Prof James Fox


Research activity per year

Personal profile


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.

Career highlights

  • Professorial Fellow/Professor, Australian National University (1975-present)
  • Jensen Memorial Lecturer, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt (2007)
  • Visiting Professor, Australian Chair, Harvard University (2006-07)
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore (2001)
  • Director, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU (1998-2006)
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore (2001)
  • Senior Visiting Fellow, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (1996)
  • Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore (1993)
  • Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar (1977-78)
  • Fellow, Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (1971-72)
  • École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (1986); Chicago (1986-87); Leiden (1988)
  • Visiting Professor, Nusa Cendana, Kupang (1972-73); Duke (1968-69); Cornell (1969); Bielefeld (1981)
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Harvard University (1969-75)

Research interests

History and anthropology of Indonesia and East Timor; rural development and resource management; study of social organisation and symbolic systems; linguistic anthropology; comparative Austronesian ethnology.


AB, BLitt, DPhil

Expertise Areas

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Studies of Asian Society
  • Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
  • Asian History
  • Islamic Studies


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