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Mark Hobart Inaugural Lecture: A Very Peculiar Practice

May 18, 2010

Professor Mark Hobart

Date: 26 May 2010Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 26 May 2010Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Inaugural Lecture

Series: SOAS Inaugural Lecture Series

The lecture will illustrate with images and video two apparently quite different instances from the Indonesian archipelago. The first is how the island of Bali, notorious for its war-like and violent population, came to be re-imagined as both an erotic and artistic paradise on earth, exemplified by the brand image of beautiful female dancers. The second is the remarkable – at times astonishing – cultural, religious and political argument in which Indonesians engage one another, most notably through television. The failure to recognize the central role of the mass media in contemporary societies is due in no small part to some very peculiar practices of academia itself. (The title is taken from Andrew Davies’s 1986 BBC comedy series about the workings of a university medical practice:

Mark Hobart joined the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS in 1972 before moving to become a Director of the Centre for Media & Film Studies in 2004.

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