Carla Jones
Associate Professor
(Ph.D. • UNC Chapel Hill • 2001)

HALE 468

On Sabbatical Spring 2019

Carla Jones’ research analyzes the cultural politics of appearance in urban Indonesia, with particular focus on femininity, domesticity, aesthetics and Islam.  She has written extensively on self-improvement programs, manners and middle-class respectability during the Suharto and post-Suharto periods in Yogyakarta and Jakarta, and is the co-editor, with Ann Marie Leshkowich and Sandra Niessen, of Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress (Berg, 2003).  Her current work situates anxieties about Islamic style in the context of broader debates about corruption and exposure. She is especially interested in the suspicions that settle on covered women in contemporary Indonesia, in which accusations of hypocrisy intersect with gendered assertions about revelation and propriety.

Jones is President of the Association for Feminist Anthropology from 2017-19 (

In 2017, she co-edited a special section of the journal American Ethnologist, with Dr. Martin Slama, on social media and religion in Southeast Asia. From 2007-09, Jones was co-PI, with Professor Ruth Mas then of the Department of Religious Studies, of a six-person University of Colorado seed grant analyzing transnational conceptions of Islamic community.

Special interests include: materiality, feminist theory, anthropology of middle classes, consumption and corruption.

Selected Publications:

  • 2018  "Consumption and the New Middle Classes." In The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia. Pp. 187-196. Robert Hefner, ed. London, UK and New York, USA: Routledge
  • 2017   “Piety, Celebrity, Sociality: A Forum on Islam and Social Media in Southeast Asia.”
  • 2017   "Images of Desire: Creating Virtue and Value in an Indonesian Islamic Lifestyle Magazine." In The Routledge International Handbook to Veils and Veiling Practices. Pp. 213-221. Anna-Mari Almila and David Inglis, eds. London, UK and New York, USA: Routledge                 
  • 2016   “Pious Sight: Seeing Value as Rights in Java,” Comment on Retsikas, Kostas, “The Other Side of the Gift: Soliciting in Java.” Heidelberg Ethnology Occasional Paper No. 4: 17-19, May 2016
  • 2016   “Images of Desire: Creating Virtue and Value in an Indonesian Islamic Lifestyle Magazine.” In Islam, Marketing and Consumption: Critical Perspectives on the Intersections. Pp. 102-122. Jafari, Aliakbar and Özlem Sandikci, eds. London, UK and New York, USA: Routledge
  • 2013    “Wanita Karir (Career Woman)." In Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity.
  • 2012   "Gender Matters: the cultural politics of gender in Southeast Asia."  Review article on the state of scholarship on gender in Southeast Asian area studies and of O’Shaughnessy, Kate (2009) Gender, State and Social Power in Contemporary Indonesia: Divorce and Marriage Law, Routledge, London and New York; Peletz, Michael, (2009) Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times, Routledge, London and New York; and Robinson, Kathryn (2009) Gender, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, Routledge, London and New York.  Southeast Asia Research 20(3):445-448
  • 2012   “Women in the Middle: Femininity, Virtue, and Excess in Indonesian Discourses of Middle-Classness.” In The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing Through Ethnography. Pp. 145-167. Rachel Heiman, Carla Freeman, and Mark Liechty, eds. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press
  • 2011   “Transnational Discourses of Islamic Community.” Carla Jones and Ruth Mas. Co-edited special issue on transnational Islam, Nations and Nationalism 17(1):2-6, January 2011
  • 2010: “Materializing Piety: Gendered Anxieties about Faithful Consumption in Contemporary Urban Indonesia.” American Ethnologist 37(4):617-637.
  • 2010: “Images of Desire: Creating Virtue and Value in an Indonesian Islamic Fashion Magazine.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 6(3):91-117, Fall 2010.
  • 2010: “Better Women: The Cultural Politics of Gendered Expertise in Indonesia.” American Anthropologist 112(2):270-282.
  • 2009: Wanita Karir: Figures of Indonesian Modernity. Joshua Barker and Johan Lindquist, et al.  Indonesia 87: 35-72.
  • 2007: Fashion and Faith in Urban Indonesia. Fashion Theory 11(2/3): 211-232. PDF
  • 2004: Whose Stress? Emotion Work in Middle-Class Javanese Homes. Ethnos 69(4): 509-528. PDF
  • 2003: “Introduction: The Globalization of Asian Dress: Re-Orienting Fashion or Re-Orientalizing Asia?,” Carla Jones and Ann Marie Leshkowich. In Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress. Oxford: Berg Press, pp. 1-48. PDF
  • 2003: Dress for Sukses: Fashioning Femininity and Nationality in Urban Indonesia. In Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress. Oxford: Berg Press, pp. 185-214. PDF
  • 2003: What Happens When Asian Chic Becomes Chic in Asia? (co-authored with A.M. Leshkowich) Fashion Theory 7(3/4):281-300. PDF