Emeritus Professor Peter Worsley

PhD (Leiden), BA hons (Sydney)
Professor Emeritus

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney


Biographical details

Peter Worsley was Professor of Indonesian and Malayan Studies at the University of Sydney between 1973 and 2000 and is now Professor Emeritus. He is also Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, where he and Dr Supomo are working on an annotated edition and translation of the old Javanese epic kakawin Sumansåntaka

Research interests

  • Social and cultural history of premodern Southeast Asia
  • Indonesian, Balinese and ancient Javanese literature and visual arts.

Current projects

  • Kakawin Sumanasåntaka
    The project will produce an edition, translation and annotation of the ancient Javanese kakawin epic poem, Sumanasåntaka. It is a collaborative project with Dr Supomo of the Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University.
  • The political meaning of the bas-reliefs of the Rama story at Candi Prambanan in Central Java.
    The project examines transformations of the epic Sanskrit idea of the cakravartin, ‘the universal ruler’, in ancient Java.
  • The Ancient Javanese Environment.
    The project explores how the inhabitants of Java in the period before the 16th century apprehended the world in which they lived. More specifically it sets out to describe the literary and mythic context in which works of epic kakawin represent the landscapes of Java. It also raises in a preliminary way the extent to which these same works contain reliable empirical information about the Javanese environment prior to the 16th century.
  • Narrative and Social Change in Bali.
    This project seeks to explore the interrelationship between narrative, orality and literacy, state formation and political culture in Bali. It examines the ways in which Balinese know, evaluate and experience their social and cultural existence through certain forms of narrative, and how they use that knowledge to reproduce the social and cultural conditions of their. At the present time the project is focussed on a study of Kamasan paintings, in particular the Brayut narrative in mss and paintings.

Selected grants

2008

  • ARC Linkage LP0883981 Understanding Balinese paintings: collections, narrative, aesthetics and socie; Worsley P, Campbell S, Vickers A.
  • Understanding Balinese paintings: collections, narrative, aesthetics and society; Vickers A, Worsley P, Monaghan P, Christidis L; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

Selected publications

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Edited Books

  • Worsley, P., Supomo, S., Hunter, T., Fletcher, M. (2013). Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanas�?ntaka; An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian source and Balinese illustrations. Leiden: Brill.

Book Chapters

  • Worsley, P. (2013). Balinese Paintings of the Sumanasantaka. In Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas M. Hunter, Margaret Fletcher (Eds.), Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasantaka: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations, (pp. 654-680). Leiden: Brill.
  • Worsley, P. (2013). Myths of Kingship: Journeys and Landscapes in the Ancient Javanese Imaginary. In Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas M. Hunter, Margaret Fletcher (Eds.), Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasantaka: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations, (pp. 601-652). Leiden: Brill.
  • Worsley, P. (2012). Journeys and landscapes: Some preliminary remarks on ancient Javanese perceptions of the environment. In Alexandra Haendel (Eds.), Old Myths and New Approaches: Interpreting Ancient Religious Sites in Southeast Asia, (pp. 103-115). Clayton, Victoria: Monash University Publishing.
  • Worsley, P. (2011). A new date of a painting of the Siwaratrikalpa. In ManjuShree (Eds.), From Beyond the Eastern Horizon: Essays in honour of Professor Lokesh Chandra, (pp. 205-214). New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Worsley, P. (2009). Budaya Bahasa Daerah Kosmopolitan Dan Relief-Relief Kisah Rama di Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. In Henri Chambert-Loir (Eds.), Sadur: Sejarah Terjemahan di Indonesia dan Malaysia, (pp. 755-789). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia.
  • Worsley, P. (2009). Budaya Bahasa Kosmopolit dan Gambar-gambar Kisah Rama di Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. In Henri Chambert-Loir (Eds.), Sadur: Sejarah Terjemahan di Indonesia dan Malaysia, (pp. 755-789). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia.
  • Worsley, P. (2006). Cosmopolitan Vernacular Culture and Illustrations of the Rama Story at Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. Part 2: The marriage of the Crown Prince and the succession in polygamous royal households. In Chambert-Loir, H & Dagens, B (Eds.), Anamorphoses: Hommage à Jacques Dumarçay, (pp. 227-242). Paris: Les Indes Savantes.

Journals

  • Worsley, P. (2014). The History of a Narrative. The Story of Prince Aja and Princess Indumata in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Bali. The Journal of Hindu Studies.
  • Worsley, P. (2012). Journeys, Palaces and Landscapes in the Javanese Imaginary. Some Preliminary Comments Based on the Kakawin Sumanasantaka. Archipel: etudes interdisciplinaires sur le monde insulindien, 83, 147-171.
  • Worsley, P. (2005). Book Review: "The Kraton: Selected essays on Javanese Courts" - Robson, Stuart (ed.). The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 16(2), 273-274.
  • Worsley, P. (2004). Gouw Peng Liang's Novella, Lo Fen Koei: Patrons And Women - An Account of the Peranakan Chinese Community of Java in the late 19th Century. Archipel: etudes interdisciplinaires sur le monde insulindien, 68, 241-272.

2014

  • Worsley, P. (2014). The History of a Narrative. The Story of Prince Aja and Princess Indumata in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Bali. The Journal of Hindu Studies.

2013

  • Worsley, P. (2013). Balinese Paintings of the Sumanasantaka. In Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas M. Hunter, Margaret Fletcher (Eds.), Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasantaka: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations, (pp. 654-680). Leiden: Brill.
  • Worsley, P., Supomo, S., Hunter, T., Fletcher, M. (2013). Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanas�?ntaka; An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian source and Balinese illustrations. Leiden: Brill.
  • Worsley, P. (2013). Myths of Kingship: Journeys and Landscapes in the Ancient Javanese Imaginary. In Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas M. Hunter, Margaret Fletcher (Eds.), Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasantaka: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations, (pp. 601-652). Leiden: Brill.

2012

  • Worsley, P. (2012). Journeys and landscapes: Some preliminary remarks on ancient Javanese perceptions of the environment. In Alexandra Haendel (Eds.), Old Myths and New Approaches: Interpreting Ancient Religious Sites in Southeast Asia, (pp. 103-115). Clayton, Victoria: Monash University Publishing.
  • Worsley, P. (2012). Journeys, Palaces and Landscapes in the Javanese Imaginary. Some Preliminary Comments Based on the Kakawin Sumanasantaka. Archipel: etudes interdisciplinaires sur le monde insulindien, 83, 147-171.

2011

  • Worsley, P. (2011). A new date of a painting of the Siwaratrikalpa. In ManjuShree (Eds.), From Beyond the Eastern Horizon: Essays in honour of Professor Lokesh Chandra, (pp. 205-214). New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

2009

  • Worsley, P. (2009). Budaya Bahasa Daerah Kosmopolitan Dan Relief-Relief Kisah Rama di Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. In Henri Chambert-Loir (Eds.), Sadur: Sejarah Terjemahan di Indonesia dan Malaysia, (pp. 755-789). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia.
  • Worsley, P. (2009). Budaya Bahasa Kosmopolit dan Gambar-gambar Kisah Rama di Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. In Henri Chambert-Loir (Eds.), Sadur: Sejarah Terjemahan di Indonesia dan Malaysia, (pp. 755-789). Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia.

2006

  • Worsley, P. (2006). Cosmopolitan Vernacular Culture and Illustrations of the Rama Story at Candi Loro Jonggrang, Prambanan. Part 2: The marriage of the Crown Prince and the succession in polygamous royal households. In Chambert-Loir, H & Dagens, B (Eds.), Anamorphoses: Hommage à Jacques Dumarçay, (pp. 227-242). Paris: Les Indes Savantes.

2005

  • Worsley, P. (2005). Book Review: "The Kraton: Selected essays on Javanese Courts" - Robson, Stuart (ed.). The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 16(2), 273-274.

2004

  • Worsley, P. (2004). Gouw Peng Liang's Novella, Lo Fen Koei: Patrons And Women - An Account of the Peranakan Chinese Community of Java in the late 19th Century. Archipel: etudes interdisciplinaires sur le monde insulindien, 68, 241-272.

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