James J. Fox

Professor James J. Fox was educated at Harvard (AB ’62) and Oxford (B Litt. ’65, DPhil. ’68) where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has taught at various American Universities: Harvard, Cornell, Duke and Chicago and at various European Universities: Leiden, Bielefeld and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. He is a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Fox’s area of primary interest is Indonesia, with special focus on Java and eastern Indonesia. He has carried out considerable research in Timor, most recently in East Timor. More generally, his interests are in comparative issues affecting the whole of the Asia Pacific region.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0869-0830

Expressions of Austronesian Thought and Emotions »

Edited by: James J. Fox
This collection of papers is the seventh volume in the Comparative Austronesian series. The papers in this volume focus on societies from Sumatra to Melanesia and examine the expression and patterning of Austronesian thought and emotions.

Master poets, ritual masters »

The art of oral composition among the Rotenese of Eastern Indonesia

Authored by: James J. Fox
This is a study in oral poetic composition. It examines how oral poets compose their recitations. Specifically, it is a study of the recitations of 17 separate master poets from the Island of Rote recorded over a period of 50 years. Each of these poets offers his version of what is culturally considered to be the ‘same’ ritual chant. These compositions are examined in detail and their oral formulae are carefully compared to one another. Professor James J. Fox is an anthropologist who carried out his doctoral field research on the Island of Rote in eastern Indonesia in 1965–66. In 1965, he began recording the oral traditions of the island and developed a close association with numerous oral poets on the island. After many subsequent visits, in 2006, he began a nine-year project that brought groups of oral poets to Bali for week-long recording sessions. Recitations gathered over a period of 50 years are the basis for this book.

Explorations in Semantic Parallelism »

Authored by: James J. Fox
This collection of eighteen papers explores issues in the study of semantic parallelism — a world-wide tradition in the composition of oral poetry. It is concerned with both comparative issues and the intensive study of a single living poetic tradition of composition in strict canonical parallelism. The papers in the volume were written at intervals from 1971 to 2014 — a period of over forty years. They are a summation of a career-long research effort that continues to take shape. The concluding essay reflects on possible directions for future research. Explorations in Semantic Parallelism also offers an enhanced epub: a downloadable ebook format with embedded video. Please download using the link below.

Origins, Ancestry and Alliance »

Explorations in Austronesian Ethnography

This collection of papers, the third in a series of volumes on the work of the Comparative Austronesian Project, explores indigenous Austronesian ideas of origin, ancestry and alliance and considers the comparative significance of these ideas in social practice. The papers examine social practice in a diverse range of societies extending from insular Southeast Asia to the islands of the Pacific.

The Austronesians »

Historical and Comparative Perspectives

The Austronesian-speaking population of the world are estimated to number more than 270 million people, living in a broad swathe around half the globe, from Madagascar to Easter Island and from Taiwan to New Zealand. The seventeen papers in this volume provide a general survey of these diverse populations focusing on their common origins and historical transformations. The papers examine current ideas on the linguistics, prehistory, anthropology and recorded history of the Austronesians. This volume is a publication of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies’ Comparative Austronesian Project.

Inside Austronesian Houses »

Perspectives on domestic designs for living

Edited by: James J. Fox
The eight papers in this volume examine the spatial organization of a variety of Austronesian houses and relate the domestic design of these houses to the social and ritual practices of the specific groups who reside within them. The houses considered in this volume range from longhouses in Borneo to the meeting-houses of the Maori of New Zealand and from the magnificent houses of the Minangkabau of Sumatra to the simpler dwellings of the population of Goodenough Island in Papua New Guinea. Together these papers indicate common features of domestic design from island South-East Asia to Melanesia and the Pacific. This volume is a publication of the Research School of Pacific Studies’ Comparative Austronesian Project.

The Poetic Power of Place »

Comparative Perspectives on Austronesian Ideas of Locality

Edited by: James J. Fox
This collection of papers is the fourth in a series of volumes on the work of the Comparative Austronesian Project. Each paper describes a specific Austronesian locality and offers an ethnographic account of the way in which social knowledge is vested, maintained and transformed in a particular landscape. The intention of the volume is to consider common patterns in the representation of place among Austronesian-speaking populations.

Out of the Ashes »

Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor

Edited by: James J. Fox, Dionisio Babo Soares
Out of the Ashes is a collection of essays that examine the historical background to developments in East Timor and provide political analysis on the initial reconstruction stage in the country’s transition to independence. The volume is divided into three thematic sections – background, assessment and reconstruction – bringing together the experiences and knowledge of academic researchers and key participants in the extraordinary events of 1999 and 2000. After years of Indonesian rule, the people of East Timor voted to reject an offer of autonomy choosing instead independence from Indonesia. This decision enraged pro-integrationist militia who, backed by the Indonesian military, launched a program of violence and destruction against the inhabitants of East Timor. President Habibie eventually agreed to the presence of a United Nations peace-keeping force, but by this stage East Timor had been ravaged by destruction. The new East Timorese government faced the challenges of the future with an understanding that the successful struggle for independence was both a culmination and a starting point for the new nation. As the events of 1999 recede, many of the issues and challenges highlighted in Out of the Ashes remain of central significance to the future of East Timor. These essays provide essential reading for students and interested observers of the first new nation of the 21st century.