Dr Bianca Smith

  • Dr Bianca Smith

    CILIS Associate


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Dr Bianca J. Smith is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Islamic Culture & Society at the University of Mataram in Lombok, Indonesia. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and a BA (Hons) in Anthropology and Indonesian Studies from Monash University, Australia.

Bianca's research specialisation concerns gender, Sufism and Islam in Indonesia with ethnographic expertise spanning 20 years in Central Java, Lombok, East Kalimantan and Brunei Borneo.

She is currently working on several ethnographic research projects: 1) how gender as lived reality intersects with, and is shaped by, the sacred feminine, Sufism & indigenous religiosities in communities in Central Java and Lombok. 2) girls' rights, problematic discourses and complexities of female genital cutting practices in Lombok and Central Java, 3) women, Sufism and minority rights in Lombok.

She has formerly received Australian Government Awards for research in Java and Lombok held in partnership with Monash University, Gadjah Mada University and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Indonesia. She was a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology-Sociology and Coordinator of Gender Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam from 2010 to 2014. She has also worked as a Gender Adviser for Disaster Management and Environment in Dayak communities in Kutai and Samarinda, East Kalimantan.

Bianca's extensive academic research publications concern topics including domestic violence, women in Sufism, feminist fiqh and divorce, polygamy, sexuality and piety in pesantren, female leadership, terrorism, female agency in intra-Muslim conflict, and indigenous religiosities and the sacred feminine in Lombok and Central Java.

Bianca also facilitates Sufi zawiyya for women in the Shadhuli tradition & ethno-immersions for understandings about the sacred feminine in Sufi and shamanic traditions in Central Java and Lombok.