Richard Fox

Richard Fox
Professor & Chair
Pacific and Asian Studies
Office: CLE C205a

PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies
Habil, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Research Interests
  • Asian cultural, media and film studies;
  • Religion and public culture in Indonesia;
  • Classical and contemporary theories of culture and society;
  • Critical issues in language, text and translation;
  • Hindu and Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia; 
  • Islam and popular culture in Southeast Asia;
  • Religion, gender and power.

I am an anthropologist by training, though my teaching and research tend to cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries—in pursuit of questions pertaining to the historical and ethnographic study of religion, media and performance in South and Southeast Asia. More specifically, my work has primarily focused on Indonesia and the wider Malay region. I also have a longstanding interest in the philosophy of the human sciences. 

Before coming to Victoria, I taught for six years at the Institut für Ethnologie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, where I was a member of the collaborative research initiative on Material Text Cultures. There I completed the Habilitation in Anthropology. I have also held research and teaching positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Williams College and Universitas Udayana. 

As to academic training, I completed the doctorate in both Anthropology and Religious Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2002). Prior to this I had taken an MA in Oriental and African Religions (SOAS, 1995), with formal examinations in Sanskrit language, Indian philosophy and Buddhist Studies. My BA was in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1994).

Over the years my work has benefited from membership in a number of professional organizations dedicated to supporting our efforts as scholars and teachers. Recognizing both the personal and institutional importance of these organizations, I have tried to make what small contribution I can—by helping to organize events, serving on committees, and more recently taking on various leadership roles. The latter have included chairing the Indonesia and Timor-Leste Studies committee at AAS (2015-18), co-chairing the Religion in Southeast Asia program unit at the AAR (2014-18), acting as the founding editor of Heidelberg Ethnology (2014-18), and running an initiative to raise the profile of Timor-Leste studies at AAS (2016-present), supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation

Further information and selected publications are available at and on my page.


Selected publications
More Than Words More Than Words: Transforming Script, Agency and Collective Life in Bali (Cornell University Press, 2018)
Materiality and Efficacy The Materiality and Efficacy of Balinese Letters: Situating Scriptural Practices (Brill, 2017)
Critical Reflections Critical Reflections on Religion and Media in Contemporary Bali (Brill, 2010)
Entertainment Media in Indonesia Entertainment Media in Indonesia (Routledge, 2008)

Selected Articles


PAAS 400: Advanced Research Seminar
PAAS 495 (A02)/520: New Styles of Romantic Intimacy (poster)

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