Edoardo Siani

edosiani cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Research Departments・Position

Global Humanosphere・Affiliated Assistant Professor


Social/Cultural Anthropology, Thai Studies, Southeast Asian Studies

Research Interests / Keywords

・Sovereignty and embodient in contemporary Thailand
・Ethnography on divination in Bangkok (book project)


Sovereignty and embodient in contemporary Thailand

My current postdoctoral research project at CSEAS explores the relationship between emodiment and sovereign power in contemporary Buddhist Thailand through an ethnographic investigation of the recent boom of health-related practices in Bangkok. My primary tool for data collection is participant observation, conducted with sports and clean-food fanatics at fitness centers that opened in Bangkok during the period of interregnum. The project investigates why a marked interest in the body of the citizen should have boomed at such a pivotal time in Thai history. It assesses whether theories that were developed in the context of Christian Europe may be applicable to present-day Buddhist Thailand. These theories posit that the passing of the last monarchs in Europe resulted in a new interest in the bodies of the citizens, who underwent new regimes of fitness and healthy eating in order to become the physical bearers of the principle of sovereignty.

Ethnography on divination in Bangkok (book project)

I have been adapting my PhD thesis into a book manuscript, which explores ethnographically the world of divination in Bangkok.

Research funds

Type Theme Period
Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists Can the Divine Pollute? An Ethnographic Enquiry into Contemporary Buddhist Spirit Mediumship in Bangkok 2019 – 2020