Does “kapow” slap your face?

when a truly interesting research topic
jumps out
slaps you in the face
and declares.

that is one of the quotes of Jonathan Zilberg about “kapow”. I think from those words, he has succeeded to persuade me to further learn more about “kapow”. but what’s “kapow”. do you know “Kapow”? or actually you’ve got your “kapow”, but you didn’t realize that it was “kapow”. as like me, I just realized that in fact all this time I often get my “kapow”. and all about “kapow” I got from a father of “kapow”, he is Jonathan Zilberg. how lucky I am, because I can learn about “kapow” from this anthropologist, then I called him as a Father of “kapow”. He was so patient when explaining what it is and parts of “kapow”.today I met him at a social research methods training every Friday in Rumah Kitab and he talked about “How to Find an Interesting Research Topic: The Case of the Museum Istiqlal or The Mystic “kapow” Method”

Jonathan Zilberg is an anthropologist from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. you can find more about him in this site: openanthcoop.

So, what’s “kapow”?

here I will share you about “kapow” is meant by Jonathan Zilberg. Lies Marcoes, Indonesia Feminist, said that “kapow” is more than inspiration. it’s like “ilham”. so, for anyone who so far has done a or some research, or will conduct research, or perhaps we suddenly get something a phenomenon or anything that interesting or important study, would be interested in “kapow” is Jonathan Zilberg or will do the research, is in the process of research, or suddenly find a phenomenon or anything that interesting or important to be studied, would be interested to know more about “kapow”.

and I think his presentation was also very interesting for me to tell to you now. so, an explanation of the “kapow” is a pure concept of Jonathan Zilberg based on his experiences when getting his “kapow”. I begin to share you on his explain in Part Two about “The Mystic Research Path”. He talked about on how to cultivate a sensibility after showing the examples of some research data.

Okay, this is about “kapow” by Jonathan Zilberg. I don’t explain it by my words, because I think it would be interesting if you could read what he wrote about the “kapow”. so have a nice reading… 🙂

on how to cultivate a sensibility that will allow you to recognize the “AH-HAH” moment. when a truly interesting research topic, jumps out, “kapow” slaps you in the face and declares: “Here I am. Choose me!”


read constantly and widely. Gather Data Obsessively, Write up, present and publish your results with the careful diligence you would give to prayer

Above all, Be critical and political. If you don’t do all this, You have no right to be doing research. At least – as far as I am concerned

Do it purely for the love of the research quest!

Sufi-ist Research (this is the title of research he mentioned for example his presentation), think of the task
Of finding an interesting topic. As a spiritual quest. A moment. Along the pathway. Of a researcher’s life history. A coming to terms. With the worlds we move in. Through the Discipline of Research.

The Path as Discipline

think of reading, writing and research as interconnected acts of faith requiring practiced discipline.
It is only through sustained reading, writing and critical questioning that meaningful, significant research can emerge
Above all, there is, I believe, a mystical element in the moment of recognition of a particularly interesting topic, and in the path thereof and thereafter

The Five Commandments: R/W/R and P/P (he means: R: reading, W: writing, R: research, T: Presentation, P: Publish)

The sustained critical practice of reading widely for intellectual sustenance and stylistic growth, the constant commitment to writing whether it be taking notes, crafting proposals or drafting papers, the drive to present and publish your research, are acts of faith akin to prayer, sacrifice and reward in a researcher’s life history
To achieve the blessing or sacred gift of identifying and completing an interesting research project the R/W/R-P/P circle must be unbroken, each inter-connected and sustained.

Rules of the Mystic Research Path

Okay everybody, what is quoted above is just a little what he described. But I think this section or maybe I can say it the core of his explanation about “The Mystic Research Path” is about rules of the Mystic Reaserch Path.

In The Rule One: Never speak like this in a university. They will think you are mad. If you feel this – nurture it and shut up.

Rule Two: Listen to your soul – it will guide you intuitively

Rule Three: Take Risks

Rule Four: Fail Forward

Rule Five: Do it Only for the Love of RWR/PP
that is


in and of itself.


finally, inevitably, I’ve to limit the explanation of the “kapow” by Jonathan Zilberg. although you may still not clear about the “kapow”, but we might be able to discuss here. or maybe you want to talk about your experience to get the “kapow”? so just tell me now!!!