[TimorLesteStudies] Swinburne Seminar (Melbourne): Friday, 19 June 2015 - Social Anthropology and History, an ethnographic case study from Viqueque, Timor-Leste:

Michael Leach mleach at swin.edu.au
Thu Jun 4 09:55:59 AEST 2015

[Description: SISR]

Swinburne Institute for Social Research - Seminar Series

Presenter: Professor David Hicks, Stony Brook University

Title: Social Anthropology and History: an ethnographic case study from Viqueque, Timor-Leste

Date: Friday, 19 June 2015

Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Venue: AGSE211

At a time when the frontiers separating the traditional scientific and scholarly disciplines are being obliterated the occasion is apt for a reconsideration of the relationships between social anthropology and its sister disciplines such as political science, sociology, literary studies, and the like. In my talk today I discuss the overlap between social anthropology and history and make the case for revisiting the well-known contributions to this topic made by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, who himself began his academic career as a historian, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose advocacy of a structural approach to the human domain might be thought to imply a anti-historical regard for understanding social institutions. In demonstrating how diachronic and synchronic perspectives may be combined in their respective ways in helping to render institutions intelligible this talk examines some of the lessons learned from several periods of fieldwork in Timor-Leste beginning in 1966 by examining how archival documents and published materials may be conjoined with ethnographic research. The talk firstly describes the background to the first period in the field; then considers the extent to which archival and secondary sources were used during that first period of field research; and finally consider how the use of archival and secondary sources during the later periods of field research compared with the initial period.

Professor David Hicks is Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and Life Member of Clare College, University of Cambridge. He holds Doctor of Philosophy Degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of London and his scholarly specializations lie in the fields of politics, oral literature, ritual, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste, in both countries of which he carried out field research. In East Timor this has amounted to more than thirty months since 1966. His field research has resulted in publications that include the books, Tetum Ghosts and Kin (2004), Structural Analysis in Anthropology (1978), A Maternal Religion (1984), Kinship and Religion in Eastern Indonesia, Cultural Anthropology (with Dr. Margaret A. Gwynne), Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion (2010), and Rhetoric and the Decolonization and Recolonization of East Timor (2015), as well as essays that have appeared in the American Anthropologist, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society, the Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Oceania, Anthropos, and Sociologus, in addition to many anthologies. He is the translator, from the Portuguese, of Peoples of Timor, People of Timor: Life, Alliance, Death (1993). Professor Hicks has received grants and fellowships from, among other organizations, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Philosophical Society; has been a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Vila Serbeloni in Bellagio; a Visiting Professor at Clare Hall in the University of Cambridge; a Visiting Professor at the University of Göteborg; and a Fulbright Scholar. Email: david.hicks at stonybrook.edu<UrlBlockedError.aspx>.

- ALL Welcome -


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The Swinburne Institute seminar series encourages interdisciplinary dialogue on contemporary social policy issues and related themes, featuring Swinburne staff and postgraduate students, as well as external guest speakers. Researchers at the Swinburne Institute work across a range of disciplines, including urban planning, economics, statistics, sociology, history, media studies and political science.

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