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Anthropology Colloquia Series: Dr. Miriam Stark

“Living with the Mekong: Archaeological Perspectives and Alternate Futures”

Dr. Miriam Stark, University of Hawai’i-Manoa

Thursday, February 7th| 4:00pm in Knight Library Browsing Room

The Mekong River is Southeast Asia’s longest drainage system: more than 60 million people today rely on it for their livelihoods. The Lower Mekong is the region’s rice bowl, a biodiversity hotspot, and a contested space whose existence is now threatened by both human and natural forces. How did the Mekong River ecology shape the everyday life of its premodern communities? What were some unexpected consequences of these practices, and how did communities and the state manage these problems? Archaeological research in Cambodia reviews historical turning points in how Khmers managed the art of living with their Mekong River, and illustrates how “seeing like a state” produced disastrous consequences that in some respects resonate with life in the contemporary Lower Mekong basin.

 

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