This year, my summer is going to be split into three parts: China, Indonesia, and Rochester. China is going to be mainly for fun–I have a few friends to see there. I’m also going to work on my Mandarin, but even when I was taking an actual Mandarin class my progress was so slow that I’m not sure how much to expect, even if I’ll be living in China for a while and can presumably practice whenever I want.
Next comes Indonesia, where I’ll be doing some light fieldwork. I say light because Ramadan spans most of June and is therefore going to really cut down on the number of performances going on. And of course I want to do research on performances, specifically women’s court dances when performed outside of the royal courts. I’m going to go to as many performances as I can, though, along with rehearsals, and see what I can find.
Prong two of my research is less structured and is just going to involve getting a better feel for the reading culture in Indonesia. Reading doesn’t happen a lot, but people do hold poetry readings (which are quite popular) and book clubs do exist. City libraries do too, and I recently came across a post about book cafés. My goal is to learn more about what’s going on, because I’m interested in the place literature actually has in Indonesian society.
After Indonesia it’s back to Rochester for my usual gig with the Tesla coils. Please send any song suggestions my way. Making new ones is one of my little projects for the summer.