Buying Time: Ideology, Temporality, and the Tactics of Resisting Eviction in a Bangkok Community – a seminar by Prof Michael Herzfeld (Wed, 23 Jan 2013)

Speaker: Prof Michael Herzfeld (Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University)
Date: Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Drawing on ten years of fieldwork and repeated visits to the central Bangkok community of Pom Mahakan in the conservation-dominated Rattanakosin Island area, the speaker will ask how and why the residents have succeeded against all odds at remaining on their site for two decades, and what this might imply for community self-sufficiency in Thailand and elsewhere in the years ahead. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which the community leadership uses legal, economic, and social aspects of time to maintain a precarious but precious status quo.

About the speaker
Michael Herzfeld is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He served as editor of American Ethnologist during 1994-98. A recipient of the J.I. Staley Prize of the School of American Research on 1994 (for Anthropology through the Looking-Glass, 1987) and of the Rivers Memorial Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (London) in the same year, he received an honorary doctorate from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2005. He has conducted research in Greece, Italy, and Thailand on topics that include the social impact and political implications of historic conservation and gentrification, the social dynamics of nationalism and bureaucracy, and the ethnography of knowledge among artisans and intellectuals. Among his ten books are A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town (1991), The Body Impolitic: Artisans and Artifice in the Global Hierarchy of Value (2004), and Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome (2009). He also filmed and produced Monti Moments: Men’s Memories in the Heart of Rome (2007).