FOR A MOMENT, as my plane finally descended into Canberra at the end of the long trip from Germany, I thought it must be making an emergency landing. I could see no trace of human life below. This seemingly uninhabited landscape was where I was to take up an Australian Government merit-based Endeavour Scholarship in 2006 to complete a PhD. I had no intention of staying in Australia for long, and definitely not forever. I spent the best part of the next four years writing my dissertation on the long-distance politics of the Acehnese diaspora at the Australian National University. It was a formative period in my life; I enjoyed it to a certain extent but did not want to stay a single day more than was absolutely necessary, and returned to Germany in March 2010 on completion of my thesis.
After a postdoctoral fellowship in Berlin, I landed a teaching position at the university in Heidelberg, which was... Read more
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