Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson, an Indonesianist with Cornell University, US, died at the age of 79 on Saturday night during a nostalgic visit to Indonesia, his adopted son said on Sunday.
'Ben Anderson passed away last night at 11:30 pm. He told me last week that he was planning to visit several nostalgic places in East Java,' Wahyu Yudistira, an adopted son of Anderson told thejakartapost.com.
Wahyu said Anderson died at a hotel in Batu, Malang, East Java. His remains will be cremated on Tuesday in Surabaya and his ashes will be spread over the Java Sea.
Wahyu said that Anderson made annual visits to Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, during winter in the US, to lecture and travel.
'He delivered a lecture at the University of Indonesia on Thursday and launched his new book titled Nationalism and Anarchism,' Wahyu said.
In the lecture, Anderson said contrary to what many believed, anarchists often yearned for justice and freedom.
Anderson was born on Aug. 26, 1936, in Kumming, China, to James O'Gorman Anderson and Veronica Beatrice Bigham. The family moved to California in 1941. In 1957, Anderson received a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Cambridge University, UK, and later earned a PhD from Cornell's department of government, where he studied modern Indonesia under the guidance of George Kahin. He is the brother of historian Perry Anderson.
During his life, Anderson's works became references for scholars and students in Indonesia, such as Java in a Time of Revolution, Debating World Literature, Language and Power: Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia, and Imagined Communities.
He was banned from entering Indonesia for his analysis and critical views of the government of president Soeharto. Only after Soeharto fell from power was Anderson able to return to Indonesia.