Seminar – 12 February – Joe Ellis

February 4th, 2019 by anna.c
Respond

ALL WELCOME

Tuesday 12 February 2019

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Joe Ellis

MIASU, University of Cambridge

The Conflict in Exemplars: Mythic-Histories, ‘Ethnicities’ and Affines in Khovd Aimag, Mongolia

This paper seeks to explore Mongolian moral life by elucidating the historical exemplars that people interpret and mobilise in understandings of ‘ethnic’ difference. In drawing out the manner in which Mongolians conceptualise differences between the large number of ethnic groups (yastan) present in Khovd province, this paper will enter into dialogue with developments within the anthropological theorisation of ethnicity and identity. Anthropological work in Mongolia and elsewhere has rightly demonstrated how self-identifications and ascriptions of ethnic difference occur within fields of power between collectives and the state. In response, I drew attention to claims of difference made by my interlocutors, not through the assumption of essentialised ethnicities, but by the analysis of the moral claims produced by the varied manners in which people emplot themselves within history. In attending to moral, exemplary stories as forms of historicity, I move away from techniques of contextualisation whereby claims of ethnic difference are rendered as the outcome of known political-economic and historical contexts, and instead draw attention to the moral horizons of difference posited by my interlocutors. Explanations as to the problematic conduct of various kinds of people arise as a mythical-historical form of moral discourse that accounts for and partly produces what might be called ethnic difference in Mongolia. Yet far from being the simple deployment of moralised historical content for understanding and navigating conflict in the present, I suggested that the particular, exemplary logic of these historical resources produces diverging interpretations and conflict in their own terms. The exemplars I present are not univocal, and as such, not only allow people to deploy them in the service of competing aims, but demand such disagreement through their own, multivalent constitution.

Lent Term – Seminar Programme amendment

February 4th, 2019 by anna.c
Respond

Please see below for this term’s revised programme – please note there has been a change to the final seminar of the term on 26 February, now to be given by Robbie Barnett.

Research Seminars are held in the Mond Building Seminar Room, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF from 4.30–6.00

LENT 2019

Latest Research – Alternative Medicine in Mongolia

January 24th, 2019 by anna.c
Respond

 

Over the past 8 years, Dr Elizabeth Turk, MIASU Research Associate, Department of Social Anthropology, has been exploring the increased popularity of nature-based and ‘alternative’ medicine in post-Soviet Mongolia. During a time described as ‘disorganised’ (zambaraagui), marked by mineral mining and the ’emptying out’ of rural homelands as people re-locate to the capital city, many expressed the importance of human relationship with the natural environment. In conversation and practice, Nature was often inflected with national territory, lending the concept-place ethnonational weight. Dr Turk’s work traces the historically-contingent ways in which the natural world – a National Nature – is both imagined and recruited in the amelioration of illness. She describes some of her research experiences here.

Seminar – 29 January – Zulfikar Sarkit

January 15th, 2019 by anna.c
Respond

ALL WELCOME

Tuesday 29 January 2018

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Zulfikar Sarkit

National Academy of Governance of Mongolia

Political leadership and history of political thought in Mongolia

This article aims first to give a brief overview of the etymology of leadership, the use of leadership in the Mongolian context, and as a role model to follow, including the definition by Mongolian researchers. Secondly, we will discuss the dominant leadership style exercised by state officials and nobles in historical records of Mongolia. Finally, we will review research done within the theory and methodology of leadership in Mongolia and discuss a role of National Academy of Governance in modern history through organizational development.

Seminar – 15 January – Hildegard Diemberger

January 14th, 2019 by anna.c
Respond

ALL WELCOME

Tuesday 15 January 2018

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Hildegard Diemberger

MIASU, University of Cambridge

Himalaya: Care for the Future 

 

In a confluence of events, climate change-related floods are occurring in the Himalaya just as motorable roads and telephone connections as well as new governance modes are arriving in places such as Limi, in Nepal’s impoverished Humla district. The advent of non-compostable and plastic waste is a new phenomenon for the population and the cultural and psychological shifts required across the generations in terms of how to manage these new forms of waste is proving challenging. Both old and new challenges require an infinite number of decisions at multiple levels, involving different forms of knowledge and moral frameworks in dealing with issues of causality, attribution, responsibility, prioritization and action. In this presentation I explore ways in which understandings of the past inform visions of the future in light of radical transformations.