An email on the Thai/Laos/Cambodia Studies Group mailing list alerted me to this amazing new archive from Northern Illinois University (NIU): The “Living Memory of the Khmer” video interview project. This will be of enormous value to a great number of people: historians, researchers, linguists, and anthropologists, of course, but also to students of the Khmer language, who can use these videos to get a sense of the way people actually speak.
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy of men! 1
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon’s earless den; -
O miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;
There’s not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.
Donald S. Lopez, Jr., is one of the most well-known and respected Buddhist-studies scholars in the United States. Yale University is releasing a series of videos of some of his lectures on the intertubes! Go, watch:
Holy crap. You might have to know that SEASSI has a long-running and emotional volleyball tournament divided up by language teams (the Hmong usually kick everybody’s collective ass), and that the Khmer are one of the worst in the program, consistently. Also, for those who speak Khmer – check out Vishnu’s ‘antique’ pronunciation!
I am always on the lookout, nowadays, for good teaching materials on the internet, especially good documentaries. Here are all six parts of the BBC4 Documentary, “Tales From The Jungle: Malinowski.” A tidy little piece lasting roughly one hour, it covers the importance of Bronislaw Malinowski, ranging from his methods (participant observation) to his investigations on Baloma and Kula exchange. His diaries range throughout the story, coloring his accomplishments and adding nuance.
The video was criticized on technical grounds (and perhaps, but vaguely, on more substantive matters) over at Savage Minds, and the comments there are worth a gander.
A lovely short film by Kao Kalia Yang, writer, and John O’Brien, filmmaker. Kao, a Hmong refugee immigrant to the United States. She reflects specifically on the limits of experience and memory, place, and home. Is her homeland Laos, or the refugee camp where she was born? Or the place where she lives now?
Truly lovely. I hope to hear more from both of them, now that I’m slowly getting settled in the Twin Cities.
BoingBoing caught this a few days ago, and now its being picked up by the brainblogs. The boingers thought that the animation was cool (it is), but much more interesting to me (and the brain bloggers) is the way in which it quite concretely and effectively communicates the way in which false memories work. We all have them. Samuel R. Delany’s wonderful autobiography starts with his realization that a memory he’s told for years is in fact, wrong.
Description: The TVE/ BBC World Debate on food politics, with
Gary Howe IFAD’s Director of Strategic Planning, Budget and Resource Management …
Sarath Fernando A smallholder and farmer leader from Sri Lanka
Dr Raj Patel Political Economist and author of “Stuffed & Starved”
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Managing Director of the World Bank
Jan-Kees Vis Director, Sustainable Agriculture for Unilever
Sean Rickard, Business Economist and Academic Advisor
Among other things, I realized in watching this how poorly I’ve done in treating (or really thinking about) the mechanisms by which agricultural prices continue to rise while the prices farmers receive drop precipitously. The Cambodian situation is not representative of the entire agricultural world, necessarily, and I’ve been thinking almost exclusively about the Cambodian situation.