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Senior Research Seminar: Dr Judith Bovensiepen (University of Kent)

When Nov 15, 2019
from 04:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Edmund Leach Seminar Room, Dept of Social Anthropology, Free School Lane
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Dr Judith Bovensiepen (University of Kent)

Fiat infrastructure: Anticipation as transformative action in Timor-Leste’s oil boom

Focussing on different media of public persuasion, this paper analyses the interconnections between speech and infrastructure in a large oil development project in Timor-Leste. It examines how politicians and oil company employees use narrative strategies conventionally reserved to ritual authorities as a means of persuading Timorese citizens to embrace their particular vision of the future based on an assumed abundance of oil and gas. Just like specific forms of ritual speech, infrastructure is aimed at bringing about a reality it assumes. Yet the modes of transformation initiated by these actions are not the same and are shaped by the media of communication employed.

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