Kevin W. Fogg

Islamic History in Southeast Asia



Dr. Fogg is an active translator of materials from Indonesian into English, including short stories, religious speeches, primary sources of history, and academic works on Islam in Indonesia.


Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah, more popularly known under his abbreviated name Hamka, was a leading Islamic modernist activist spanning the colonial and independence periods in Indonesia. He gave a speech entitled "The Influence of Muhammad 'Abduh in Indonesia" on the occasion of being awarded an honorary degree by al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1958. Dr. Fogg's translation of this speech came out in the journal Afkaruna here.


A. A. Navis was one of West Sumatra's most prolific and famous authors in the twentieth century, producing works on local culture, institutional histories, and a novel. He was most famous, though, for his many short stories, including the work "The Collapse of our Surau" (Robohnya Surau Kami) that inspired Indonesia's fourth president Abdurrahman Wahid, a major religious scholar in his own right. His style, somewhat like the American author O. Henry, relied on surprise and plot twists to make incisive social commentary. Forthcoming from Lontar Press under the title To the Contrary, Kevin Fogg and Matthew Woolgar have translated and introduced a selection of Navis's short stories, treating subjects like religion, family, the loss of traditional culture, and the impact of war on Indonesian society.


The above image is from H. C. Klinkert's Nieuw Maleisch-Nederlandsch Woordenboek (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1902).