The objective of this seminar is to study the relations between natures and societies in Southeast Asia in the light of the work of the French anthropologist Philippe Descola. The expressions Beyond nature and culture1 refers to the title of his master piece which is a deconstruction of the idea of a universal nature. It means that we will attempt thought this seminar :
- To transcend the Western dualism that opposes nature and society as two different and separate realms of beings.
- To include in our study the relation between human and non-humans – gods, spirits, plants, animals, objects.
- To explore the diversity of natures in Southeast Asia.
In this first part, I will present Philippe Descola and the big lines of the his thought.
In the second part, I will develop through examples how his theoretical propositions could be adapted to Southeast Asian ethnographic materials.
- Philippe Descola. Beyond Nature and Culture, Translated by Janet Lloyd Foreword by Marshall Sahlins, University of Chicago Press,  2013, 488 pages [↩]