York Indonesian-language journal only one of its kind

A person is using a computer

York University Professor Albert Schrauwers (anthropology) has launched Lobo: Annals of Sulawesi Research, an Indonesian-language, open-access journal that features English‐language social science research translated into Indonesian and peer-reviewed Indonesian-language research.

York University Professor Albert Schrauwers
Professor Albert Schrauwers

“The purpose of Lobo is to provide the results of English‐language research to the peoples of Sulawesi Tengah in their own languages,” said Schrauwers. “The journal will also act as a platform for Indonesian-language research to undergo a peer-review process and be made available in published form to academics and social service organizations working in the region.”

Lobo is the result of a knowledge mobilization collaboration with York University, the University of Western Australia and Universitas Tadulako (UNTAD) in Palu, Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia. UNTAD is the only public university in Sulawesi Tengah province and it serves 22,000 students.

“UNTAD students in the social sciences lack academic resources on their own province and peoples, and English-language texts on the region remain out of reach financially,” explained Schrauwers. “Lobo will thus give them access to materials published about them, and an opportunity to contribute to that dialogue.”

Schrauwers explained that the journal’s name, “Lobo,” is a word shared by the ethnic groups of central Sulawesi for a “meeting house.” He hopes the journal will act as a transnational meeting house for academics and social service organizations that focus on the region.

The journal is hosted by the York University Library Open Journal System. An associated website at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) provides an archive of historical manuscripts in Indigenous languages for download. These documents have been collected by researchers and fill an archival void for most of the province.

The first issue published in 2017 consists of a 350-page Pamona-Indonesian dictionary written by Bapak Dj. Tiladuru, a retired principle of the Junior School (SMPT) in Tentena, a town in Sulawesi Tengah. Pamona is an Indigenous language that is under threat and is spoken by approximately 125,000 people. Tiladuru produced the dictionary over 20 years to preserve the language and foster a rich local linguistic exchange.

The dictionary is the only one of its kind and is intended for Pamona and Indonesian speakers. The YCAR Lobo website has an open access project page for updating and enhancing the Pamona‐Indonesian dictionary.

Lobo’s upcoming second issue will be composed of translated papers previously published in peer‐reviewed English-language journals and new peer-reviewed articles in Indonesian. The translator, Arianto Sangadji, is a YCAR associate and a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography.

Find out more about the journal at lobo.journals.yorku.ca.