2010 Colloquium

Thursday, Sept 30th 11:30-1:00 ANSO 134
Laurel Kendall (American Museum of Natural History)

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion
Thirty years ago, anthropologist Laurel Kendall did intensive fieldwork among South Korea's (mostly female) shamans and their clients as a reflection of village women's lives. In the intervening decades, South Korea experienced an unprecedented economic, social, political, and material transformation and Korean villages all but disappeared. And the shamans? Kendall attests that they not only persist but are very much a part of South Korean modernity. In this presentation Kendall describes some of the changes and personal experiences that prompted her to write SHAMANS, NOSTALGIAS, AND THE IMF and presents selections from her new book.

Co-sponsored by Centre for Korean Research and Department of Asian Studies.

Friday, Oct 1st 11:30-1:00 Michael Ames Theatre at MOA
Carla Sinopoli (University of Michigan)

Documenting Large and Small Histories in Late Prehistoric South India: Scalar views from and to Kadebakele
The first millennium BCE in southern India was a time of remarkable change – in material practices and technologies and in social, political, and ideological structures and relations. In numerous locations throughout the South, emergent economic and political inequalities played a role in the creation of small regional polities. In this talk, I examine one such polity – centered at the settlement site of Kadebakele in northern Karnataka, where our excavations have focused since 2003. I view Kadebakele from several scales: beginning with the highly localized small scale local ritual sequences that helped to shape local histories within the settlement and ending with a consideration the material practices and dynamics that connected and differentiated communities across much of southern India.

Tuesday, Oct 5th 11:30-1:00 ANSO 134
Sarah Nelson (University of Denver)

Shamans, Gender and Leadership in Ancient East Asia
Many archaeological sites in East Asia are said to be related to shamanism. How do we recognize shamans in archaeology? What do shamans have to do with leadership? How do we understand the relationship to the past of the many forms of shamanism in this region today? How does shamanism relate to gender? This research sorts out the tangled threads of shamans, gender and leadership from an archaeological perspective.

Thursday, Nov. 4th 11:30-1:00 ANSO 134
Teresa Macias (University of Victoria)

"Tortured Bodies": Speaking Terror and the Epistemic Violence of the Chilean Commission on Torture and Political Imprisonment
In 2003, the Chilean state instituted the Valech Commission and Political Imprisonment and Torture as an initiative to officially account for the legacies of human rights violations left by the authoritarian regime of Augusto Pinochet, and to perfect human rights policies originally initiated with the Rettig Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Conceived as a strategy to provide a space for survivors to share their experiences, receive state recognition and qualify for compensation, the commission heard about 37,000 testimonies during the 6 months of its mandate. 27,000 of these cases were officially recognized as cases of torture. In this presentation, I analyze torture debates in Chile, including the Valech Report, tracing how a truth about torture is constructed from the testimonies of survivors. Using a Foucaultian framework, I trace the relationship between torture experiences and politics of representation arguing that the Valech Report constitutes a prime example of epistemological violence re-inflicted on torture survivors under the disguise of recognition and legitimization. I interrogate the relationship between national interests, especially national reconciliation agendas, and the interests of victims of state violence arguing that national interests have a fundamental influence in processes by which nations account for state-organized violence. I propose that the Chilean case provide important ethical and political warnings for any study of national process of recognition and for demands on the part of survivors of state violence.

2010 Hawthorn Lecture in Anthropology:

Thursday, Oct 14th 11:30-1:00 Michael Ames Theatre at MOA
Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge University)

What's in an Argument? Preliminary Reflections on Knowledge Exchanges
Pacific Island academics would wish anthropologists to be explicit about 'knowledge exchange'. Knowledge transfers take innumerable forms; in the case of the anthropologist, however, it often seems that expert knowledge is more taken than given. Thinking comparatively about academic practice, is there any future for potential 'exchanges' as forms of interdisciplinarity, say, or of argument between points of view? This Lecture takes the concept of an academic argument to ask about its counterparts in non-academic milieux of knowledge-making in one part of the Pacific.
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Anthropology