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Stones Standing: Archaeology, Colonialism, and Ecotourism in Northern Laos is an inquiry into the relationships between archaeology, colonialism and ecotourism at the famous standing stones of Hintang, Laos. It investigates the conditions under which archaeological knowledge has been produced, appropriated, contested, commodified, and consumed by colonialism from the 1930s until today and what it shows about the power dynamics of heritage and ecotourism.
Stones Standing: Archaeology, Colonialism, and Ecotourism in Northern Laos explores how the discourses of colonialism and ecotourism affect tourists, archaeologists, heritage managers, and the local community is written as a set of overlapping creative essays, each giving an overlapping perspective on Hintang is a multidisciplinary research project based on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, interviews with community members, biography, material culture studies, and text analysis.
Anna Källén is currently working on a research project about the Swedish archaeologist Olov R.T. Janse, and is Research Officer for a Faculty Research School for Studies in Cultural History at Stockholm University, Sweden. She is author of And Through Flows the River: Archaeology and the Pasts of Lao Pako and Lao Pako: A Late Prehistoric Site on the Nam Ngum River in Laos. Trained in archaeology, Kallen's research extends to heritage studies, anthropology, and history of ideas. Her long-term research has been in mainland Southeast Asia (Laos in particular) and in postcolonial theory. The inspiration from postcolonial theory gives her research a particular focus on the production and consumption of archaeological heritage (as sites, texts, and imagery) in relation to hegemonic structures of inequality in contemporary societies.