Darmanto Ph.D.

Area of Interest:

Environmental History and Governmentality in South-east Asia

Food and Food ways in Indo-Pacific

Indigeneity and ethnicity in Indonesia

Critical Development and Political Ecology of Global South



Ph.D. (2020)—The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands): doctoral thesis: Good to produce, good to share: Food, hunger, and social value (s) in a Contemporary Mentawai Society.

M.Phil. (2016)—The Department of Asian Studies (Faculty or Arts and Social Science, Murdoch University, Australia)—master thesis: maintaining fluidity, demanding clarity: Contemporary Indigenous land relations on Siberut Island, Indonesia.

B.Sc. (2005)—Faculty of Biology, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta: thesis: Ecological Study of Mentawaian Shifting Cultivation on Siberut Island, West Sumatra, Indonesia.


Academic Career

Since June 2022, Research Fellow—Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Science

Lecturer—Sociology and Development of Change, Wageningen University and Research (2020). Course: Ethnography and qualitative methodology in social science

Teaching assistant—The Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology Leiden University (2016). Course: Environment and Development in South-east Asia (2014).

Teaching assistant-- The Department of Asian Studies, Murdoch University, Australia (2014) Course: Ecology and Society in Asia.


Other Activity 

Environmental anthropologist specialist, Sumatra Orangutans Society (2021-now)


Membership of Scientific Societies

2019-now—European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS)

2021-now—American Anthropological Association (AAA)

2020-now—Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)

2016-Now—Asian Studies Association of Australian (ASAA)



  1. The 2012th European Association of South-east Asian Studies (EUROSEAS), Paris, 27 June-1 July. Co-chair of Panel, Disaster and Dispossession in South-east Asia and beyond. Co-presenting paper: The bad, the ugly and the worst disaster on Mentawai Island.
  2. The 2012th European Association of South-east Asian Studies (EUROSEAS), Paris, 27 June-1 July. Paper presented: Renegotiating extractive cosmology: Mentawaian animism, logging operation and the politic of redistribution on Siberut Island, Indonesia
  3. International Conference “Aquatic Powers: Divine Animals of the Asia-Pacific”, University of Oslo, June 1-3. Paper presented “Watching from Deep Water: Crocodiles, Social Order, and Environmental Transformation on Siberut Island”.
  4. The 11th European Association of South-east Asian Studies (EUROSEAS). Olomouc, September, 7-9. Paper presented: Conflicted and Contradictory Resources Governance in the Making of an Indonesia Frontier.
  5. The Royal Antropological Institute, “Anthropology and Conservation Virtual Conference, 15-29 October. Paper presented: Transforming Forest, Producing Humans: Why the Indigenous Mentawaians Have Resisted Protected Area.
  6. The 11th European Association of South-east Asian Studies (EUROSEAS). Olomouc, September, 7-9. Paper presented: Resisting the Oil Palm: Why Siberut has not been turned into an oil palm plantation.
  7. The 2nd AIFIS conference on Indonesia Studies, Jakarta and Michigan, 16-20 June. The Chair of panel “Food, Foodways and the Culture of Relatedness in Indonesia”. Paper presented “Pig haters and pig lovers: Food and social difference among Mentawians and Minangkabau people.
  8. The 10th European Association of South-east Asian Studies (EUROSEAS). Berlin, Germany, September, 11-13. Panel: Grounding “Alternative Ontologies”: Towards a Political Ecology of Animism. Paper presented ‘Egalitarian Turn: Animism, Extraction and Politic Ecology of Siberut Island Rain Forest, West Sumatra’.
  9. The 11 International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS). Leiden, July, 15-19. Paper presented, ‘Good to Produce: Food and the Construction of Persons among the Mentawaians in Siberut Island, West Sumatra.’
  10. The 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting (NGM). Trondheim, Norway, 16-19, June. Paper presented ‘Cultivating Forest, Producing Food and the Practices of Sustainability in Siberut Island, West Sumatra.’
  11. The Southeast Asian Study Symposium “Human and Environmental Welfare in Southeast Asian”. Oxford, April, 13-16. Paper presented, ‘Maintaining Fluidity, Demanding Clarity: The Politic of Indigenous Land in Siberut Island, West Sumatra.’
  12. The 9th International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS). Adelaide, July 5-9. Paper presented, ‘Indigenous Land Politic in Siberut Island, West Sumatra'.
  13. People's Movement against Neocolonialism and Imperialism, Social Movements for Alternative Asia Conference “The time is now for economic justice—End WTO week of action”. Bali, December, 1-6. Participant and volunteer.
  14. The CHATSEA conference “Agrarian Transition in Indonesia: Reformulating a Relevant Question and Its Answer”. Yogyakarta, June, 9-11. Paper presented, ‘Tuan Takur and Tuan Tekor in Siberut’s Cacao Boom and Bust’.


Grants and Scholarship

November 2021-April 2022. Young People and Just Transition in Southeast Asia Forest Scape British Academy and Australian National University (Euro 12,000)

2016-2020. Research on Food and Water in Asia and Africa, PhD Research Grant (Euro 80,000), Louwes Fund, The Netherlands

  1. Travel research grant, Australia Award Scholarship AUS 6,200




Darmanto & Koen Meyers. Transforming forest, producing humans: Why the Mentawaians resisted against biodiversity conservation, Suamen. (Forthcoming).

Darmanto. “Rice and the Taste of Modernity in a Southeast Asian Island”. The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. (forthcoming)

Darmanto. “Good to produce: food, gardening, and valued persons in contemporary Mentawai society, Indonesia. Indonesia and Malay World, 50 (148). (2022)

Darmanto. “Environmental Crises, Capitalism, and the Challenge of Political Ecology”, Wacana, 15 (30): 165-182. (2015)

Darmanto. “Reklamasi dan Penguasaan Tanah di Pulau Bangka [Reclamation and Land Tenure in Bangka Island]”. Jurnal Politika, 8 (1): 42-64. (2012)

Darmanto. “Konservasi Global, Taman Nasional dan Praktek Lokal di Pulau Siberut, Sumatra Barat [Global Conservation, National Park and Local Practices in Siberut Island, West Sumatra]”. Journal of Forestry Science, 1 (7): 51-67. (2011)

Darmanto. “Penataan Ruang, Penciptaan Subjek, dan Penerapan Kekuasaan di Pulau Siberut 1969-1998 [Space, Subject and Power in Siberut Island 1969-1998]”, Wacana, 12 (26):89- 124. (2011).

Darmanto. “Krisis Klaim Kepemilikan Hutan di Pulau Siberut [Crisis of Forest Ownership on Siberut Island]”. Wacana, 6 (20): 157–182. (2006)



Darmanto & Irina Rafliana. “The real tsunami in North Pagai: Indigenous survivors living between old andnew Place After The 2010 Mentawai disaster”.  Community Responses to Disasters in the Pacific Rim: Placemaking in displacement, edited by Liz Maly and Shu-mei Huang. Singapore: Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Darmanto & Gerard Persoon. “Without fire: Turning forest into agriculture. Farmer Innovations and Best Practices by Shifting Cultivators in Asia, edited by Malcolm Cairns. Bangkok: Routledge and CABI Press. (forthcoming)

Darmanto. “Pandangan tentang hutan, tempat keramat dan perubahan sosial di Pulau Siberut, Sumatra Barat (Knowledge of forest, sacred site, and social transformation in Siberut Island, West Sumatra)”. Situs Keramat Alami: Peran Budaya dalam Konservasi Keanekaragaman Hayati (Natural Sacred Site: The Role of Culture in Biodiversity Conservation), edited by H. Y. Soedjito, Purwanto, dan E. Sukara. Jakarta: Yayasan Obor. Page130-164. (2009)



Darmanto. Dari Belakang Gawang: Esai-esai Sepakbola (From the Back of the Net: A Football Essay). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia. 2022.

Darmanto. Tamasya Bola: Cinta, Gairah dan Luka dalam Sepakbola (Excursion into Football: Love, Desire, and Pain in the Game). Yogyakarta: Mojok. 2016.

Darmanto and Abidah. B. Setyowati. Berebut Hutan Siberut: Orang Mentawai, Kekuasaan dan Politik Ekologi (Contested Siberut Rain Forest: The Mentawaians, Powers and Political Ecology). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia. (2012)



Darmanto. Kuasa Eksklusi: Dilema Pertanahan di Asia Tenggara. Yogyakarata: INSIST Press & Sekolah Pertanahan Nasional. Indonesia translation of Derek Hall, Paul Hirsch, and Tania Li (2011). Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. Singapore: NUS Press.  (2020)




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