4 May 2017
A lecture by Prof. Dr. Guido Sprenger (Heidelberg University)
Comparison is not only the foundation of anthropology, but may even be a human universal. However, how do people who are usually the subject of anthropological research practice comparison themselves? This talk shows how Rmeet uplanders in northern Laos and Jru’ in the south employ comparison when they talk about ethnic and religious difference. In particular, they compare local ritual systems with translocal and national Buddhism. This occurs in a framework of distinctions between center and periphery, between Buddhism and its manifold “animist” others. Therefore, comparison appears in a particular context – Buddhism in Mainland Southeast Asia demands an Other, and in case of non-Buddhist uplanders, this other has its own voice.
Guido Sprenger is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology, University of Heidelberg since 2010. He has done research on ritual, cosmology and transculturality in the uplands of Laos since 2000. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Academia Sinica, Taipei, from 2004 to 2007, and a Junior Professor in Münster, Germany, from 2007 to 2010. He has published his research in the Journal of Asian Studies, Anthropological Theory, Anthropology Today and others. His research interests include ritual, exchange, human-environment relations, animism, kinship and social morphology, cultural identity, gender and sexuality.
Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017, 6:15 p.m.
Venue: Room 122 at the Asien-Afrika-Institut, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, East Wing.
The lecture will be given in English. Admission is free. All interested parties are welcome!
In cooperation with the Hamburger Gesellschaft für Thaiistik e.v. and the Department of Thai Studies at Hamburg University.