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In Resonance: Cham Possibilities For Multi/Modal Ethnographic Endeavors

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How can anthropologists convey things that “cannot be told, cannot be written, and cannot be seen” when our very practice requires to tell, write and show the world? In this discussion I take to heart the repetitive motto that history “cannot be told, written, or seen” found among some Chams—Muslims in vastly Buddhist Cambodia—and among them some Saeths—descendants of the Prophet’s family. Following silenced histories and ethnographic refusals, I wonder if we could think of history, not as an extraction of facts, and anthropology not as an accumulation of observations, but rather as opportunities to foreground resonance with others as well as within ourselves. Reflecting on works done as an ethnographer and historian of images, as a photographer and filmmaker, and as a teacher of visual, sonic and digital anthropology, I ask what possibilities can be offered to rethink social sciences through a multi/modal endeavor: a way of being sensorially and intellectually present to the world through mediations of images, sounds, and affect. 


Speaker: Emiko Stock is a multimodal and historical anthropologist based at The American University in Cairo. Since the early 2000’s she has been working with Cham (Cambodian Muslims) and among them Saeths/Sayyids (descendants of the Prophet). As a photographer and videographer within a team of wedding photographers and arrangers, she attempts to trace a sense for historiography that goes beyond an attachment to facts and views. Her anthropological approach attempts to bring theory and practice together by way of experimentation using creative writing, still and moving images, analog and digital pictures.

Moderator: George Chigas is an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus in Cambodian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he taught courses in Cambodian literature and cultural history. He earned his doctorate in Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and his masters in Asian Studies from Cornell University. He is the author of Tum Teav, A Translation and Literary Analysis of a Cambodian Classic. He currently lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the publications and through webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. The designations employed in the publications and through the webinars, and the presentation of material therein, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. as to the matters discussed therein. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the publications and webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers, and the publication does not constitute an endorsement by The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. of the opinions, views or issues discussed therein.


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