« Where there is forest now ». Traces of past lives among the Khmu of upland Laos.

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Speaker : Rosalie Stolz (University of Heidelberg)

Title : « Where there is forest now ». Traces of past lives among the Khmu of upland Laos.

Bio :

Rosalie Stolz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Anthropology at Heidelberg University. In her current project, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, she enquires into the transformations of houses in upland Laos in order to shed light on Southeast Asia’s upland dwellers as pioneers. She was a PhD scholarship holder at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne and has taught at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Her area of expertise is northern Laos where she has conducted fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork. She published in Social Analysis on spirit stories as narratives traces of indeterminate entities such as spirits and is co-editing a volume on the implications of accompanied fieldwork (transcript).

Abstract :

Oral account of the past among the Khmu of northern Laos are often introduced by the ubiquitous phrase „in the past at the old village site…“. Despite of the resettlement of the villagers in the mid-1980s, the former village continues to exist physically in the form of remaining house posts in the midst of encroaching trees and bushes but also as a watershed in the local historical imagination. Drawing on recent fieldwork in upland northern Laos, the memories of old houses as “traces of lives previously lived” (Carsten 2018: 103) will be used as entry points to discuss the simultaneous processes of both, acknowledging and unknowing the past that characterize the ambiguity of the present moment in the uplands of northern Laos more widely.

This lecture is part of the program of Anthropologie des sociétés d’Asie Orientale – Histoire et Mémoire [SOCAD491]

  • When ?

Thursday the 27 February 2020 from 4:00 pm till 6:00 pm

  • Where ?

Room R42.5.503

Building R42 - 5th floor

Avenue Roosevelt, 42

1050 - Bruxelles