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: UBLaw

Michael Herzfeld on Anthropology, Bureaucracy and Gentrification in Rome and Bangkok

By University at Buffalo Law School


Welcome to UBLaw Conversations, a production of University at Buffalo Law School and the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy. Today is April 24, 2009, and I'm James Milles.

Our guest today is Dr. Michael Herzfeld, Professor of Anthropology and Curator of European Ethnology in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Professor Herzfeld specializes in the ethnography of Europe (especially Greece and Italy) and of Thailand. Among his ten books are The Body Impolitic: Artisans and Artifice in the Global Hierarchy of Value (2004), Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State (rev. ed., 2005), and Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome (2009). Dr. Herzfeld talks here about his study of bureaucracy, gentrification, and law in Rome and Bangkok. He is interviewed here today by Dr. Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, Associate Professor at UB Law School, and Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology.

Housing Rights and Historical Wrongs: Gentrification and Neoliberalism, from the Eternal City to the City of Angels
The sudden growth of interest in ?heritage? has all too often resulted in a sudden appreciation of real estate values in places deemed to be of historical interest and a concomitant disregard for the interests of those who live in such spaces. Using the examples of Rome and Bangkok, Professor Herzfeld addressed the conflict among such legal rights as eminent domain, ?free market? values, and constitutional and international agreements regarding the right to housing, as well as the rights of state and other authorities to decide what is historically significant and the strategies that local actors adopt to rebut such claims and establish their own moral claims.

Thank you for joining us today. The theme music is "Brazilian Nights" by Jack Jezzro, and is available through the Podsafe Music Network. Please join us again next time for another conversation from University at Buffalo Law School.

Playing time: 36:47

Full post as published by UBLaw on April 24, 2009 (boomark / email).

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