“ALIVE IN THE ARCHIVE: AMBIVALENCE, ASSEMBLAGE, ANIMATION” LECTURE BY PATRICIA SPYER

  • When: October 11, 2018 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Where: Silver Center for Arts & Science, 100 Washington Square East, Room 301
  • Summary: In the early 2000s, when violence between Muslims and Christians racked Maluku on Indonesia’s eastern outskirts, Pentecostal ministers launched an iconoclastic attack on headhunter portraits and warlord statues of Seram Island’s culture museum. Spyer explores the clash between regimes of revelation intrinsic to museums and pentecostalism alike causing a ‘crisis of faith’ and leaving broken statues in its wake.
  • Details:

    ALIVE IN THE ARCHIVE: AMBIVALENCE, ASSEMBLAGE, ANIMATION

    Lecture by PATRICIA SPYER

    (Professor of Anthropology, Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland)

    In the uncertain early 2000s when violence between Muslims and Christians racked Maluku on Indonesia’s eastern outskirts, Pentecostal ministers launched an iconoclastic attack on the headhunter portraits and warlord statues of Seram Island’s culture museum. The presentation explores the clash between distinct regimes of revelation intrinsic to museum and pentecostalism alike as the juncture at which a contested past became animated, gaining purchase on the present, causing a ‘crisis of faith’ in the museum director, and leaving broken statues in its wake. Specifically, I consider the constellation of desires, forces, materialities, and ontological instabilities that collaborated in producing animacy together with its various ramifications.

    THURSDAY / OCTOBER 11 / 5-6:30 PM

    Room 301, Silver Center for Arts & Science, 100 Washington Sq East. (map)

    Co-sponsors: Anthropology, Center for Media Culture and History, Religious Studies, Program in Museum Studies

    Relief sculpture on the side wall of a photographic studio, Seram Island, Indonesia. (Photograph by Patricia Spyer)

    Bio: 
    Educated in the Netherlands and United States, Patricia Spyer obtained her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She was a William Rainey Harper Fellow in the University of Chicago’s College and a founding member of the Research Center Religion & Society at the University of Amsterdam. From 2001 through 2015 she held the Chair of Cultural Anthropology of Contemporary Indonesia at Leiden University. She was Global Distinguished Professor at New York University’s Center for Religion & Media and Department of Anthropology (2009-12), and a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in 2014. She is the author of The Memory of Trade: Modernity’s Entanglements on an Eastern Indonesian Island, Duke 2000, editor of Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, Routledge 1998, co-editor of the Handbook of Material Culture, Sage 2013 [2006] and of Images That Move, SAR Press, 2013. She has published, among other topics, on violence, media and visual culture, materiality, and religion. Her current book project Orphaned Landscapes: Violence, Visuality, and the Work of Appearances in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia focuses on the mediations of violence and post-violence in the religiously inflected conflict in the Moluccas, Indonesia. She is an editorial board member of the Annual Review of Anthropology, a member of the Advisory Council of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and a board member of the Prince Claus Fund.