In Memoriam: Professor Jeffrey Hadler (1968-2017)

The Department is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jeff Hadler, Associate Professor of Indonesian Studies, on Wednesday, January 11, after a short and intense battle with cancer. He was a friend to all, a leading voice in the Department, and Chair from 2014-15.

Prof. Hadler received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, where he worked with Prof. James Scott, and his graduate degrees from Cornell University, where he worked with Prof. Takashi Shiraishi and Prof. Benedict Anderson. His dissertation on the Minangkabau family and history in West Sumatra, Indonesia, eventually became his book, Muslims and Matriarchs: Cultural Resilience in Indonesia through Jihad and Colonialism (Cornell University Press, 2008). This book won the AAS Harry Benda Prize in 2011. An Indonesian translation was published in 2010.

Prof. Hadler joined the UC Berkeley faculty in the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies in 2001. He taught courses on island Southeast Asia, on Islam in Southeast Asia, on culture and art in Indonesia, and on Indonesian history. He was a great teacher, a perceptive and dedicated advisor to his graduate students, and an engaged and passionate supporter of Southeast Asian Studies, of Indonesian Studies, and of CSEAS. He served as CSEAS Chair from 2011 to 2014, and was later Chair of the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies. He was an elected member of the AAS Southeast Asia Council from 2009 to 2011, and a founding board member of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS), which is based at Cornell University.

Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Prof. Hadler first went to Indonesia as a high school student with the AFS youth exchange program. Later, he met his wife Kumi Sawada when he was conducting his dissertation research in West Sumatra, where she was also studying Indonesian and Indonesian culture, and then moved with her to Yogyakarta in Central Java where she received a master's degree in anthropology from Gadjah Mada University. After completing his Ph.D. degree and before joining the UC Berkeley faculty, Prof. Hadler was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta.

Prof. Hadler and his wife have two daughters, Maia and Noe. He also leaves behind his parents, Nortin and Carol Hadler, of Chapel Hill, and his sister Elana Perl and her family, of Washington DC.  

A fund has been established in Hadler's name.  

Please see here:  https://give.berkeley.edu/fund/?f=FM8360000