Timo Duile, post doctoral researcher, University of Bonn. Submitted Photo

Speaker Bio

Timo Duile is currently a post doctoral researcher at the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany. He has studied Political Science, Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, and Indonesian Language. He obtained his PhD in Southeast Asian Studies and has done extensive fieldwork in Borneo, Sulawesi, and Jakarta and was a guest researcher at Universitas Tanjungpura (Pontianak), Universitas Hasauddin (Makassar), the Indonesian Conference for Religion and Peace as well as Universitas Nasional (both Jakarta). 

Something Supernatural Webinar Series: Kuntilanak: Malay Modernity, Patriarchy, and their Traumatizing Horrors 

Date: UPDATED - Friday, December 1st, 2023

Time: 10:00 a.m. EST

Location: Virtual

Kuntilanak is a well-known and infamous ghost in Indonesia and Malaysia. The vampire with long hair and white clothes is not only infamous for securing men but also preying on newborn babies and feasting on female blood and placentas. Part of the Something Supernatural Series, this webinar features Timo Duile, a post doctoral researcher at the University of Bonn. He explains the origins of that ghost which points toward a specific mode of modernity that constitutes a realm of Islamic Malay civilization in opposition to the horrors of Kuntilanak. In the founding myth of the city of Pontianak on the island of Borneo, it is said that Kuntilanak had to be banished in order to build the city. This founding myth not only implies a significant shift in human-spirit relations in contrast to local pre-Islamic animism but also establishes gender norms as well as notions of culture/civilization in opposition to nature/wilderness. Thus, while the concept of Kuntilanak demonizes femininity, it is this very demonization that equips her with features that stand outside the patriarchal social order. She points, therefore, towards the social order’s own impossibility. 


Farida Jalalzai will moderate. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (Global Initiatives and Engagement). This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.