Past Events

Researching Marriage in Penang

About the Talk

This talk will focus on themes from Professor Carsten’s current research on experiences of marriage in Penang. It will also include reflections on her earlier work in a Malay village in the 1980s, and research on the interface between medical and popular understandings of blood carried out in hospital clinical pathology labs and blood donation sites in Penang since 2006. The current project on marriage has involved interviewing middle-class, urban Penangites of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages about their own experiences of marriage as well as those of their parents, grandparents and other family members. The work has included going to wedding shops, talking to wedding planners, attending some weddings, and searching out photographs and objects connected to marriage. The narratives, activities and objects reflect the multiculturalism of Penang as well as some of the changes marriage has undergone over recent decades.

Date: 30 May 2022 (Monday)
Time: 8 pm – 10 pm (Doors open at 7.30 pm)
Venue: Penang Institute, 10 – 12 Brown Road, 10350 George Town, Penang
Speaker: Janet Carsten, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Moderator: Gareth Richards, Gerakbudaya Penang
Admission: FREE
Note: The event will also be streamed LIVE on Penang Institute’s Facebook page (@Penanginstitute) & YouTube channel (Penang Institute).

Registration Link:

About the Speaker

Janet Carsten is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the anthropology of kinship with particular reference to Malaysia and Britain; it encompasses domestic relations, gender, the house, adoption reunions, and kinship and memory. She has worked on ideas about bodily substance, and the interface between popular and medical ideas about blood in Malaysia and Britain. Her books include The Heat of the Hearth: The Process of Kinship in a Malay Fishing Community (1997), After Kinship (2004), and Blood Work: Life and Laboratories in Penang (2019). Janet Carsten is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She is currently researching contemporary transformations of marriage, including a project in Penang, funded by the European Research Council.

Contact (Penang Institute): 04-2283306 (extension 101)