- This event has passed.
CSEAS Friday Forum
September 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
“Of Rice and Roses: Preliminary Thoughts on Critical Pleasure and the Philosophy of Sabai”
Dr. Boreth Ly
Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Art History and Visual Culture
University of California- Santa Cruz
Friday, September 16, 2022
206 Ingraham Hall
Colonial regimes in Southeast Asia considered natives to be lazy and incapable of making progress, and thus separate from the industrial world. In recent decades, global capital and shifts in political regimes in Southeast Asia have engendered massive changes in local lifestyles within nations, have redefined structures of labor, and have resulted in mass migrations. With a focus on Cambodia and its diaspora, this talk argues for the need of critical pleasure or sabai in the aftermath of genocide and the current global pandemic and ongoing climate crisis. Further, it seeks to reassess how ideas of progress, civilization, and time are expressed and negotiated in everyday life. Last, the talk hopes to engage the audience with the following questions: Can one define a local aesthetic of sabai? How is sabai embodied and pictured? How might the traditional local Southeast Asian understanding of sabai contribute to the discourse on and practice of critical pleasure?
Sponsored by Center for Southeast Asian Studies