Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies

Sharon Graham Davies.

Associate Professor

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 8467


Physical Address:

Level 14, Room WT1403, AUT Tower, corner of Wakefield and Rutland streets, Auckland Central.


  • Postgraduate: PhD at the University of Western Australia, fully funded through an Australian Postgraduate Award. PhD: Tombois, Wedding Mothers, and Androgynous Priests: Conceptualising Gender Among Bugis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Supervisors: Dr Lyn Parker and Dr Greg Acciaioli.
  • Undergraduate: BA University of Tasmania (1994-1996); BA First Class Honours, University of Tasmania and the Australian National University (1997).


After growing up in Tasmania, Australia, I lived in Girard, Ohio for a year as a Rotary Exchange student. I then completed a BA with first class honours at the University of Tasmania before doing my PhD at the University of Western Australia, with stints at the Australian National University and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Since first traveling there in 1994, Indonesia has been the primary location of my research, which was originally about gender and sexuality but more recently has incorporated surveillance, social media, and policing. In 2015, I graded to Black Belt in Goju Ryu Karate. When not working, my partner and I like dragging our kids out tramping and to far away locations.

Sharyn is also AUT University Fullbright Campus Advisor along with Ineke Crezee.

Research Summary:

As an Asian Studies scholar and anthropologist my most significant contribution to knowledge revolves around rethinking ways in which gender operates in the Indonesian archipelago.

I have published two monographs on this topic. One text is a theoretical exploration of gender and sexuality and the other is an ethnographic case study on the ways individuals negotiate gendered selves from adolescence onwards. My most recent publication is Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Diversity, Representations and Health, co-edited with Linda Bennett. This book was the 2015 winner of the Ruth Benedict prize for best edited collection, awarded by the American Anthropology Association.

My research also looks at policing in Indonesia and along with John Buttle and Adrianus Meliala, I am exploring police corruption, the influence of foreign donors on the police service, public perceptions of police, gender and policing, and the applicability of a procedural justice model of policing in Indonesia.

In 2014/2015, I took up a Fulbright award to visit the US and a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge, hosted by Social Anthropology. In addition to research and writing I enjoy lecturing and in 2010 I was co-recipient of an AUT Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. I was the 2015 winner of the Faculty of Culture and Society Research Excellence award.

Publication highlights

  • 2015    Davies, S. G. Performing Selves: The Trope of Authenticity and Robert Wilson's Stage Production of I La Galigo. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 2015. 46(3): 417-443.
  • 2015     Davies, S. G. 'Surveilling Sexuality in Indonesia,' in Sex and Sexuality in Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Diversity and Representations in the Reformasi Era. L. R. Bennett and S. G. Davies (Eds.). London, Routledge: 30-61.
  • 2015     Davies, S. G. and Vitri Hardjono. 'The Pretty Imperative: Handcuffing Policewomen in Indonesia.' Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, issue 37, available at:
  • 2015    Davies, S. G., Meliala, A., & Buttle, J. 'Gangnam Style versus Eye of the Tiger: People, Police and Procedural Justice in Indonesia'. Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, doi: 10.1080/10439463.2014.949712.
  • 2015    Davies, S. G., Buttle, J. W., Meliala, A. 'If You Lose Your Goat: Public Perceptions of Police in Indonesia'. Journal of Social Science Research, 6(2): 22-41.
  • 2015    Aguirre, A. and Davies, S. G. ‘Imperfect Strangers: Picturing Place, Family, and Migrant Identity in Facebook,’ Discourse, Context and Media. doi:10.1016/j.dcm.2014.12.001
  • 2015    Davies, S. G., & Bennett, L. (2015). 'Sexuality, Continuity and Change in the Reformasi era' in L. R. Bennett & S. G. Davies (Eds.), Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Health, Diversity and Representations (pp. 1-25). London: Routledge.
  • 2015     Buttle, J. W., Davies, S. G., & Meliala, A. 'A Cultural Constraints Theory of Police Corruption: Understanding the Persistence of Police Corruption in Contemporary Indonesia.’ Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, available at:
  • 2011    Davies, S. D. Gender Diversity in Indonesia, Sexuality, Islam and Queer Selves, London: Routledge.
  • 2007    Davies, S. D. Challenging Gender Norms: Five Genders among Bugis in Indonesia. Boston: Thompson Wadsworth.

Selected keynote addresses

  • 2015   University of Cambridge Leverhulme Public Lecture series, including 'You're Doing it: Performance, I La Galigo and Authenticity in Indonesia', available at:
    2015   School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) public lecture on 'Reporting Police in Indonesia'.
    2015   London School of Economics (LSE) public lecture on 'Sexing Gender: Queer Islam in Indonesia'.
    2015   Cambridge Masterclass for anthropology postgraduate students on 'Kinships of Shame: Sexuality and Moral Connectivity in Contemporary Indonesia'.
    2014   Yale University Fulbright-funded public lecture on 'Performance and Tropes of Authenticity'.


Other achievements

Last updated: 30-Nov-2017 2.45pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.