Matthew Isaac Cohen

Matthew Isaac Cohen studied psychology at Harvard University and cultural anthropology at Yale University, where he completed his Ph.D. on Cirebonese shadow puppet theater in 1997. He has extensively researched Indonesian performing arts and is a practicing shadow puppeteer.

Cohen has taught anthropology, theater, Southeast Asian Studies, and performances studies at Yale University and Leiden University and has received research funding from the Asia Cultural Council, the Fulbright-Hayes, the National Science Foundation (USA), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Social Science Council (USA). He is presently a research fellow in the 'Performing Arts of Asia: Tradition and Innovation' (PAATI) programme of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Major publications:

1987, Chimeric objects and playthings. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 42: 85-103.

1993, Conceptual worlds: play and theater in child psychoanalysis. The Many Meanings of Play in Child Psychoanalysis. Edited by Albert J. Solnit, Donald J. Cohen, and Peter B. Neubauer. New Haven: Yale University Press, 75-98. (With Phyllis M. Cohen.)

1997, An Inheritance from the Friends of God: The Southern Shadow Puppet Theater of West Java, Indonesia. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Yale University. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI.

1998, Demon Abduction: A Wayang Ritual Drama from West Java. Jakarta: The Lontar Foundation.

1999, Timely art: an interview with Rendra. International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter 19: 22-3.

1999, The incantation of Semar smiles: a tarling musical drama by Pepen Effendi. Asian Theatre Journal 16 (2): 139-93.

in press Reading for performance: a Cirebonese romance as a narrative model for wayang. In New Aspects of Asian Studies. Edited by Dick van der Meij and Wim Stokhof. London: Kegan Paul International.

in press, Art, ritual, and protest in colonial Java: notes on a Barikan banner by Sitisiwan. Archipel 59. (With Tim Behrend and Tom Cooper.)

forthcoming, The big man and the puppeteer: a transcultural morality tale from West Java, Indonesia. Puppetry Yearbook.

forthcoming, Details, details: methodological issues and practical considerations in a study of Barikan, a Cirebonese ritual drama for wayang kuilt. Oideion 3.

forthcoming, De-fetishizing production: private culture and Cirebonese interpretive dialogues. To appear in a collection of papers on creativity and ritual edited by Helene Bouvier.

forthcoming, Entrusting the scriptures: wayang kulit, cultural politics, and truly popular art in New Order West Java. To appear in a collection of papers on puppet theater in Indonesia edited by Jan Mrazek.

forthcoming, Cirebon (West Java, Indonesia). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.