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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Benjamin Baumann, M.A.

Name
Benjamin Baumann M.A.

Foto
 
Name
M.A. Benjamin Baumann
Status
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Email
benjamin.baumann (at) staff.hu-berlin.de

Institution
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät → Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften → Geschichte Südostasiens
Sitz
Invalidenstraße 118 , Raum 116
Phone number
(030) 2093-66039
Fax
(030) 2093-66049
Mailing address
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

 


BA-Studienfachberatung zu Südostasien

Terminvereinbarung im SoSe 2017 per mail


 

Curriculum Vitae


 

Benjamin is an assistant professor (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin's Department of Southeast Asian Studies. He is an anthropologist interested in popular religious cults with the regional foci Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

Benjamin is currently working on two research projects. One investigates a regional possession complex in Thailand's lower Northeast and its role for the reproduction of communal sentiments of belonging in rural villages in the provinces Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket. The other is a continuation of his research on social inequality and its reproduction in Germany. Benjamin is planning to apply the methodology that was developed in Germany, in order to investigate social inequality by identifying habitus types, to Thailand. The project's interim goal is to outline the social ontology that informs notions of social inequality in contemporary Thailand.

Benjamin completed his PhD (summa cum laude) in 2017 with a dissertation on the practical meaningfulness of Khmerness and its reproduction in contemporary Thailand. In his dissertation "Ghosts of Belonging: Searching for Khmerness in Rural Buriram" he outlines an anthropology of ambiguity and how it may be used to transcend the paradoxographical trend that haunts contemporary Thai studies.

His doctoral research project was conceptualized under the supervision of Prof. Vincent Houben and Prof. Guido Sprenger (Institut für Ethnologie, Universität Heidelberg). Funding was granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2010. Supervisors were Prof. Houben, Prof. Rehbein, and Prof. Sprenger.

Benjamin majored in Social and Cultural Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies and obtained his M.A. degree with highest honours from Freie Universität Berlin. His M.A. thesis “On Centrism and Dualism: Anthropological Models of Social Organization in Southeast Asia Reconsidered” was written under the supervision of Prof. Georg Pfeffer.

Research Interests


  • Ancestorship, spirit possession, mediumship, and witchcraft in Southeast Asia
  • Emplacements of popular cults in Thailand and Cambodia
  • Personhood and dividuality
  • Epistemological multiplicity
  • Social inequality and social ontology
  • Anthropology of death
  • Anthropology of ambiguity
  • (New) Animism
  • Regional folklore and its representation in Southeast Asian films
  • Structuralism and post-structuralisms
  • Sociology of knowledge/social phenomenology

Academic Awards and Nominations


  • 2017 nominated for the Humboldt Prize 2017 (for the doctoral thesis 'Ghosts of Belonging: Searching for Khmerness in Rural Buriram).

  • 2010 nominated for the Rudolf Virchow Research Prize 2010 (for the magisterial thesis 'On Centrism and Dualism: Athropological Models of Social Organization in Southeast Asia Reconsidered). 

Affiliations


  • Thailand Research Group, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - founder and coordinator

Fieldwork


Benjamin continues to conduct anthropological fielwork in a multi-ethnic village in Buriram Province, Thailand. This fieldsite was chosen according to the premises of the strategically situated single-site ethnography paradigm (Marcus 1995). Consecutive fieldtrips led to an overall stay of 13 months.

Teaching


  1. WiSe 2017/18 - "What is the Lifeworld? Phenomenology and New Area Studies", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, BA
  2. SoSe 2017 - "The Anthropology of Death in Southeast Asia", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, MA and BA
  3. WiSe 2016/17 - "Methods of Area Studies: Popular Religion in Berlin - From Idea to Research Project", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, MA and BA
  4. SoSe 2016 - Lecturer at the 2016 International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies “The Return of the Past: Memory Making and Heritage in Southeast Asia and Europe” held at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  5. SoSe 2016 - "Ecstatic Religion in Southeast Asia: The Anthropology of Spirit Possession in Regional Comparison", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, MA and BA
  6. WiSe 2015/16 - "Key Issues of Social Transformation in Thailand", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, undergraduate level
  7. SoSe 2015 - "Methods of Area Studies: Urban Ethnography - Liminal Spaces in Berlin", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  8. WiSe 2014/15 - "Film Analysis as a Method of Area Studies: Transformations in Thai Ghost Films – Protagonists and Mythologies", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  9. SoSe 2014 - "Ethnicity in Mainland Southeast Asia", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, undergraduate level
  10. WiSe 2013/14 - "Witchcraft in Southeast Asia", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  11. WiSe 2012/13 - "Popular Religion in Contemporary Thailand", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  12. WiSe 2012/13 - "Länderkunde Südostasien", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, undergraduate level
  13. SoSe 2010 - "Gods, Ghosts, and Demons: Popular Religion in Southeast Asian Modernities", Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  14. SoSe 2010 - "Death in Cultural Comparison" (together with Stefan Hoffmann), Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level
  15. WiSe 2009/10 "Introducing Anthropological Debates, Theories and Terms by Reading Selected Ethnographies" (together with Stefan Hoffmann), Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, advanced undergraduate level

Publications


Books (Co-)Edited
  1. (2015) Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheit in Deutschland. Rehbein/Baumann et al. (eds), Konstanz und München: UVK.
Journal Articles
  1. (2014) From Filth-Ghost to Khmer-Witch: Phi Krasue's Changing Cinematic Construction and its Symbolism. in: Horror Studies 5: 2, pp. 183-196
  2. (2013) Tamnan Krasue: Constructing a Khmer Ghost for a Thai Film. in: Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. Issue 14, Kyoto
  3. (2013) Ein Khmer-Geist im Thai-Film. Geisterfilme, sozio-kulturelle Stereotype und thailändische Identität nach der Asienkrise. in: Südostasien. 4/2013, Köln
Working Papers
  1. (2015) The Khmer Witch Project: Demonizing the Khmer by Khmerizing a Demon. In: DORISEA Working Paper Series, No. 19.
  2. (2013) Der Tod im Kulturvergleich - Süd- und Südostasiatische Perspektiven. Südostasien Working Papers, No. 51, Berlin. (zusammen mit Stefan Hoffmann und Maren Wilger)
  3. (2010) On Centrism and Dualism - A Critical Reassessment of Structural Anthropology's Contribution to the Study of Southeast Asian Societies. Südostasien Working Papers, No. 40, Berlin.
Book Chapters
  1. (forthcoming) “Ban Phi Pop.” in: Ainslie/Ancuta (eds.) Thai Cinema: A Complete Guide. London: I.B. Tauris
  2. (forthcoming) “Krasue Sao.” in: Ainslie/Ancuta (eds.) Thai Cinema: A Complete Guide. London: I.B. Tauris
  3. (forthcoming) “Tamnan Krasue.” in: Ainslie/Ancuta (eds.) Thai Cinema: A Complete Guide. London: I.B. Tauris
  4. (2017) “Tamnan Krasue: Constructing a Khmer Ghost for a Thai Film.” in: Pavin Chachavalpongpun (ed.) The Blooming Years: Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. Kyoto: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, pp. 360-365
  5. (2016) “The Khmer Witch Project: Demonizing the Khmer by Khmerizing a Demon.” in: Bräunlein/Lauser (eds.) Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond. Narratives, Cultural Contexts, Audiences. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 141-183
  6. (2013) "Einleitung". in: Baumann/Hoffmann/Wilger (eds.) Der Tod im Kulturvergleich - Süd und Südostasiatische Perspektiven. Südostasien Working Papers, No. 51, Berlin, pp. 13-18
  7. (2007) "Relitik: Zur analytischen Untrennbarkeit von Religion und Politik im siamesischen Kontext". in: Holst/Streifenender (eds.) Myanmar. Südostasien Working Papers, No. 32, Berlin, pp. 47-61
Reviews
  1. (2013) Kirsten Endres & Andrea Lauser (eds.): Engaging the Spirit World. Popular Beliefs and Practices in Modern Southeast Asia. New York, Berghahn Books, 2011, in: ANTHROPOS 108, 652-653
  2. (2012) Barend J. Terwiel: Monks and Magic - Revisiting a Classic Study of Religious Ceremonies in Thailand. Copenhagen, NIAS Press, 2012, in: Aséanie 28, 210-214
Selected Presentations
  1. (2017) “Do we need a ‘romantic rebellion’ to explicate the practical meaningfulness of popular religious practices in contemporary Thailand?”, ICAS. Chiang Mai, 07/22/2017
  2. (2017) “To ‘play’ mae mot in rural Buriram: Matrilineal vestiges in a localized possession cult in Thailand’s Northeast”, 13th International Thai Studies Conference. Chiang Mai, 07/16/2017
  3. (2017) “New Area Studies“, IAAW-Colloquium in honour of Prof. Vincent Houben’s 60th anniversary. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 05/18/2017
  4. (2016) DeathLab 2 – Eternal Fire. Expert talk about the interlinkages of death and art in Southeast Asia, Berlin, 10/07/2016
  5. (2016) “Empirische Paradoxa und die Gleichzeitigkeit moderner und nicht-moderner Epistemologien im gegenwärtigen Thailand”, GIP-Tagung: Interkulturelle Philosophie. Mehrsprachigkeit, Pluralismus und Universalismus. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 06/05/2016
  6. (2015) "Habitustypen der deutschen Sozialstruktur: Methode und Ergebnisse", Gesprächskreis Klassen und Sozialstruktur - Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin 27.02.2015 (zusammen mit C. Schneickert und M. Kleinod)
  7. (2015) "The Gender of the Medium: Perceptions of Gender Ambiguity in Professional Spirit-Mediumship Cults in Rural Buriram, Thailand", International Workshop "Religious Pluralism, Magic and Gender/Sex Diversity in Southeast Asia" - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 22.01.2015
  8. (2014) "Hybridity in Buriram: Pattana Kitiarsa's Contribution to the Anthropology of Spirit-Medium Cults in Contemporary Thailand", Association for Asian Studies in Asia 2014 Inaugural Conference (AAS in Asia 2014), National University of Singapore, Singapore, 17.07.2014
  9. (2014) "Khmerness as Mystic Capital in Post-Modern Thailand", Association for Asian Studies 2014 Annual Conference (AAS 2014) - Panel 109 "Ghosts, Magic, and Healing in Thailand", Philadelphia, 28.03.2014
  10. (2013) "Tamnan Krasue - The Abjection of Khmerness and its Post-Modern Ghostly Image in Contemporary Thailand", Institutskolloquium Ethnologie - University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, 16.07.2013
  11. (2013) "Are Ghosts to Spirits in Thai as Witchcraft is to Sorcery in Zande? Anthropological Categories and Popular Religious Phenomena in Thailand", 7th EuroSEAS Conference 2013 - Panel 76 "Challenging Classifications of Religion in Southeast Asia", Lisbon, 04.07.2013
  12. (2013) "Phi Krasue - How a Post-Modern Ghostly Image Re-Presents the Abjection of 'Khmerness' in Thailand's Popular Culture", DORISEA Mid-Term Conference 2013 "Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia", Göttingen, 28.06.2013
  13. (2012) "Tamnan Krasue - The Abjection of 'Khmerness' and its Ghostly Image in Contemporary Thailand", DORISEA Workshop: "Ghost Movies in Southeast Asia and Beyond - Narratives, Cultural Contexts, Audiences", Göttingen, 05.10.2012
  14. (2012) "In the Land of Phi Pop and Phi Krasue - How Malevolent Magic Epitomizes Khmerness in Contemporary Thailand", 12th EASA Conference / Workshop: Occult Economies in Asia, Paris, 13.07.2012
  15. (2012) "Inequality in Northeastern Thailand - Preliminary Findings and Methodological Problems of Studying Social Inequality in Contemporary Thailand", International Workshop on Global Inequalities: Comparative Research Agenda and Approaches - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 21.03.2012
  16. (2012) "Socio-Cultural Repertoires and Village Community - Assessing the Limitations of Ethnicity for an Analysis of Social Identity Formation in Thailand's Lower Isaan", PhD and Post-Doc Workshop "Thailand" - Institute of Asian and African Studies Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 10.02.2012
  17. (2011) "Thai, Khmer oder Thai-Khmer? Lokale Kultur und ethnische Klassifikation in der thailändischen Peripherie", DGV-Tagung 2011: Wa(h)re Kultur / Workshop 38 - Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie der Universität Wien, Wien, 16.09.2011
  18. (2011) "Globalization and Symbolic Codification of Inequality: Outlining a Possible Research Methodology", Globalization and Inequality: Beyond Economics - A Research Methodology Workshop for Comparative Studies - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 29.07.2011
  19. (2011) "Who are the Thai-Khmer? How to Uncover an 'Invisible Minority' in Contemporary Thailand", 11th International Conference on Thai Studies - Mahidol University, Bangkok, 26.07.2011
  20. (2011) "Khmerness in Thailand", Conference on Habitus and Codification of Inequality in a Globalizing World - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 05.06.2011
  21. (2005) "Thailand im Blick", Mekong-Ländertag - Asien-Pazifik-Wochen 2005, Berlin, 25.09.2005
Lectures
  1. (2014) "Ethnic Inequality and Symbolic Racism in Thailand", lecture series: "Inequality in South and Southeast Asia" - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 16.12.2014
  2. (2013) "Schwarze Magie, böse Geister und Brahmanismus: Postmoderne Bilder soziokultureller Identität im gegenwärtigen Thailand", lecture series: "Religionen und Kulturen in Süd- und Südostasien: Forschungszugänge zu einen transdisziplinären Feld" - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 04.06.2013
  3. (2008) "On Centrism and Dualism: Anthropological Models of Social Organization in Southeast Asia Reconsidered", Absolventenfeier der Philosophischen Fakultät III der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 15.02.2008

Conference / Workshop Organization


  1. (2015) "A Three Finger Salute to the Movies: Thai Directors and Politics between Criticism and Collaboration" - Panel Discussion with Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Humboldt-Univserität zu Berlin, Berlin, 09.02.2015
  2. (2015) "Kaleidoscopes of Religion in Southeast Asia and Beyond" - International Conference, final conference of the BMBF funded research network DORISEA, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin 23-24 January 2015
  3. (2015) "Religious Pluralism, Magic and Gender/Sex Diversity in Southeast Asia" - International Workshop, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin 21.-22.01.2015 (together with Prof. Peter A. Jackson, ANU)
  4. (2014) "Schnitt und Untertitelung von Filmsequenzen für Präsentationszwecke" - Praxis-Workshop im Rahmen des Seminars "Filmanalyse als Methode der Regionalwissenschaften" - Institute of Asian and African Studies - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 31.10.2014 (together with Markus Reichert)
  5. (2013) "Challenging Classifications of Religion in Southeast Asia" - Panel at the 7th EuroSEAS Conference, Lissabon, 02.-05.07.2013 (together with Prof. Guido Sprenger, University of Heidelberg)
  6. (2012-13) "Thailand@HU Lecture Series" - Institute of Asian and African Studies - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  7. (2012) "Thailand", PhD and Post-Doc Workshop - Institute of Asian and African Studies - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10.02.2012
  8. (2010) "Thailand at the Crossroads: Civil War or Reconciliation?", Thailand Study Group Workshop - Institute of Asian and African Studies - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 08.07.2010

Films


  • (2015) (dir. Passakorn Pramunwong) "The Guitar King", (local editor/research Germany)

Reviews


  • SOJOURN
  • DORISEA Working Paper Series
  • Federal Governance: A Graduate Journal
  • Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society

 

Doctoral Research Project


The Ritual Reproduction of 'Khmerness' in Thailand: Popular Religion and Social Structure at the Nation-State's Periphery