Andrew Johnson: "The River Grew Tired of Us"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng3-2028; Campus Gotland - B43 (video)
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Susann Baez Ullberg, Don Kulick
  • Seminarium

The Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology

Andrew Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology at Princeton University: "The River Grew Tired of Us: Spectral flows of potency along the Mekong River"


Abstract
Along the Mekong, where it creates the border between Thailand and Laos, hydropower projects have triggered a transformation. Strange floods and ebbs disrupt fish migrations, undercut riverbanks, and sweep away nets. Facing this new landscape, fishermen on the Mekong seek out new, hidden sources of potency that have revealed themselves at the same time as other powers fade in importance. Via an ethnographic study of Mekong 'river beings,' this article addresses a reconfiguration of sources of power on the river away from the proximate and material, and towards the inaccessible, distant and spectral.