Instructor: Marina Welker
Examining the symbolic within cultural and social processes in Southeast Asia, anthropologists have produced contextually rich accounts of cultural uniqueness. Interpretive ethnographies tend, however, to downplay the role of power and domination. Using the traditional strengths of symbolic anthropology, this course examines how ritual, art, religion, and seeming traditions in contemporary Southeast Asian societies have been shaped by colonialism, war, nationalism, capitalism and socialism, and play a role in structuring ethnic, class, and gender inequalities. In addition to providing a broad and comparative ethnographic survey of Southeast Asia, this course investigates how culturally specific forms of power and domination are reflected in national politics, and in local and regional responses to the economic and cultural forces of globalization.