M. C. Ricklefs

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Merle Calvin Ricklefs AM FAHA (17 July 1943 – 29 December 2019) was an American-born Australian scholar of the history and current affairs of Indonesia. [1] [2]


Ricklefs was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on 17 July 1943 [3] and died on 29 December 2019, aged 76. [4]

Ricklefs received his PhD with a dissertation entitled "Jogjakarta under Sultan Mangkubumi (1749-1792)" from Cornell University in 1973, under the supervision of O. W. Wolters. [1] [5] [6] He held positions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, All Souls College, Monash University, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne. He retired from the professorship of Southeast Asian history at the National University of Singapore. [7] He was emeritus professor of history at both the Australian National University and Monash University.

Academic career

Ricklef's publications focused on the history of Mataram, Kartasura, Yogyakarta, Surakarta (locations in Central Java). He also regularly updated his history of Indonesia, A History of Modern Indonesia, ca. 1300 to the present. [1]

Honours and awards

In 1989 Ricklefs was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. [8]

The Government of Australia awarded him in 2001 the Centenary Medal for "service to Australian society and the humanities in the study of Indonesia". [9]

In June 2017, Ricklefs was made a member of the Order of Australia. [10]

Civil and human rights activity

In the early 1980s Ricklefs became deeply involved in education for indigenous Australians, acting as the driving force behind and co-founding the Monash Orientation Scheme for Aborigines, the first bridging program for Aboriginal people in an Australian university. [1] This aimed to prepare Aboriginal students, who suffered from great educational disadvantage, for university study. The scheme was a runaway success and by the time Ricklefs left Monash in 1993 it had been responsible for roughly doubling the number of Aboriginal university graduates. [11]

Ricklefs was also involved in the 1980s ‘immigration debate’ in Australia, which was sparked when his counterpart at the University of Melbourne, Geoffrey Blainey, argued that Australia should limit Asian immigration. [1]


Major publications
Sole-authored books
Co-authored book
Co-authored and edited books
Edited and translated book

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Anthony Reid, 'Merle Calvin Ricklefs, AM July 17, 1943 - December 29, 2019', Emeritus (The Australian National University Emeritus Faculty e-magazine), 11 (8), September 2020.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-27. Retrieved 2007-05-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Southeast Asian Collection held at University of Cambridge Cambridge University Library
  3. "M. C. Ricklefs Date of Birth: Fort Dodge, Iowa, July 17, 1943 - Google Search". Google.com.
  4. 'Vale Emeritus Professor Merle Ricklefs AM', Monash University website, 9 January 2020. See also "Berpulangnya Utusan VOC ke Mataram Moderen: MC Ricklefs". Republika Online. December 29, 2019.
  5. van Bruinessen, Martin (2020). "In Memoriam Merle Calvin Ricklefs: (17 July 1943–29 December 2019)". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 176 (4): 459–468. ISSN   0006-2294.
  6. "Jogjakarta under Sultan Mangkubumi, 1749-1792 - Cornell University Library Catalog". newcatalog.library.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-04-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Merle Ricklefs". Australian Academy of the Humanities. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  9. "It's An Honour has a new home". Itsanhonour.gov.au. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  10. "Fellows recognised in Queen's Birthday 2017 Honours List". Humanities.org.au. June 13, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  11. Davison, G . & Murphy, K. University Unlimited: The Monash Story (Melbourne 2012) 173-175
  12. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin) (1974), Jogjakarta under Sultan Mangkubumi, 1749-1792 : a history of the division of Java, Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-713578-5
  13. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin) (2002), Yogyakarta di bawah Sultan Mangkubumi, 1749-1792 : sejarah pembagian Jawa, Matabangsa, ISBN   978-979-9471-09-3
  14. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin); University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies (1978), Modern Javanese historical tradition : a study of an original Kartasura chronicle and related materials, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, ISBN   978-0-7286-0045-4
  15. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin), 1943- (1983), A History of Modern Indonesia: c. 1300 to the Present, Macmillan, London, retrieved 30 December 2019CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin); Asian Studies Association of Australia (1993), War, culture, and economy in Java, 1677-1726 : Asian and European imperialism in the early Kartasura period, Asian Studies Association of Australia in association with Allen & Unwin, ISBN   978-1-86373-380-9
  17. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin); Asian Studies Association of Australia (1998), The seen and unseen worlds in Java 1726-1749 : history, literature and islam in the Court of Pakubuwana II, Asian Studies Association of Australia in association with Allen & Unwin and University of Hawaii Press, ISBN   978-1-86448-627-8
  18. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin); Voorhoeve, Peter (1977), Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain : a catalogue of manuscripts in Indonesian languages in British public collections, Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-713592-1
  19. Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin); Gallop, Annabel Teh, (author.); Voorhoeve, P. (Petrus), (author.); École française d'Extrême-Orient (publisher.) (2014), Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain : a catalogue of manuscripts in Indonesian languages in British public collections = Naskah-naskah Indonesia di Inggris : katalogus naskah dalam bahasa Nusantara di perpustakaan umum di Inggris (New edition with addenda et corrigenda ed.), Jakarta Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, ISBN   978-2-85539-189-2 CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. Zoetmulder, P. J. (Petrus Josephus); Ricklefs, M. C. (Merle Calvin), 1943-; Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (1995), Pantheism and monism in Javanese suluk literature : Islamic and Indian mysticism in an Indonesian setting, KITLV Press, 1995, c1994, ISBN   978-90-6718-082-5 CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)