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Cambodian village life across war, revolution and globalization

Talk by Judy Ledgerwood

This project follows life in one village before, during and after the devastation of the Democratic Kampuchea regime (1975-1979) using data from the only American anthropologist to conduct research in Cambodia before the war, the late Dr. May Ebihara.

Dr. Ebihara conducted ethnographic research in Cambodia in 1959-60, and then again in the 1990s on village social organization, kinship, gender, religion, economics and politics. In the 1990s she chronicled the local death toll and recorded the individual stories of survivors. I was Dr. Ebihara’s research assistant, and I have continued to conduct research in Sabaay, most recently in 2003 and 2007. Dr. Ebihara became ill in 1998 and was never able to complete a book length manuscript linking her pre- and post-war research.

When Dr. Ebihara passed away in 2005, she willed her research notes and photos to me. Using research data collected in the last decade, including during two summer field-schools; I can complete this picture of life in a single village across two generations.

This research draws on the only existing data on a single community across the period of war and revolution, communism, UN peace-keeping, democratization, “nation building” and economic transformation via regional and global integration.

When: Tuesday Oct. 19, 18:00
Where: Baitong Restaurant, #7 st 360, near Beung Keng Kang market

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