Murniati's research tells the stories of the 'forgotten'

Tri Murniati, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (CLCS) doctoral student, is using her research to tell the stories of Indonesian domestic workers.

They are perceived as merely ‘unskilled workers’ and objects of negative stereotyping. The goal of my research is to change the mindset of readers about domestic workers. In terms of immigration literature, my research will map Indonesian migrant writing’s position in the world of immigrant writing.


Murniati has been accepted to attend the 2017 Asian Graduate Student Fellowship at the National University of Singapore (NUS). During this six-week program, she will collect supporting materials for her research on Indonesian domestic workers. 

The fellowship is offered by the Asia Research Institute (ARI) of the NUS to Asian graduate students working in the Humanities and Social Sciences on Southeast Asian topics. The aim of the fellowship is to enable scholars to make full use of the wide range of resources held in the libraries of NUS and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Murniati is excited about her upcoming venture. She said the fellowship would provide her an opportunity to do fieldwork that is essential to her overall research.

She believes her findings will be beneficial for people to see Indonesian domestic workers with a new, fresh lens.

The long-term goal of my research is to help people acknowledge a new genre in Indonesian literature, Sastra Buruh Migran, and to develop a better understanding of migrant workers, their plights and experiences, their pleasures, emotions, and dreams through their writings.

The fellowship will also provide Murniati a means of  ‘knowing’ the Indonesian migrant workers’ milieu closer as well as their everyday experiences in Singapore. In addition to social interactions with domestic workers, Tri will also take part in the Southeast Asian academia alongside scholars who have expertise in Southeast Asian Immigrant Literature and Southeast Asian migration studies.