Dr Holly High

ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow
Senior Lecturer

Member of Sydney Institute of Agriculture

Telephone +61 2 9351 6682

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Academia.edu Profile

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Biographical details

I am an anthropologist. I was trained at ANU, do fieldwork in Laos, and have held postdoctoral positions at Yale, Cambridge and Sydney. I use ethnographic methods and anthropological analysis to understand human experience. I have written about anthropological approaches to debt, power and desire; psychoanalytic theory and anthropology; Lao policy (including cultural, poverty, health and agricultural policies) in relation to lived experience in that country; everyday politics in Laos; emerging infectious disease as an intercultural zone; and religion in Laos. Currently, I am investigating transformations in pregnancy, birth and early childhood in Laos.

Research interests

I am interested in supervising anthropological research projects in the following areas:

  • Laos
  • Economic anthropology
  • Everyday politics
  • Agrarian studies
  • Anthropology of food

In the media

2015. Interview with Dr Holly High. Cheesman, N. Holly High, Fields of Desire: Poverty and Policy in Laos. NUS Press. Listen to the podcast here.

Selected grants

2018

  • Anthropology of Power: Fieldwork in Laos and related writing; High H; DVC Research/Brown Fellowships.
  • Ethnographic research methods (0cp) and ethnographic research methods (2cp); High H, Connor L; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

2015

  • Power and Accountability Network; Enfield N, Bednarek M, Dar-Nimrod I, Goggin G, High H, Hobbins P, Lambourne W, Mahboob A, Martin J, Piper N, West C; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/Faculty Incentive Funding.

2012

  • Desire and the political field: Decision-making and political moralities from culture village to Vientiane, Laos; High H; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).
  • Sovereignty, Development and Regional Implications of Capital-Intensive Hydropower Projects on the Salween River in Burma/Myanmar; Ferguson J, Ferguson J, High H; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • High, H. (2014). Fields of Desire: Poverty and Policy in Laos. Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • High, H. (2019). Terror and the territory cults: Pregnancy and power in Monsoon Asia. In Y. Musharbash and G. H. Presterudstuen (Eds.), Monster Anthropology: Ethnographic explorations of transforming social worlds through monsters. Sydney: Bloomsbury.
  • High, H. (2016). The only Buddhist in the Village. In Jeffrey Samuels, Justin Thomas McDaniel, Mark Michael Rowe (Eds.), Figures of Buddhist Modernity in Asia, (pp. 145-147). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • High, H. (2014). Miss Beer Lao (Phou Saw Bia Lao). In Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, Johan Lindquist (Eds.), Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, (pp. 95-97). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • High, H. (2013). Laos in 2012: In the name of democracy. In Daljit Singh (Eds.), Southeast Asian Affairs 2013, (pp. 137-152). Pasir Panjang, Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
  • High, H. (2011). Poverty and Merit: Mobile Persons in Laos. In Kathleen M. Adams, Kathleen A. Gillogly (Eds.), Everyday Life in Southeast Asia, (pp. 37-46). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • High, H. (2010). Laos: Crisis and Resource Contestation. In Daljit Singh (Eds.), Southeast Asian Affairs 2010, (pp. 153-164). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
  • High, H. (2009). Dreaming beyond borders: The Thai/Lao borderlands and the mobility of the marginal. In Martin Gainsborough (Eds.), On The Borders of State Power: Frontiers in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, (pp. 75-100). Abingdon and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). The Spirit of Community: Puta Belief and Communal Sentiments in Southern Laos. In Andrew Walker (Eds.), Tai Lands and Thailand: Community and State in Southeast Asia, (pp. 89-112). Denmark: NIAS Press.

Journals

  • High, H., Curran, J., Robinson, G. (2014). Electronic Records of the Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Database Analysis. Journal of Vietnamese Studies, 8(4), 86-124. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2013). Experimental Consensus: Negotiating with the Irrigating State in the South of Laos. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 491-508. [More Information]
  • High, H., Petit, P. (2013). Introduction: The study of the state in Laos. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 417-432. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2012). Anthropology and anarchy: Romance, horror or science fiction? Critique of Anthropology, 32(2), 93-108. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2012). Re-reading the potlatch in a time of crisis: Debt and the distinctions that matter. Social Anthropology, 20(4), 363-379. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2011). Melancholia and anthropology. American Ethnologist, 38(2), 217-233. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2010). Ethnographic exposures: Motivations for donations in the south of Laos (and beyond). American Ethnologist, 37(2), 308-322. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). Complicities and complexities: Provocations from the study of resettlement in Laos. Critical Asian Studies, 41(4), 615-620. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). The road to nowhere? Poverty and policy in the south of Laos. Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology, 53(Spring 2009), 75-88. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2008). La guerre segretta degli Stati Uniti d'America contro la natura. It paesaggio violent del Laos. I Frutti di Demetra: bollettino di storia e ambiente, 16, 37-48.
  • High, H. (2008). The implications of aspirations: reconsidering resettlement in Laos. Critical Asian Studies, 40(4), 531-550. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2008). Violent Landscape: Global Explosions and Lao Life-Worlds. Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences, 1(1), 58-81.
  • High, H. (2006). "Join Together, Work Together for the Common Good - Solidarity": Village Formation Processes in the Rural South of Laos. Sojourn, 21(1), 22-45. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2006). Ritualising Residency: Territory Cults and a Sense of Place in Southern Lao PDR. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 7(3), 251-263.

Report

  • High, H., Gujadhur, T., Lissoir, M., Chanthangone, K., Duckitt, G., Souvannalith, K. (2018). Final Report. Cultural inventory of Xieng Louang Cluster, Dakcheung District, Sekong Province.
  • High, H. (2018). Final Report: Investigation into cultural and economic change in Sekong Province, Lao PDR.
  • High, H., Duckitt, G., Souvannalith, K., Gujadhur, T. (2018). Survey of Cultural Heritage in 4 Villages of Xieng Louang Village Cluster, Dakcheung District, Sekong Province.
  • High, H., Cowlishaw, G., Missbach, A., Ramsay, G., Hoffstaedter, G., Lee, H. (2014). National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. A submission from the Australian Anthropological Society. Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission.

Reference Works

  • High, H. (2018). Potlatch. In Hilary Callan (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2018). Trade. In Hilary Callan (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell. [More Information]

2019

  • High, H. (2019). Terror and the territory cults: Pregnancy and power in Monsoon Asia. In Y. Musharbash and G. H. Presterudstuen (Eds.), Monster Anthropology: Ethnographic explorations of transforming social worlds through monsters. Sydney: Bloomsbury.

2018

  • High, H., Gujadhur, T., Lissoir, M., Chanthangone, K., Duckitt, G., Souvannalith, K. (2018). Final Report. Cultural inventory of Xieng Louang Cluster, Dakcheung District, Sekong Province.
  • High, H. (2018). Final Report: Investigation into cultural and economic change in Sekong Province, Lao PDR.
  • High, H. (2018). Potlatch. In Hilary Callan (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell. [More Information]
  • High, H., Duckitt, G., Souvannalith, K., Gujadhur, T. (2018). Survey of Cultural Heritage in 4 Villages of Xieng Louang Village Cluster, Dakcheung District, Sekong Province.
  • High, H. (2018). Trade. In Hilary Callan (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley Blackwell. [More Information]

2016

  • High, H. (2016). The only Buddhist in the Village. In Jeffrey Samuels, Justin Thomas McDaniel, Mark Michael Rowe (Eds.), Figures of Buddhist Modernity in Asia, (pp. 145-147). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

2014

  • High, H., Curran, J., Robinson, G. (2014). Electronic Records of the Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Database Analysis. Journal of Vietnamese Studies, 8(4), 86-124. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2014). Fields of Desire: Poverty and Policy in Laos. Singapore: NUS (National University of Singapore) Press. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2014). Miss Beer Lao (Phou Saw Bia Lao). In Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, Johan Lindquist (Eds.), Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, (pp. 95-97). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • High, H., Cowlishaw, G., Missbach, A., Ramsay, G., Hoffstaedter, G., Lee, H. (2014). National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. A submission from the Australian Anthropological Society. Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission.

2013

  • High, H. (2013). Experimental Consensus: Negotiating with the Irrigating State in the South of Laos. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 491-508. [More Information]
  • High, H., Petit, P. (2013). Introduction: The study of the state in Laos. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 417-432. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2013). Laos in 2012: In the name of democracy. In Daljit Singh (Eds.), Southeast Asian Affairs 2013, (pp. 137-152). Pasir Panjang, Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).

2012

  • High, H. (2012). Anthropology and anarchy: Romance, horror or science fiction? Critique of Anthropology, 32(2), 93-108. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2012). Re-reading the potlatch in a time of crisis: Debt and the distinctions that matter. Social Anthropology, 20(4), 363-379. [More Information]

2011

  • High, H. (2011). Melancholia and anthropology. American Ethnologist, 38(2), 217-233. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2011). Poverty and Merit: Mobile Persons in Laos. In Kathleen M. Adams, Kathleen A. Gillogly (Eds.), Everyday Life in Southeast Asia, (pp. 37-46). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2010

  • High, H. (2010). Ethnographic exposures: Motivations for donations in the south of Laos (and beyond). American Ethnologist, 37(2), 308-322. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2010). Laos: Crisis and Resource Contestation. In Daljit Singh (Eds.), Southeast Asian Affairs 2010, (pp. 153-164). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).

2009

  • High, H. (2009). Complicities and complexities: Provocations from the study of resettlement in Laos. Critical Asian Studies, 41(4), 615-620. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). Dreaming beyond borders: The Thai/Lao borderlands and the mobility of the marginal. In Martin Gainsborough (Eds.), On The Borders of State Power: Frontiers in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, (pp. 75-100). Abingdon and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). The road to nowhere? Poverty and policy in the south of Laos. Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology, 53(Spring 2009), 75-88. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2009). The Spirit of Community: Puta Belief and Communal Sentiments in Southern Laos. In Andrew Walker (Eds.), Tai Lands and Thailand: Community and State in Southeast Asia, (pp. 89-112). Denmark: NIAS Press.

2008

  • High, H. (2008). La guerre segretta degli Stati Uniti d'America contro la natura. It paesaggio violent del Laos. I Frutti di Demetra: bollettino di storia e ambiente, 16, 37-48.
  • High, H. (2008). The implications of aspirations: reconsidering resettlement in Laos. Critical Asian Studies, 40(4), 531-550. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2008). Violent Landscape: Global Explosions and Lao Life-Worlds. Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences, 1(1), 58-81.

2006

  • High, H. (2006). "Join Together, Work Together for the Common Good - Solidarity": Village Formation Processes in the Rural South of Laos. Sojourn, 21(1), 22-45. [More Information]
  • High, H. (2006). Ritualising Residency: Territory Cults and a Sense of Place in Southern Lao PDR. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 7(3), 251-263.

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