Dr Holly High
+61 2 9351 6682
Other offices held: ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow
I study desire in everyday politics and economy. Currently, I am conducting an ARC-funded project looking into a “culture village” in the south of Laos. The aim is to track this policy from the village to the capital, Vientiane, as a real world example of how desire operates as decisions about scarce resources are made and contested. The theoretical framework combines psychoanalytic and Deleuzian concepts of desire with ethnographic theory. The aim is to produce a political ethnography of Laos and new conceptual tools for understanding politics and economy. In particular, I aim to examine how desire can be conceptualized and its potentially radical implications for political and economic theory.
I am interested in supervising anthropological research projects in the following areas:
- Economic anthropology
- Everyday politics
- Agrarian studies
- Anthropology of food
2011. “Poverty and merit mobile persons in Laos”. In Kathleen M. Adams and Kathleen A. Gillogly (eds). Everyday Life in Southeast Asia. Indiana University Press.
2010. “Laos 2009: Crisis and resource contestation.” Daljit Singh (ed). Southeast Asian Affairs 2010. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore.
2009. “‘Communal” sentiments: belonging and the puutaa cult of southern Laos.” In Tai Lands and Thailand: Community and state in Southeast Asia. Andrew Walker (ed). 84-95. NIAS Press, Asian Studies Association of Australia in association with University of Hawai’i Press: Honolulu.
2008. “Dreaming beyond Borders: The Thai/Lao borderlands and the mobility of the marginal.” On the Borders of State Power: Frontiers in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Martin Gainsborough (ed). 75-100. Routledge: London.
Scholarly Journal Articles
2012. “Re-reading the potlatch in a time of crisis: Debt and the distinctions that matter.” Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 20:4, 363-379.
2012. “Anthropology and Anarchy: Horror, romance or science fiction?” Critique of Anthropology. 32:2, 93-108.
2011. “Melancholia and Anthropology.” American Ethnologist 38:2, 217-233.
2010. “Ethnographic exposures: Motivations for Donations in the south of Laos (and beyond).” American Ethnologist. 37:2, 308-322.
2009. “The road to nowhere: poverty and policy in the south of Laos.” Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology 53, 75-88.
2009. “Rejoinder: Complicities and complexities: Provocations from the study of resettlement in Laos.” Critical Asian Studies 41:4, 615-620.
2008. “The implications of aspirations: reconsidering resettlement in Laos.” Critical Asian Studies 40:4, 531-550.
2008. “Violent landscape: Global explosions and Lao life-worlds.” Global Environment 1:1, 58-81.
2006. “Ritualising residency: Territory cults and a sense of place in southern Lao PDR.” The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. 7:3, 251-264.
2006. “Work together, act together, for the common good, solidarity! Village formation in southern Laos.” Sojourn 21:1, 22-45.
Edited Books and Special Issues
2012. “Debt: An enduring human passion”. A special issue of Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale. 20:4.
2012. “A Critical Anthropology of Anarchy”. A special issue of Critique of Anthropology 32:2.
2012. Review of “Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta.” By David Biggs, University of Washington Press: Seattle and London. For H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 2, 5.
2012. Review of “Debt: The first 5,000 years” by David Graeber, Melville Publishing House, New York. For Cambridge Anthropology. 30(1), 152-153.
2012. Review of “Tracks and Traces: Essays in memory of Andrew Turton” edited by Phillip Hirsch and Nicolas Tapp, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 43 (1), 208-209.
2011. Review of “Creating Laos: The making of a Lao space between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945.” NIAS Monographs 112, Nordic Institute of Asia Studies. Copenhagen NIAS Press, 2008. Journal of Siam Society 98, 279-280.
2005. Review of “Goddess on the Rise: Pilgrimage and Popular Religion in Vietnam.” Asian Studies Review. 29 (4), 438-439.
2005. Review of “The Lao: gender, power, and livelihood.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 36 (4).
2005. Review of “Laos and Ethnic Minority Cultures: promoting heritage.” Asian Studies Review 29 (1), 98-99.
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