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Stengs, Irene

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Irene Stengs, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1959. Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Senior Research Fellow of Anthropology of the Netherlands at the Meertens Institute.

Fellow (1 September 2013 - 31 January 2014)

GLOBAL SPECTACLES, LOCAL PERFORMANCES. THE CONSTRUCTION OF LOCAL IDENTITIES IN LIMBURG THROUGH LANGUAGECULTURAL PRACTICES

Research Question

This project aims to investigate how people living in ‘peripheral regions’ (in this case the Dutch province of Limburg) are caught up in a dynamic of centre-periphery tensions, and how they fashion and experience local identities through languagecultural practices.

Project Description

This project aims at re-conceptualizing national as well as local centre-periphery dynamics by posing the question how the local relates to the global, taking popular culture as an entry into the study of how the local and the global interact and affect local-local/local-national power relations and hierarchies. To contribute to an understanding of the interplay between globalization and the cultural politics of local identity formation, this project will take as its case study ‘André Rieu popular culture’. André Rieu is both a musician of world fame, and an inhabitant of Maastricht (the capital and cultural centre of Limburg). The research will explore how ‘André Rieu’ intersects with the rituals of everyday life in Limburg and investigate the iconic relationship between ‘André Rieu’ and Limburgian identity.

Selected Publications

1) Stengs, I.L. (2009) Worshipping the Great Moderniser. King Chulalongkorn, Patron Saint of the Thai Middle Class. Singapore/Seattle : NUS Press/University of Washington Press.

2) Stengs, I.L. (2012) (edt.) Nieuw in Nederland. Feesten en rituelen in verandering. Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

3) Stengs, I.L. (2009) 'Death and Disposal of the People's Singer. The body and bodily practices in commemorative ritual'. In: Mortality: 14 (2), 102-118.

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