Live People as Anthropological Exhibits

29 Jan

Today we’ve seen The Couple in the Cage, and the BBC is reporting on Burmese women functioning as a tourist attraction in Thailand:

For years the prospect of visiting one of three “long-necked” Kayan villages in this remote corner of north-western Thailand, close to the Burmese border, has been a major lure for foreign tourists.

Read the whole story. In what ways is this an example of the “anthropological gaze” our video criticizes?


This Thursday we finish seeing Burden of Dreams. Tuesday is Mardi Gras Day, and the following Thursday we discuss the two films, together with Torgovnick, chapters 2 and 7. That day a 250 word journal entry is due, relating any point in Torgovnick to any aspect of either film – or both.

Write on something that strikes you, and to which you would like to draw our attention. A possible example: headless people, brain and brawn, head and body. The Couple in the Cage discusses circus exhibits of acephalics or “pinheads,” alongside exotic animals, “primitive” people, and so on. There is a good discussion of headless people as metaphor in Torgovnick, chapter 7. How can we develop this? What is the idea of headlessness connected to?

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2008 in News, Plans


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: