Leslie Dwyer is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on issues of violence, post-conflict social life, transitional justice, the politics of memory and identity, gender, critical medical and psychological approaches to social suffering, and globalizing discourses of human rights, social activism and psychosocial repair. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001 after completing a dissertation entitled “Making Modern Muslims: Embodied Politics and Piety in UrbanJava, Indonesia.” From 2001-2003 she was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation International Peace and Security fellowship and a H.F. Guggenheim Foundation grant for field research on political violence in Indonesia. From 2003-2009 she taught at Haverford College, where she coordinated the Peace and Conflict Studies program. She joined the faculty of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) in the fall of 2009.
Professor Dwyer’s current research project, which has been supported by a grant from the United States Institute of Peace, addresses the aftermath of political violence in Bali, Indonesia. Working in collaboration with the Balinese anthropologist Degung Santikarma and with university and activist colleagues in Indonesia, she has spent over four years conducting intensive ethnographic fieldwork on how the state-sponsored violence of 1965-66, in which an estimated 500,000-1 million Indonesians were massacred as alleged communists, shifted cultural landscapes, shaping possibilities for personhood, political agency, community identity and narrative. She has published a number of essays on this work, focused on the social and political production of forgetting, on ritual as a site of gendered reworkings of state history, on the gendered politics of post-conflict speech, and on discourses of reconciliation and the production of “civil selves” and “transitional citizens” after violence.