Pine to discuss Lahu speakers, karaoke singers Feb. 16

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Judy Pine, linguistic anthropologist at Western Washington University, will present “Truly Lahu – Representing Authentic Identity in Karaoke Videos” from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Wilson Library Presentation Room on campus.

The free, public presentation will draw on fieldwork in Thailand and China to explore the way that Lahu speakers in the Greater Mekong Subregion present themselves as individuals who can be authentically Lahu and at the same time modern, challenging the idea that authenticity and modernity are diametrically opposed.

Professor Pine will use examples of material collected during three summers of fieldwork to briefly explore the concept of authenticity as approached from the perspective of linguistic anthropology.

Opportunities to view and perhaps sing along with Lahu language karaoke will be included!

Judy Pine is a linguistic anthropologist whose fieldwork among Lahu speakers in northern Thailand and southwest China began in the 1990s. She has done research on the topic of Lahu literacies and is now engaged in a project exploring Lahu language media as it is created, circulates and is consumed throughout the Lahu speaking world. Judy has taught in the Department of Anthropology at WWU since fall 2008. Funding for her research on Lahu language media was provided by the National Science Foundation.

Western’s Center for International Studies sponsors this lecture series so that Western faculty, staff, and students who have had significant international experiences can share the perspectives they have gained with the larger community.