Monday, September 26, 2016

[Cultural Heritage Talk Series 2016] Imagining Angkor: Politics, Myths, and Archaeology (想像吳哥:政治、神話與考古)

Cultural Heritage Talk Series 2016

Imagining Angkor: Politics, Myths, and Archaeology


Prof. Miriam Stark (Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa)

*Conducted in English*

Date: 14/10/2016 (Fri)
Time: 4:00-6:00pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre (L1), Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK

Abstract: Angkor's first great king, Jayavarman II, established Cambodia' Angkorian state on the banks of the Tonle Sap in 802 CE and built his first capital, Mahendraparvata, on the slope of the nearby Kulen mountains. What followed were six centuries of political competition, warfare, and imperial rule by Angkor's kings. Like rulers of other ancient states, Khmer kings built vast stone monuments to honor their predecessors and gods that still stand today. A century of scholarly research on the Khmer empire's achievements has shed light on the scale and nature of premodern Southeast Asia's most influential polity; it has also shaped political agenda in unanticipated ways. This lecture visits such accounts and myths and explores how archaeological research offers another strategy for imagining Angkor: its rise, its splendor, and its collapse and regeneration over two millennia.

Bio of the Speaker: Miriam Stark is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her PhD at the University of Arizona (1993) was an ethnoarchaeological study of ceramic production and exchange among tribal Kalinga potters in the highland Philippines, and her subsequent Smithsonian post-doctoral fellowship used Kalinga ceramic data to test the analytical limits of compositional techniques. Dr. Stark has conducted field-based archaeological work in Cambodia since joining the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in 1995, when she launched the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project in collaboration with Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. She also joined the Greater Angkor Project as a Partner Investigator in 2010; this international collaboration (between the University of Sydney, EFEO, APSARA National Authority and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa) focuses on urban organization in Angkor. In 2014 she co-founded the Khmer Production and Exchange Project in partnership with APSARA National Authority, the University of New England (Australia) and Santa Clara University. She has edited or co-edited five books, authored/co-authored more than 70 journal articles and chapters, and serves on the Executive Board of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association.

Free admission. All interested are welcome.

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