Forum - Spring Semester 2004-05
January 21, 2005 - Cliff Thompson
(Law School, UW-Madison)
Economic Law Capability in Indonesia"
Law reform began in the 90s without sufficient Indonesian capacity to
carry it out. The talk will focus upon the role of Thompson and others
to help build a viable situation.
January 28, 2005 - Megan Sinnott (Anthro., Yale University)
in Thailand and the Trouble with Queer: Why We Need to Bring Gender
Back into the Study of Global Queer Sexuality"
Scholars are increasingly turning to the topics of gay and lesbian sexualities
in non-western settings, and the effects of transnationalism and globalization
on these sexualities. However, the lack of feminist analysis of gender
dynamics has led to decontextualized descriptions of homosexuality and
transgenderism. An examination of the dynamics of the sex/gender order
in Thailand will illustrate the importance of a feminist analysis for
the understanding of male and female sexual subcultures.
February 4, 2005 - Joseph Errington ( Anthro., Yale)
of Change in Javanese Indonesia(n): Language and Identity in Troubled
Since the fall of the New Order, movements for autonomy have emerged
all over Indonesia, including newly fragmented regions of Java. This
talk provides a language-centered outline of political and cultural
issues involved in ongoing shifts from older, "official" versions
of Javanese ethnicity to newer, more localized senses of collective
February 11, 2005 -Philip Short ( Writer, BBC Correspondent
Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare"
The Cambodian leader, Pol Pot, was the architect of a revolution whose
radical egalitarianism exceeded any other in history. In the three years
he held power, he transformed his country into a slave state in which
more than a million people--a fifth of the population--perished. How
did an idealistic dream of justice mutate into one of humanity's worst
nightmares? The writer, Philip Short, discusses the causes of the Cambodian
tragedy; the responsibility of outside powers, including the US; and
the perils of imposing simplistic solution on complicated problems--an
issue which remains highly relevant today.
February 18 - Ara Wilson (Women's Studies, Ohio State
Intimate Economies of Bangkok"
This talk builds on my 2004 ethnography, The Intimate Economies of Bangkok,
which examines the intimate effects of globalization on Thais by highlighting
the interaction of global capitalism with local moral economies. Using
a range of examples, including Amway, sex work, and shopping malls,
I show how gender, ethnicity, and sexuality are intertwined with the
expanse of the transnational market economy.
February 25, 2005 - Sally Ness (Dance, UC Riverside)
Back to Bateson; Towards a Semeiotics of Balinese Dance”
Gregory Bateson's collaborative work with Margaret Mead on Balinese
nonverbal activity is generally recognized as pioneering research that
originated the field of visual anthropology. Bateson's extensive work
filming Balinese body movement practices also produced a distinctive
interpretive perspective on dance movement that deserves recognition
as having anticipated analytical frameworks developed only many decades
later. While Bateson's achievements were to a considerable extent methodologically
driven, the question remains as to what distinctive features of Balinese
dance also contributed to the development of Bateson's extraordinary
March 4, 2005 - Alda Blanco (Spanish and Portuguese,
Work and Empire: Madrid's Philippine Exhibition, 1887"
This paper analyzes the "General Exhibition of the Philippine Islands"
which took place in Madrid in 1887. The only colonial exhibition to
be held in Spain, it attempted to invigorate Spain's colonial relationship
with the Philippines by displaying the material culture of the archipelago
and its inhabitants.
March 11, 2005 - Steve McKay (Sociology, UW-Madison)
to Sail? Filipino Seafarers and the Colonial Construction of an Ethnic
The paper analyzes the historical rise and contemporary reproduction
of the Filipino ethnic niche in global seafaring. I first document the
role of three American colonial institutions that helped racialize Filipino
labor and channel it into the US Navy and Merchant Marines. I then turn
to how the contemporary Philippine state continues to regulate the labor
niche and craft narratives of heroism and masculinity to reinforce it.
March 18, 2005 - No FF
April 1, 2005 - AAS No FF
April 8, 2005 - Panel with Dr. Srisompob Jitpiromsri,
and Dr. Wattana Sugunnasil (Prince Songkhla University-Pattani)
and Conflicts in the Malay-Muslim Region of Southern Thailand”
Violence in the Malay-Muslim region of Southern Thailand has become
a crisis since 2004. Why? How the Thai government's response to the
crisis has failed, perhaps even exacerbate the crisis?
April 15, 2005 - Alexander Horstmann (Institut für
Ethnologie, Westphalian University of Münster)
Purification and Resistance in Southern Thailand: The Tablighi Jama'at
in Nakhon Si Thammarat"
The talk explores the tensions and the borderline between local and
universal concepts of Islam. Research on the Thai-speaking Muslim communities
in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the Gulf of Thailand reveals that the Tablighi
Jama'at, probably the largest Islamic missionary movement of the world,
are flourishing in Muslim villages, take over control of the mosques
and of the local public sphere. Yet, as local Muslim authorities stick
to the old ways, the purification campaign cannot be fully implemented.
April 22, 2005 - David Engel (Law School, State University
of New York - Buffalo)
and the Decline of Legal Consciousness: Torts, Ghosts, and Karma in
Based on fieldwork in Chiangmai in the 1970s and in the 1990s, the talk
explores the chaning role of law in the consicousness and behavior of
ordinary Thai people, suggesting that injured people in Chianmai actually
rely less on the law than in the past. The "decline of legal consciousness"
can be explained in terms of a transformation in the relationship between
Buddhism and locality-based remediation practices.
April 29, 2005 - Rene Lysloff (Ethnomusicology, UC-Riverside)
Posmo: The Dilemma of Contemporary Indonesian Music"
Yogyakarta, the heart of Central Javanese traditional high culture,
is also the epicenter of contemporary arts, including new music. These
artists view themselves as postmodernists, rejecting the nihilist and
reactionary urges in modernism, while drawing inspiration from traditional
and popular forms even as they criticize the crass commercialism of
pop or the elitist values of Western classical and Javanese court music.
In this context postmodernism can also be seen as an expression of post-colonial
sensibilities, an aesthetic strategy to embrace and reject Western cultural