Mr Benjamin Hegarty

Mr Benjamin Hegarty

Position: PhD Candidate
School and/or Centres: School of Archaeology and Anthropology


Thesis title:  Globalised transgender and its relationship to political economy in Indonesia

My PhD research explores the globalisation of 'transgender' and its translations in Indonesia from the late 1960s onwards. The research articulates everyday experiences and encounters during this period as they relate to three main areas. A) Transnational capitalism and the market. B) Emergent sex work economies and queer intimacy. C) Mass-media, consumerism and liberalism. I locate these experiences within the history of medical and social theoretical models of knowing sex and sexuality. This allows for reflection on their relationship to wider rearrangements of gender, sexuality and kinship in Indonesia. The research is based on 18 months of fieldwork (January 2014-June 2015) and archival research in Indonesia (Jogjakarta, Jakarta).

Transgender studies, the body, gender, sexuality, queer theory, political economy, kinship, medical humanities, science and technology studies

  •  2017. 'The Value of Transgender: Waria Affective Labor for Transnational Media Markets in Indonesia.' TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly vol. 4, no. 1: 78–95. 
  •  2017. '‘No Nation of Experts’: Kustom Tattooing and the Middle-Class Body in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia.' The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology vol. 18, no. 2: 135–48. 
  •  2017. ''When I was transgender’: Visibility, subjectivity, and queer aging in Indonesia,’’ Medicine Anthropology Theory, 23 January 2017. Available from:
  •  2016. 'Seeking a Zone of Safety,' New Mandala, 19 April 2016. Available from:
  •  (Co-Authored with Ferdiansyah Thajib) 2016. 'A Dispensable Threat', Inside Indonesia, vol. 124 (April-June 2016). Available from
  • [Multimedia review] 2014. Java Spirit. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 15 (5), pp. 500–502. (invited submission) .
  • 2013, 'The body and 'global indigeneity': tattoos, ethnicity and small media in Indonesia', Review of Indonesian and Malay Affairs, vol. 47 no. 2, pp. 1-24.
  • 2012, 'Late Japanese New Wave Documentary and Cinematic Truth: Charting the Theory and Method of "Graphic Sensitivity" Towards Cultural Otherness', Colloquy: Text Theory Critique, vol. 24, pp. 78-98.
  • 2012, 'Review: a view from below', Inside Indonesia, vol. 107 (January-March 2012). Available from . [16 June 2013]


  • Fellow, Institute for Critical Social Inquiry, New School for Social Research, NYC, USA (selected participant in Talal Asad masterclass, June 2015)
  • Intern, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Gadjah Madah University, Jogjakarta, Indonesia (January-June 2015)
  • Visiting student, Center for Cross Cultural and Religious Studies, Gadjah Madah University, Jogjakarta, Indonesia (January 2014-January 2015)


  • Ordinary member, Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)
  • Member, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Association (IACS)


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