Mantovan and Ambos: Two Young European Scholars researching Sri Lankan Issues

 Mantovan  Ambos

The Newsletter of the International Institute of Asian Studies at Leiden reveals the interests of two recent Fellows at IIAS who have been delving into Sri Lankan issues in recent times. Herewith some summaries

Giacomo Mantovan is of Italian lineage:

“My research in social anthropology, which focuses on individuals and their relations with their social milieu, and in particular with state authorities, aims to grasp how certain critical times, such as civil war, exile, and illness, become moments of construction of subjectivity and memory.”

“I will use the IIAS fellowship to prepare my doctoral thesis for publication. My dissertation focuses on Sri Lankan Tamils who came to France in order to escape the long-running civil war in Sri Lanka (1983-2009), which ended with the military destruction of the main Tamil rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The civil war caused widespread emigration in particular towards Europe, Canada and India. This work is based on ethnographic research conducted in the Tamil community of Paris between 2008 and 2013 for my dissertation, and then prolonged in 2016 for my post-doctoral research. While most of the data for my dissertation concerns the life histories of former LTTE fighters and the study of asylum policies, my present research seeks to analyse the politics of remembering of the nationalist associations in France, and their relations with the other sites of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.”

The construction of subjectivity and the construction of memory, which are intrinsically related, will be the subject of my book. This project seeks to investigate the ways in which the emergence and the construction of the political subject and of individual and collective memory are influenced by the LTTE, the nationalist associations, demobilisation and exile, as well as by French immigration policies and by the social uses of violence in different contexts. Furthermore, I am currently working on how the defeat of the LTTE is shaping both the collective and individual histories.

The book will be divided into two parts. The first focuses on life histories, in particular those of the former LTTE fighters. I will analyse why they chose to engage in a nationalist organisation, how they construct their identities, and how the farewell to arms and exile change their public life and their intimacy. The second part broadens the analysis to the public sphere of memory: that of the Tamil nationalist associations and the French authorities. As regards the first, I will examine how they remember the deaths, how they reconstruct Tamil history, and what their political project is for the future. Concerning the second, I will focus on the production and the examination of asylum requests.

Eva Ambos of German lineage and working as a Research Fellow in the Research Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” of the Department of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg.

Her present research topic is The Heritagization of the (Post)War in Sri Lanka” and her teaching experience is as follows ….. in reverse order:

10/13 – 02/14: “Introduction to Medical Anthropology”; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/13 – 07/13: (in collaboration with Pia Hollenbach, University of Zürich) “Sri Lanka im Kontext von Globalisierung” (“Sri Lanka in the Context of Globalization”); BA course, Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/13 – 07/13: “Healing Systems of South Asia”; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/12 – 02/13: “Introduction to Medical Anthropology”; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/2012 – 07/2012: “Healing Systems of South Asia”; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/2011 – 02/2012: „From Rituals to Hospitals (and Back): An Introduction to Medical Anthropology“; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/2011 – 02/2012: “Approaching Medical Anthropology: Fieldwork and Methodology Reconsidered”; MA course, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/2011 – 02/2012: Conductor Working Group “Medical Anthropology”; South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/2011 – 07/2011: “Scrutinizing the Nature/Culture Dichotomy – Approaches in Social Anthropology and Science Studies” (in collaboration with Sandra Bärnreuther); Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

10/2010 – 02/2011: “Medical Anthropology of South Asia in the Context of Modernity, Globalization and Transculturality”; Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/2010 – 07/2010: “Vom ‘Devil Dance’ zum Kulturerbe: Ritual und Performanz am Beispiel Sri Lankas” (“From ‘Devil dance’ to Cultural Heritage: Ritual and Performance in Sri Lanka”); Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

04/2009 – 07/2009: “Medizinethnologie und Moderne” (“Medical Anthropology and Modernity”); University of Tübingen, Germany

10/2008 – 02/2009: “Einführung in die Medizinethnologie II” (“Introduction to Medical Anthropology II”); University of Tübingen, Germany

10/2008 – 02/2009:
“Ethnography of Sri Lanka” (together with Prof. William S. Sax); Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under cultural transmission, education, governance, historical interpretation, island economy, life stories, LTTE, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, rehabilitation, religiosity, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

One response to “Mantovan and Ambos: Two Young European Scholars researching Sri Lankan Issues

  1. Dickie Bird.

    Mantovan appears to be scratching the surface only for his dissertation and is one sided.
    Unimpressed. Its going to be half baked.

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