Speakers: Matthew Phillips (Aberystwyth University) , Edoardo Siani (CSEAS, Kyoto University)
17:00-18:40 “Death of an Immortal King: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Event”
Edoardo Siani, Matthew Phillips
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Aldulyadej passed away on 13 October 2016, after seven decades on the throne. He was the world’s longest serving head of state. The monarch was a Buddhist king and many understood him to be a divine being. He was also a political leader and a figure of great historic importance. Historian Matthew Phillips and anthropologist Edoardo Siani met, by chance, in Bangkok as they were both attending the rituals that followed the royal death. Their shared experience of said rituals forms the basis for a dialogue regarding how events may be studied from a multidisciplinary perspective. In this workshop, Phillips and Siani will discuss the relationship between ethnography and historical record as well as the process of jointly writing an ethnography, in an attempt to question our assumptions of what events are.