Neo-colonialism in Greece, Iceland, Thailand

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From the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), in Leiden, the Netherlands:

We are pleased to announce a lecture by Michael Herzfeld (Professor of Anthropology and Curator of European Ethnology in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University). Professor Herzfeld is advisor to the IIAS on critical heritage studies and urban renewal projects.

Crypto-Colonial Fantasies in Europe and Asia

Date & time: 26 May 2014, 15:00 – 16:30 hrs

Venue: Leiden University. Gravensteen, room 111, Pieterskerkhof 6, Leiden

The lecture

Using the twin cases of Greece and Thailand, and alluding to the even more improbable pair of Iran and Iceland, professor Herzfeld will address the predicament of countries – mostly in Asia and Europe – that have escaped the formal control of colonial power but are still subjected to it in hidden but pernicious ways. In particular, he will address the ways in which claims of political independence and autonomous culture ironically reflect precisely that concealed dependence, and will examine some of the self-imaginations that spring from the largely illusory premise and promise of national independence.

The speaker

Michael Herzfeld is Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where has taught since 1991. The author of ten books — including The Poetics of Manhood (1985), Cultural Intimacy (1997), The Body Impolitic (2004), and Evicted from Eternity (2009) — and numerous articles and reviews, he has also produced two ethnographic films (Monti Moments [2007] and Roman Restaurant Rhythms [2011]). His honors include the J.I. Staley Prize and the Rivers Memorial Medal (both in 1994) and honorary doctorates from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2005), the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki (2011), and the University of Crete (2013), and an honorary professorship at Shandong University, Jinan (2013-18).

He is Senior Advisor to the Critical Heritage Studies Initiative of the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden). He has served as editor of American Ethnologist (1995-98) and is currently editor-at-large (responsible for “Polyglot Perspectives”) at Anthropological Quarterly. He is also a member of the editorial boards of several journals, including International Journal of Heritage Studies, Anthropology Today, and South East Asia Research. His most research in Greece, Italy, and Thailand has addressed, inter alia, the social and political impact of historic conservation and gentrification, the discourses and practices of crypto-colonialism, social poetics, the dynamics of nationalism and bureaucracy, and the ethnography of knowledge among artisans and intellectuals.


Please address all enquiries to: Ms Heleen van der Minne at

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4 thoughts on “Neo-colonialism in Greece, Iceland, Thailand

  1. Pingback: Greek elections, German and European Union interference | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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