Veronika Kusumaryati

Position title: Assistant Professor


Phone: 608-262-6841

5442 Sewell Social Science Building

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2018
Joined UW-Madison faculty in 2023


Veronika Kusumaryati CV

Areas of Focus

Political anthropology, race and identities, digital media, Southeast Asia, Melanesia


Center of Southeast Asian Studies

International Studies Program


My research analyzes the idea of race and indigeneity, and how they have shaped Euro-American and post-colonial ideologies of racial hierarchy. Specifically, I study the lives, thoughts, and politics of the Indigenous Papuans in Indonesia as they intersect with colonialism, racism, and the expansion of capitalism to the indigenous frontiers. I am also interested in multimodal ethnography, and with Ernst Karel, have composed a feature length documentary “Expedition Content”. The film is derived from the sound archives of Michael Rockefeller (the fourth generation of the Rockefeller family) that he recorded in West Papua during the 1961 Harvard Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea. The film has been screened at international film festivals, such as the Berlin international festival in 2020. The film has received a special mention for Loridan-Ivens/CNAP Award at Cinéma du reel in Paris and listed as one of the New York Times’ best films of 2022.


“Expedition Content and the Harvard Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea, 1961.” With Ernst Karel. MAST: The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory 2(2): 15-25. Link:

“Freeport and the States: Politics of Corporation and Contemporary Colonialism in West Papua.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 63(4), 881-910. doi:10.1017/S0010417521000281.

“#Papuanlivesmatter: Black Consciousness and Political Movements in West Papua.” Critical Asian Studies, DOI: 1080/14672715.2021.1963794

Kusumaryati, V. 2020. “Adat Institutionalization, the State, and the Quest for Self-Determination in West Papua” in “Changing Indigeneity Politics in Indonesia: From Revival to Projects”, ed. Jacqueline Vel, Kathryn Robinson, Willem van der Muur, and Micah Fisher, special double issue, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology21(1): 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/14442213.2019.1670238

Kusumaryati, V. 2017. “Great Colonial Roads,” Landscape Architecture Frontiers Journal 5 (2):137-145. 2017. DOI:


Anthropology 330-002 Film/Anthropology/Culture

INTL ST 603-001 Global Identity in the Age of TikTok