Modernity & Agency: How Activists Reconstructed Nepali Society





The Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies @ UBC, with the administrative support from the UBC SSHRC partnership grant project FROGBEAR (From the Ground Up: Buddhism & East Asian Buddhism), proudly presents a lecture by David Gellner (University of Oxford)

When: 4:30 pm, Friday, March 31, 2017

Venue: Anthropology Building (SACH10), Room 105, Yale University

10 Sachem St.

New HavenCT 06511

Abstract: Latour’s ideas and terminology have been widely influential within social and cultural anthropology, even amongst those who are not inclined to follow Actor-Network-Theory. Latourian vocabulary for describing the modernity we have never had is acceptable and often suggestive, but Latour’s attack on individual and collective human agency is particularly ill-suited to explaining the rise of new kinds of identity. I describe the rise of new ‘ethnic’ and ‘macro category’ identities in Nepal and suggest that the analysis applies to many other social identities as well. I argue that activists are masters and mediators of Latourian ‘hybridity’.
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