Patricia B. Henry - NIU - Foreign Languages & Literatures


Patricia B. Henry

Patricia B. Henry

PhD, University of Michigan, 1981
MA, University of Michigan, 1973
BA, University of Michigan, 1968

After I got my BA, my husband and I joined the Peace Corps and (purely by chance) were assigned to teach math and English in rural primary schools in Malaysia. The Peace Corps language training in Malay/Bahasa Malaysia, combined with the intense experience of living in a village where my husband and I were the only English speakers, gave me a new perspective on language learning. I distinctly remember walking along a road in the village, overhearing a mother calling for her child to come inside and get his chores done, and realizing that what would have been total gibberish six months previously was now meaningful language.

After returning to the University of Michigan in 1970, I was admitted to the Department of Linguistic’s new program of Southeast Asian Language and Linguistics, where I continued my study of Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia (basically the same language as Malay). I spent two years in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, teaching at a teacher training college there and doing research for my PhD dissertation, an annotated translation of an Old Javanese poem.

I came to NIU in 1979, in what was in fact a homecoming, since I was born in DeKalb and my parents were students at what was then Northern Illinois State Teachers College (click here for evidence). I teach all levels of Bahasa Indonesia, as well as Indonesian literature and Southeast Asian literature in translation. I’m also involved in developing the Indonesian portion of SEAsite, a website sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies here at NIU.

Some publications

(Translation) “Interview with Ravana” by Yudhistira ANM Massardi and “The Mysterious Shooter Trilogy” by Seno Gumira Ajidarma, in Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction of Southeast Asia, Teri Shaffer Yamada, ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.

(With George M. Henry and John F. Hartmann). "FLIS: Audible computer - aided language learning for Southeast Asian Languages: observations after a year of use." In Papers from the First Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society 1991, Martha Ratliff and Eric Schiller, eds. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University Program for Southeast Asian Studies Monograph Series, 1992, 187-203.

"The Writer's Responsibility: A Preliminary Look at the Depiction and Construction of Indonesia in the Works of Pramoedya Ananta Toer." Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 6:2 (1991), 59-72.

Some links

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Southeast Asian languages & cultures site
Indonesian language site
Site for my Indonesian classes

E-mail Patricia B. Henry
Watson Hall 123
(815) 761-1790