In Memoriam: Prof. Jeffrey Hadler (1968-2017)

Prof. Jeffrey Hadler

Prof. Jeffrey Hadler, a UC Berkeley former CSEAS Faculty Chair, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 after a short and intense battle with cancer.

UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies Director George Dutton issued the following statement on the passing of Prof. Hadler:

"On behalf of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, its faculty, staff, and myself, I would like to express our sorrow and condolences on the death of our UC Berkeley colleague, friend, and collaborator, Prof. Jeff Hadler. Jeff was an integral part of the cooperation and relationship between our two Southeast Asia Centers and communities of scholars and students. He came to UCLA on numerous occasions to attend Southeast Asia-related events, participate in conferences, and to give talks. We also interacted with him at the Berkeley campus over the years as well. He was a superb scholar whose work on the Minangkabau in Indonesia was of enormous importance. He was also a generous colleague who took his roles in the Center and as a teacher and mentor very seriously. While serious when necessary, Jeff also had a refreshingly sharp wit and an infectiously broad smile. I also respected him as a person who could and did speak candidly when it was called for, something that I regarded as one of his defining characteristics as a colleague. He will be missed enormously, cannot possibly be replaced, and will certainly not be forgotten by those of us fortunate enough to have known him."

The UC Berkeley Center for Southeast Asia Studies, a partner of the UCLA CSEAS, published the following obituary:

Prof. Jeffrey Hadler, a CSEAS core faculty member and former CSEAS Faculty Chair, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 after a short and intense battle with cancer.

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.

Published: Thursday, January 12, 2017