Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

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Talk of Prof. Peter Jackson: Transgenderism, Spirit Mediumship and Resurgent Supernaturalism in Thailand: Intersections of Thai Religious Studies and Queer Studies

  • When Jun 12, 2013 from 06:00 to 08:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Where IAAW – Invalidenstr. 118 – room 117 (1st floor)
  • Add event to calendar iCal

 


Thailand@HU-Lecture Series

Prof. Peter a. Jackson

Australian National University – Pacific and Asian History

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transgenderism, Spirit Mediumship and Resurgent Supernaturalism in Thailand: Intersections of Thai Religious Studies and Queer Studies

 

When:           Wednesday, 12 June 2013 / 18:00 - 20:00

Where:          IAAW – Invalidenstr. 118 – room 117 (1st floor)

 

Abstract:

The double elision of queer genders and sexualities from Thai religious studies, and of religious ritual and practice from Thai queer studies, severely limits our understanding of the relations between the growing prominence of transgender kathoeys in modern Thai social life and the parallel resurgence of supernaturalism. In marked contrast to Peletz, who argues that modernity has led to the secularisation of transgenderism in SE Asia by redefining “transgendered individuals as contaminating (rather than sacred) mediators”, those writing on Thai spirit mediumship universally report the strong presence of “feminine” men, as well as “masculine” women. Contra Peletz, modernisation is not leading to an “eclipse” of “transgender ritual specialists” in Thai spirit mediumship but, as Endres (2011) reports for Vietnam and Ho (2009) observes of Burma, transgender spirit mediumship is becoming increasingly common. In this lecture Prof. Jackson will present examples of transgender spirit mediums from all regions of Thailand and outline a theoretical framework of how to approach these ritual specialists and their religious practice as distinctively (post-) “modern” phenomena.

 

Organized and presented by the “Thailand Research Group”

Contact: http://iaaw.hu-berlin.de/southeastasia/history/studygroups/thailand