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Asian scholar Benedict Anderson dies in his sleep in Indonesia

Benedict Anderson was a favorite visiting scholar of the University of the Philippines. COURTESY OF UP-DILIMAN
The online news portal of TV5

EAST JAVA, Indonesia - Asian studies scholar Benedict Anderson died in his sleep in Batu, Balang, East Java Sunday morning, it was learned. He was 79.

Prof. Patricio Abinales, formerly of the University of the Philippines and now of the University of Hawaii, confirmed Anderson’s death in his Facebook page

Anderson is best known for his book Imagined Communities, first published in 1983.

According to an Indonesian news website, Anderson was staying in a hotel in Batu, Malang when he died. He was traveling with a driver and colleagues.

The driver and his colleagues heard sounds from his bedroom, but thought he was just sleeping soundly.

When they went to his bedroom, Anderson’s body had already turned blue. They took him to the hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

According to an updated Wikipedia entry, Anderson was Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government & Asian Studies at Cornell University.

Anderson was born in Kunming, China, to James O'Gorman Anderson and Veronica Beatrice Bigham, and in 1941 the family moved to California.

In 1957, Anderson received a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Cambridge University, and he later earned a PhD. from Cornell's Department of Government, where he studied modern Indonesia under the guidance of George Kahin. He is the brother of historian Perry Anderson.

During his life, some of Anderson’s works became reference for scholars and students in Indonesia such as Java in a Time of Revolution, Debating World Literature, Language and Power: Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia, and Imagined Communities.

He was banned from entering Indonesia due to his analysis and critical views of the regime of the late Indonesia strongman Suharto. Only after Suharto fell from power was Anderson able to return to Indonesia.