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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Gustaaf Houtman

BA, PhD

Overview

Gustaaf Houtman
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Senior Teaching Fellow

Name:
Dr Gustaaf Houtman
Email address:
Address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Building:
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
590
Office Hours:
Thursdays 3.30-5pm
Website:
https://sites.google.com/site/ghoutman/home

Biography

Anthropology, Buddhism, Burma, South East Asia, media and anthropology.

Affiliations

  • Member Association of Social Anthropologists
  • Member European Association of Social Anthropologists
  • Member American Anthropological Association
  • Burma Studies Foundation
  • Founding member, Network of Concerned Anthropologists

Research

Meditation, biography, Buddhist practice, anthropology and media.  My fieldwork in the early 80s grappled with the popularization of vipassana contemplation since the mid-19th century in Burma for a PhD in anthropology with several dozen traditions surveyed, each with their own biographical, historical and literary trajectories, many of which have remained largely unstudied. Since the late 90s I have focused on soteriological liberation discourses associated with vipassana (insight contemplation) and samatha (concentration meditation) deployed by national leaders, including rhetoric (by Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi and others) aiming for release from (colonial and military) confinement, imprisonment and occupation. I have held visiting professorships at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, University of Muenster, University of Gothenburg and University of British Columbia.

Expertise

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Experience

Teaching experience: taught at School of Oriental and African Studies, Durham University, London Contemporary Dance School, Goldsmiths College, University of Muenster, University of British Columbia (Vancouver)

Available for
Regional Expertise
  • South East Asia
Country Expertise
Languages
  • Burmese/Myanmar
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Publications