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Publication announcement; also: my C.V. moving to BePress

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Having recently acquired tenure at my position, I’ve gone ahead and begun to move my archive of articles and c.v., including links to downloads for the same, to my institutionally-hosted BePress page, which you can get here.

I’ll leave my old publications page up, but won’t be updating it anymore. It will eventually disappear or turn into something else.

My latest published article, “Kinship Beyond Death: Ambiguous Relations and Autonomous Children in Contemporary Cambodia,” published in the journal of Contemporary Buddhism, already has been downloaded 50 times (I get fifty free downloads to share), which is encouraging. But it you want to read about why most Cambodian parents consider past-birth memory in the children a disaster and didn’t get to the link, you can read the pre-print version of the article on my bepress page.

 

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I was just at the “Imagining Cambodia” conference at Northern Illinois University this last weekend, which was a great success; so many excellent presentations. My own paper, “Nuon Chea’s New Buddhism,” was a presentation of an in-process paper on Nuon Chea and his attitudes toward Buddhism, drawing largely on my 2005 interview with him at his home in Pailin. I’ll note here when that paper is submitted for publication.

In my email this morning I was informed that my latest publication, “Khmer spirits, Chinese bodies: Chinese spirit mediums and spirit possession rituals in contemporary Cambodia,” was published today in an edited volume from Thomas A. Reuter and Alexander Horstmann, titled, Faith in the future: Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia. It represents a tentative new direction for myself, and explores the concepts of neak ta  and their common characteristics in Cambodia, especially as regards multi-ethnic contexts.

Here is a photo of one of the two mediums discussed in the paper.

Bentougong from Pailin

One of the two mediums’ performances discussed in the paper

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New publication

Bentougong from Pailin

One of the two mediums’ performances discussed in the paper

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Interview with Professor Kheang Un about upcoming publication

I’m very excited to see Professor Kheang Un interviewed in this video available on youtube.  Along with Professor Caroline Hughes, he is co-editor of the upcoming publication “Cambodia’s Economic Transformation,” a collection of essays on, well, Cambodia’s economic transformation.  I’m pleased to have an article included in this collection, about how Pretas (“Hungry Ghosts”) are employed by contemporary Cambodians to discuss moral reciprocity and its failure.

Enjoy:

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Book Launch: Volume 1 of Khmer Translation of Professor Ian Harris’ Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice

I just received an announcement that Professor Ian Harris, author of the excellent introduction to Cambodian Buddhism, Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice, will be present at the book launch of the first volume of the Khmer language translation of this important work.

  • The launch will take place at the Buddhist Institute of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh, near Hun Sen Park (ask older motodop drivers to go to the place where the “Yeak Gaich Kar” statue used to be; you’ll get there).
  • The launch takes place on Wednesday, August 11, 2010, in the morning.  The full program as released by the Buddhist Institute after the jump.  I am thrilled to see that Chhum Kunthea is the translator of this book, and will reflect on the process of translating the book at this program; I had the great good fortune to meet Kunthea a few years back at a conference where we were both presenting, and found her to be immensely impressive; I’m certain she’ll be doing great things to watch for.

Continue reading

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Review in Journal of Asian Studies published

I wish I could say it was a review of my excellent forthcoming book, but since I’m still finishing the dissertation, this will have to suffice: a review essay written by myself of two truly excellent new titles in Cambodian studies. The first reviewed is Penny Edwards’ Cambodge: the cultivation of a nation, 1860-1945. The second is Anne Ruth Hansen’s How to behave: Buddhism and modernity in colonial Cambodia, 1860-1930. Both are published out of University of Hawai’i’s excellent press series on “Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory,” edited by Rita Smith Kipp and David P. Chandler.

Go, buy and read.

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Imaginary Conversations With Mothers About Death

At the edge of the forest book coverI’m extremely happy to announce that my first non-review, English-language print publication is now permitted distribution via this website. The good people at Cornell Southeast Asia Program have granted me permission to distribute the final, typeset PDF of my personal contribution to this volume via this website.

I should note that they have taken this step in spite of being unconvinced that giving away content can also drive sales, and in our capitalist system, sales are what keeps publishers in business. Many academic publishers operate at a loss, or barely break even, so this is a risk for them, and I appreciate their willingness to experiment with emerging forms of distribution.

If you enjoy this contribution, I heartily recommend purchasing the text, which can be done here (Cornell), or here (Amazon). Trust me, my piece is not the best in the volume, and with contributors like May Ebihara, David Chandler, Anne Hansen, Alexander Hinton, Ashley Thompson, Sokhieng Au, Penny Edwards, and Judy Ledgerwood, every piece is worth reading. So please consider purchasing the text.

Davis, Erik W. 2008. “Imaginary conversations with mothers about death ” in At the edge of the forest. Essays on Cambodia, History, and Narrative in honor of David Chandler. Anne Ruth Hansen and Judy Ledgerwood, Eds. Ithaca (NY): Cornell Southeast Asia Program. pp. 221-248.

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New Publication on Cambodia: At the Edge of the Forest

At the edge of the forest book cover
I’m thrilled to announce that a new book in the field of Cambodian studies has just been published by Cornell University’s Southeast Asian Program. That book is (from the Cornell Webpage):

At the Edge of the Forest. Essays on Cambodia, History, and Narrative in Honor of David Chandler.
Anne Ruth Hansen and Judy Ledgerwood, eds.

David P. ChandlerInspired by the groundbreaking work of David Chandler on Cambodian attempts to find order in the aftermath of turmoil, these essays explore Cambodian history using a rich variety of sources that cast light on Khmer perceptions of violence, wildness, and order, the “forest” and cultured space, and the fraught “edge” where they meet. Taken together, the essays offer a post-colonial analysis of Cambodia’s emergence from genocide that explores the relationship between narrative, history, and perplexing problems of meaning.

Anne Ruth Hansen is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Comparative Study of Religion Program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her work focuses on the history and development of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia and on Buddhist ethics.

Judy Ledgerwood is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies and Chair of the Anthropology Department at Northern Illinois University. Her work has examined gender, migration and diasporic communities, politics, human rights, and more recently, religion in contemporary Cambodia.

Also exciting is the fact that the final essay in the book is by yours truly. The essay is titled “Imaginary conversations with mothers about death.” Sounds intriguing, no? I have yet to hear if I’m allowed to distribute the PDF via this webpage, but will put it up as soon as I hear positively. Until then, you are welcome to buy the book (I get no royalties, so it’s not that kind of plug).

yaaaaaay!

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