for Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Nijmegen

2000. Waiting for the Tide to Turn: Marginalization of the Tehit of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. In J. Fitzpatrick (ed.), Endangered Peoples: Struggles to Sustain Cultural Diversity, Oceania, pp. 197-212. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group (with Leontine Visser)

2000. The Return of the Kingdom: Agama and the Millennium Among the Imyan of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Ethnohistory 47(1): 29-65

1998. Lost Power, Concealed Knowledge, and the Return of the Kingdom among the Imyan of the Bird's Head, Irian Jaya. In J. Miedema, C. Odé, and R.A.C. Dam (eds), Perspectives on the Bird's Head Peninsula of Irian Jaya, Indonesia: Proceedings of the Conference, Leiden, 13-17 October 1997, pp. 79-116. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi

1998. Review of Bernard Juillerat, 1996, Children of the Blood: Society, Reproduction and Cosmology in New Guinea. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 154(1): 176-7

1997. Review of Aletta Biersack (ed.), 1995, Papuan Borderlands: Huli, Duna, and Ipili Perspectives on the Papua New Guinea Highlands. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 153(3): 467-469

1996. Masyarakat Desa Haha: Agak Sukar Meraih Hidup Baik di Zaman Ini. Kabar dari Kampung 78: 13-23

1994. Review of Steven Wachlin, 1994, Woodbury and Page: Photographers Java. Antara Kita 39 (December 1994): 14-15

1993. Review of Laurence R. Goldman, 1993, The Culture of Coincidence: Accident and Absolute Liability in Huli. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 150(2): 445-446