Doz. Mag. Dr.


wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

 + 43 1 51581 - 6464


Martin Slama is a senior researcher at ISA. He graduated from the anthropology department of the University of Vienna with a PhD thesis about the online practices of young internet users in Indonesia. While still writing up his dissertation, he expanded his research focus to diaspora communities of Hadhrami-Arab descent in Southeast Asia that play a salient role in the region’s Islamic landscape. Developing this research focus further earned him the Austrian Programme for Advanced Research and Technology (APART) grant of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This grant enabled him to write a post-doctoral thesis (habilitation) about Indonesian Hadhramis’ elite networking, constructions of authority, gender order, and internal frictions. More recently, he combined his expertise on Islam in Southeast Asia and the anthropological study of new communication technologies by examining the varied Islamic uses of social media in Indonesia. He is currently further expanding on this theme of being digitally pious, while revisiting the (re-)positioning of Hadhramis in Indonesia’s entangled religious and political fields. At the same time, he is developing new projects on forms of religiosity, the politics of space and socio-economic inequality as well as on the question how Islamic piety is changing in today’s pandemic times in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, Martin Slama was guest researcher at Gadjah Mada University and the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah and currently cooperates with the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga. He was also a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Freiburg. His work can be found in academic journals and edited volumes of academic publishing houses, such as Social Anthropology, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, Economic Anthropology, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East,Indonesia and the Malay World, South East Asia Research, Asiascape: Digital Asia, CyberOrient, Archiv Orientalni, Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies; Australian National University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, Brill, Amsterdam University Press.


  • The anthropology of Islam in Southeast Asia
  • Digital anthropology and the study of new media
  • Diasporic communities and transnational phenomena in the Indian Ocean World
  • Religiosities and socio-economic inequality
  • Southeast Asian concepts of power
  • The anthropology of time and temporalities



Ausgewählte Publikationen

Ausgewählte Publikationen

2021 “Tracing Digital Divides in Indonesian Islam: Ambivalences of Media and Class”, CyberOrient: Online Journal of the Virtual Middle East and Islamic World 15(1): 290-313. DOI:

2020 “Imagining Indonesian Islam as a Centre: New Mediations and Old Concepts of Power”, Archiv OrientalniSupplementa XII: 273-300. DOI:

2019 “Accelerating Islamic Charities in Indonesia: Zakat, Sedekah and the Immediacy of Social Media” (co-authored with Najib Kailani), South East Asia Research 28(1): 70-86. DOI:

2018 “Online Piety and its Discontent: Revisiting Islamic Anxieties on Indonesian Social Media” (co-authored with Fatimah Husein), Indonesia and the Malay World 46(134): 80-93. DOI:

2017 “A subtle economy of time: social media and the transformation of Indonesia’s Islamic preacher economy”, Economic Anthropology, 4(1): 94-106. DOI:

2014 “Marriage as Crisis: Revisiting a Major Dispute among Hadhramis in Indonesia”, The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 32 (2), 65-80. DOI:

2012 “‘Coming Down to the Shop’: Trajectories of Hadhrami Women into Indonesian Public Realms”, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 13(4): 313-333. DOI:

2011 “Paths of Institutionalization, Varying Divisions, and Contested Radicalisms:    Comparing Hadhrami Communities on Java and Sulawesi”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 31(2): 331-342. DOI:

2011 “Translocal Networks and Globalisation within Indonesia. Exploring the Hadhrami Diaspora from the Archipelago’s North-East”, Asian Journal of Social Science 39(3): 238-257. DOI:

2010 “The Agency of the Heart. Internet Chatting as Youth Culture in Indonesia”, Social Anthropology / Anthropologie Sociale 18(3): 316-330. DOI: