Research Study on Raden Ajeng Kartini

Lukita Astri Susanto was a research intern working on the project “Raden Ajeng Kartini in Indonesia’s memory with a special focus on the contemporary women’s view”. The research internship was conducted at KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) under the supervision of Dr. Paul Bijl. The research internship had a duration of 4 months. The paper was finalized in the subsequent semester break in summer 2016

Based on the theoretical framework of memory studies, the project examines the way in which Kartini is appropriated in contemporary memory and how her memory is constructed and maintained through mass media, also in comparison with other prominent national heroines. While the memory of Kartini has certainly been maintained through written formats like essays, biographies, official school history books, it is also very much preserved through Kartini Day events.

Lukita has tried to trace and examine comparisons with two prominent female heroines; namely Cut Nyak Dien, a famous woman leader in the Aceh war, and Dewi Sartika, well-known for her efforts in schooling education for girls. The research therefore contributes in unearthing how Indonesians view and use Kartini as a figure of memory to address contemporary needs in Indonesia.