Forskarseminarium: “Crypto-Colonialism and Spectral Polities in Thailand and...” med Michael Herzfel


Datum: måndag 8 april 2024

Tid: 13.00 – 14.30

Plats: B600

Forskarseminarium: “Crypto-Colonialism and Spectral Polities in Thailand and Greece” med Michael Herzfeld


Crypto-colonialism is the condition of countries that, while expressing pride in having never been formally part of Western colonial empires, nevertheless experienced much of the humiliation and exploitation of the “true” colonies, in ways that reverberate today. One effect of crypto-colonialism has been to impose a Western-inspired veneer of technocratic governance over older political structures. Yet these structures persist, sometimes in what appear to be ghostly echoes from the past. By comparing these phenomena in Greece (a country stereotypically associated with the emerge of the European ideal) and Thailand (a country greatly attached to a highly orchestrated indigenous past), we can begin to understand the significance for their future paths of the persistence of these spectral forms and the political alignments that their presence reinforces.


Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where he taught from 1991 through the end of 2019, and served as the first and founding Director of the Asia Center’s Thai Studies Program at Harvard. He has served as editor of American Ethnologist and Journal of Modern Greek Studies. Co-editor of two book series (“Asian Heritages” at Amsterdam University Press and “New Anthropologies of Europe” at Berghahn Books), he is also editor-at-large (responsible for “Polyglot Perspectives”) at Anthropological Quarterly. His research in Greece, Italy, and Thailand has most recently addressed the social and political impact of historic conservation and gentrification, the dynamics of nationalism and bureaucracy, anthropological ethics, and the ethnography of knowledge among artisans and intellectuals. TacHe remains actively engaged in research and writing and has just guest-edited a special issue of Anthropology Today on anthropology and the bureaucratization of research ethics.