Which/whose Power are Playing in This Pesantren? Constructing Sexuality in Indonesia’s Islamic Boarding School

Our forum this week will discuss about dynamic of negotiation between santri (student) and pesantren (or kyai and teachers) in constructing sexuality discourse. This will be led by Mustaghfiroh Rahayu, M.A., as the speaker. We invite you to join this forum. Some information about this forum can be read as follows.

Date: Wednesday, 04 March 2009
Time: 12.30 pm ? 2.30 pm (free lunch)
Venue: Room 306, UGM Graduate School Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung YKT
Speaker: Mustaghfiroh Rahayu, M.A.


The role pesantren (Islamic boarding school) as one of the social, cultural and religious power in Indonesia could not be neglected. From the late of eighteenth century, pesantren has contributed in Indonesian?s education. Pesantren is a model of education takes place in the boarding house and a house of the teacher at the center. Mosque as the center of activities, santri (student), kyai (pesantren leader), and classical book teaching are the main characteristic of a pesantren. Pesantren life has its own norms which is much different from the society’s one. Some attitudes that can be tolerated in the society, in some ways, cannot be tolerated in pesantren. However, the development of pesantren in nowadays-Indonesian life is seemingly more function as a provider of a secure dormitory instead of as a learning institution. Most Indonesian muslim parents prefer to choose pesantren as a living place for their children when they have to stay out of home for studying, especially for their daughters. However, female students are a biopsychosocial human (Crooks and Baur, 2008:5). Their sexual activities are in response to their hormonal, nervous system, emotional needs and values taught. Pesantren can assure that they already give a ?true discourse? on sexuality, but when santri (students) go beyond pesantren?s gate, pesantren can not control them anymore. Life outside pesantren provides them with abundant information and chance to express their sexuality, especially campus life. This research will analyze dynamic of negotiation between santri (student) and pesantren (or kyai and teachers) in constructing sexuality discourse. Based on the constructionist approach on sexuality this research will answer question on how does sexual discourse constructed in pesantren. How is the dynamic relation between the leader and students in constructing this discourse? What are the tools both used in their negotiation? Whose power is more effective in this discourse construction?

About the speaker:

Mustaghfiroh Rahayu graduated from CRCS UGM in 2005. Spending her time after graduation in Aceh to involve in humanitarian work for a year. With the support of Florida International University (FIU), she took her second master in religious studies at FIU and graduated in 2008. Right after finishing her second master, she has joined the Center for Religious and Cross Cultural Studies (CRCS) UGM as coordinator of Research and Public Education in September 2008. Her academic interests are mainly in women and religion, religion and sexuality, sexuality and its intersection with public policy. Islam dan Gerakan Perempuan Indonesia (Islam and Women?s Movement in Indonesia), Co-authored with Mukhotib MD, published by LKiS 2007. Some of her publications are: An Islamic Dialog on Population Issue: An Indonesia Case Study, paper presented at Regional Meeting of American Academy of Religion (AAR) Southeastern Commission of the Study of Religion, Atlanta, March 7 ? 9, 2008; Which/Whose Powers are Playing in this Pesantren: Constructing Sexual Discourse in Indonesia?s Islamic Boarding School, paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Academy of Religion (AAR), Chicago, November 1 ? 3, 2008.


The forum is free of charge and on a first-come-first basis. If you want to be speaker in Wednesday Forum, please contact us.

Contact person:

Maufur ipung (ICRS): maufur_nd@yahoo.com; Mustaghfiroh Rahayu (CRCS): mth.rahayu@gmail.com

This post is also available in: Indonesian


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