ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Section: 001 Possessing Culture: Spirit Mediums and Ethnography in SEA Culture
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Credits:
3
Enforced Prerequisites:
Graduate Standing
Repeatability:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

From factory floors in Malaysia, to Karoland, to Chiang Mai, from Central Java, to Bicol, to the Meratus Mountains, from Aceh, to Mount Banahaw, to Kuala Lumpur and beyond, Southeast Asia has provided an exceptionally good locus from which to get accustomed to the phenomena of spirit possession and mediumship. This seminar asks why this is so, whether mediumship and possession reveal a shared regional culture of negotiating power and difference, or, by contrast, if its prevalence in the literature and perceived importance is largely the consequence of the scholarly imaginings of regional coherence. To this end we will begin by engaging several of the classic and contemporary debates about Southeast Asian cultures and history, alongside some anthropological theories of possession and mediumship whose logics seem particularly relevant to this context. We will then examine the mediating role that ethnographies of Southeast Asia have played in presenting spirit possession and mediumship as especially productive sites for both illustrating and generating cultural analysis and critical theory. Students will be expected to produce and present short response papers to the readings, actively participate in discussion, and write a final paper.

ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
21409
Open
6
 
-
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (SEM)
P
28513
Open
7
 
-
W 3:00PM - 6:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
30074
Open
4
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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