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Thailand : ‘Rethinking the Nature and Culture Divide’, a conference by P. Descola at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

13 novembre 2017

On November 10th, 2017, the Institute of Research on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC) and the Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS) organized, together with the Embassy of France in Thailand, the Collège de France, the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University and the Siamese Association of Sociologists and Anthropologists, a conference entitled “Rethinking the Nature and Culture Divide”. The conference was held within the Chulalongkorn University in the presence of discussants from Thammasat University such as Thanes Wongyannawa (Faculty of Political Science) and Dr.Yukti Mukdawijitra, (Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology) and was closed by a ceremony hosted by the French Embassy.

This event marked the end of Professor Philippe Descola’s visit in Thailand, which had started on Saturday 4th with a treck in the ChiangMai mountains aiming at meeting the Karen community, and had continued on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th with a first workshop on "Nature and Culture in Southeast Asia" held within the ChiangMai University.

Notions such as "nature" or "culture" are the product of a particular historical process and express the specific distribution of ontological properties to beings in the world that the Moderns have devised. Other civilizations have adopted other systems of distribution, resulting in ontologies and principles of association between humans and non humans that differ widely from the one which emerged in Europe a few centuries ago. The challenge for the social sciences is to acknowledge this diversity, while retaining the ambition to explain it in non Eurocentric terms.

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Watch the Conference