Public talk by Professor Emeritus Michael Herzfeld, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.
In this talk Professor Herzfeld will focus on his new book Subversive Archaism: Troubling Traditionalists and the Politics of National Heritage (Duke University Press, January 2022) as well as his current research on crypto-colonialism.
Modern Thailand conceals within its bustling cities the persistent evidence of a past way of life with a very different kind of polity from today’s bureaucratic ethnonational state. Working from his field materials from the now-disbanded urban enclave of Pom Mahakan in Bangkok, the speaker will show how that earlier polity infuses both the official self-image of the country and the archaizing attitudes of some who yearn for a different social and political order and creatively deploy the state’s own heritage rhetoric to promote that alternative social vision.
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NIAS, ADI, Department of Anthropology and Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
University of Copenhagen