desmond elliott 2017 rebus 30th anniversary
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

In the Place of Origins Modernity and Its Mediums in Northern Thailand by Rosalind C. Morris
  

In the Place of Origins Modernity and Its Mediums in Northern Thailand

Part of the Body, Commodity, Text Series

Synopsis

In the Place of Origins Modernity and Its Mediums in Northern Thailand by Rosalind C. Morris

In the Place of Origins tells the tale of modernity in Northern Thailand, discerning its oblique signs in the performances of contemporary spirit mediums. In a world driven by the twin fantasies of pastness and newness, Rosalind C. Morris reveals that spirit mediumship is not simply a theater of atavistic tendency but an arena in which it is possible to read the relationships between new forms of representation and subjectivity, as well as new modes of magic and political power.Through her careful examination of the transformations of spirit mediumship wrought by the mass media, Morris takes readers into the world of the northern Thai past to discover the anticipations of future histories. In this process, she finds new objects for anthropological inquiry, including romantic love and epistolary poetry. She then turns her eye toward the relationships between commodification and prosaic form and photography and the discourses of gendered and national identity. Attending to these issues as they manifest themselves in the practices of mediums, Morris describes both the mundane activities of spirit mediums and the grand ambitions to political authority that are embodied in the increasingly spectacular forms of possession that are becoming so popular with both tourists and local culture brokers. In the Place of Origins traverses this ground with accounts of right-wing militarism and ritual revival during the 70s, and of the democracy movement of 1992, when a global mass media was galvanized by images of military repression and the spectacle of traditional ritual power in cursing. Finally, considering the claims that mediums make to magical power in the face of both AIDS and the Asian economic crisis, Morris reveals the potency of extrajudicial forms of power and violence in the late modern era.This provocative study will interest anthropologists, historians, Asianists, and those involved in gender, performance, media, and literary studies.

Reviews

With this astutely conceived and exquisitely written account of the complexities of mediumship in Thai modernity, Rosalind Morris has taken ethnographic practice to a whole new level of theoretical as well as descriptive sophistication. It is a dazzling accomplishment. -Rey Chow, University of California, Irvine Traveling from spirit mediumship to the ethnography of the finance capital market, In the Place of Origins combines theoretical bravura with brilliant narrative skill. As it comments on ethnographic self-fashioning in Thailand, it also examines the mediumship of disciplinary ethnography, and the alterity it so anxiously seeks to expell. This is a text of dazzling instructive simplicity. -Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University


About the Author

Rosalind C. Morris is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She is the author of New Worlds from Fragments: Film, Ethnography, and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cultures.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

21st April 2000

Author

Rosalind C. Morris

More books by Rosalind C. Morris
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Duke University Press

Format

Paperback
392 pages

Categories

Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography

Cultural studies

ISBN

9780822325178

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.

Lynda

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools