Dr Kostas Retsikas
BA (Athens), MA (Kent), PhD (Edinburgh)
Senior Lecturer in South East Asian Anthropology
Academic Staff, Centre of South East Asian Studies
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
- Dr Kostas Retsikas
- Email address:
- 020 7898 4432
- SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Office No:
- Office Hours:
- Fridays 3-5pm
Dr Kostas Retsikas - Alternative economics: Islam, zakat, and equivalence in Indonesia
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives (B)
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives B (Masters)
- Culture and Society of South East Asia
- Ethnography of a Selected Region - South East Asia
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology
PhD Students supervised
- Alyaa Ahmed Ebbiary,
- Chenjia Xu,
- Edoardo Siani,
- Miranda Irving,
- Ms. Kathrine Ann D. Cagat, Testing grounds: intersections in ritual and technology in Ifugao Province
- Pei-chien Wu, Chinese Muslim in Malaysia: the shaping of identity and ethnic boundaries
- Safitri Widagdo,
- Sarah Elsing, The Thai-Lao border as a contested space – An ethnography of small-scale cross-border trade (working title)
My work focuses on theoretical concerns that I explore both through ethnographic materials collected largely through field research in Java, Indonesia, and adventurous engagements with library texts.
My first fieldwork involved an 18th month-long research in the provincial town of Probolinggo on East Java’s coast. This project culminated in a monograph that arranged the materials so produced around the theme of personhood. Taking inspiration from the works of Gilles Deleuze, the monograph advanced the concept of the ‘diaphoron’ person – a person who constantly differs from him/herself and who is always already involved in an unlimited process of becoming – as a new figure for considering the problem of the subject in anthropology.
At the same time, I have pursued my interests in the anthropology of Islam, having recently co-edited a volume with Dr Magnus Marsden on this topic, as well as in human embodiment, the senses, and violence.
I recently returned to Java for a new project, this time on Islamic economics as seen through zakat practices and, with the generous funding of the Economic and Social Research Council, I spent 12 months in Surabaya and Jakarta working with charities, donors, and recipients. A series of diverse yet closely linked themes have arisen out of these engagements, some of which fall well within the long-standing tradition of anthropological theorising regarding the gift, while others are more directly connected to issues of rights and justice as well as multiplication, profusion, and salvation.
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- South East Asia
Retsikas, Kostas (2012) Becoming - An Anthropological Approach to Understandings of the Person in Java. London: Anthem Press.
Edited Books or Journal Volumes
Marsden, Magnus and Retsikas, Kostas, eds. (2012) Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds. Dordecht: Springer. (Muslims in Global Societies Series)
Retsikas, Kostas (2012) 'Becoming Sacred: Humanity and Divinity in East Java, Indonesia.' In: Marsden, M. and Retsikas, K., (eds.), Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds. Dordecht: Springer.
Marsden, Magnus and Retsikas, Kostas (2012) 'Introduction: Articulating Islam.' In: Articulating Islam: Anthropological Approaches to Muslim Worlds. Dordecht: Springer. (Muslims in Global Societies Series)
Retsikas, Kostas (2008) 'Knowledge from the Body: Fieldwork, Power, and the Acquisition of a New Self.' In: Halstead, Narmala and Hirsch, Eric and Okely, Judith, (eds.), Knowing How to Know: Fieldwork and the Ethnographic Present. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 110-129. (EASA)
Retsikas, Kostas (2014) 'Reconceptualising zakat in Indonesia: Worship, philanthropy and rights.' Indonesia and the Malay World, 42 (124). pp. 337-357.
Retsikas, Kostas (2010) 'Unconscious culture and conscious nature: exploring East Javanese conceptions of the person through Bourdieu’s lenses.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16 (s1). s140-s157.
Retsikas, Kostas (2010) 'The sorcery of gender: sex, death and difference in East Java, Indonesia.' South East Asia Research, 18 (3). pp. 471-502.
Retsikas, Kostas (2007) 'Being and place: movement, ancestors, and personhood in East Java, Indonesia.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13 (4). pp. 969-986.
Retsikas, Kostas (2007) 'The Power Of The Senses: Ethnicity, History and Embodiment in East Java, Indonesia.' Indonesia and the Malay World, 35 (102). pp. 183-210.
Retsikas, Kostas (2006) 'The Semiotics of Violence. Ninja, Sorcerers, and State Terror in Post-Soeharto Indonesia.' Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 162 (1). pp. 56-94.
Retsikas, Kostas (2013) 'Review of Southeast Asia’s Credit Revolution: From Moneylenders to Microfinance.' ASEASUK News, 53 . pp. 18-19.
Retsikas, Kostas (2010) 'Review of “Kampung, Islam, and the State in Urban Java” by Patrick Guinness.' ASEASUK News, 47 . pp. 25-27.
Retsikas, Kostas (2010) 'Review of “Islamic Spectrum in Java” by Timothy Daniels.' South East Asia Research, 18 (2). pp. 363-365.
Retsikas, Kostas (2010) 'Review of “Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject” by Sherry B. Ortner.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16 (1). pp. 199-200.
Retsikas, Kostas (2009) 'Review of “Other Peoples’ Anthropologies: Ethnographic Practice on the Margins” edited by Aleksandar Boškovic.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15 (2). pp. 440-441.
Retsikas, Kostas (2005) 'Review of “Durga’s Mosque: Cosmology, Conversion, and Community in Central Javanese Islam” by Stephen C. Headley.' L’Homme, 174 . pp. 311-312.
Retsikas, Kostas (2005) 'Review of “Chinese Indonesians: Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting” edited by Tim Lindsey & Helen Pausacker.' South East Asia Research, 13 (3). pp. 417-419.
Retsikas, Kostas (2004) 'Review of “In Search of Chin Identity: A Study in Religion, Politics, and Ethnic Identity in Burma” by Sakhong Lian.' ASEASUK News, 35 . pp. 29-32.
Retsikas, Kostas (2012) 'Mengembangkan Kedermawanan: Islam, Sedekah, dan Ekonomi Moral di Jawa, Indonesia (Cultivaring Generosity: Islam, Giving, and the Moral Economy in Java, Indonesia).' Research Report, Jakarta. (Unpublished)