Kenneth Dean, Raffles Professor of Humanities and Head of the Chinese Studies Department at the National University of Singaport, and now a Visiting Scholar in the Anthropology Department at UVA, will speak on "The Rise of the Underworld Deities in Singapore: Transformation of Religious Space" on Tuesday, April 3, at 5pm in Rouss 410. His presentation is part of the UVA East Asia Center's Nelson Lectures on Southeast Asia.
His talk will encompass the rapid transformation of religious space over the past fifty years in Singapore and the key role of spirit mediums in ritual change and community resilience. He will also discuss changes to the Chinese temple networks across Southeast Asia, and introduce the Singapore Historical GIS research project, which traces the movements of thousands of temples, spirit medium altars, churches, mosques, and temples across the island.
Prof. Dean is the Research Cluster leader for Religion and Globilisation at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and Professor Emeritus at McGill University. He compiled a bilingual edituion of Chinese Epigraphy in Singapore: 1819-1911 (Singapore: NUS Press, 2017), and directed Bored in Heaven: A Film About Ritual Sensation, a documentary on ritual celebrations around Chinese New Year in Putian, Fujian, China. He is the author of several books on Daoism and Chinese popular religion.