Samuel K. Parker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor ; Graduate Faculty
Parker, Samuel

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: GWP 412
Phone: 253-692-4464
Email: skparker@u.washington.edu
Schedule: Autumn 2013 office hours: Mondays-Wednesdays, 3:00-4:00 p.m., and by appointment.

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Art History, Asian Studies, University of Chicago, 1989.
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1983.
  • M.A., Art History, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1981.
  • B.A., Psychology and Art, University of Hawaii, 1976.

Biography

I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in India and Bali where my primary area of focus has been on the contemporary practices of Hindu temple construction and use, both for locals and visitors, in traditional religious functions as well as cultural tourism. My research explores the ways that diverse contexts of production and use condition the validity of interpretations that can be applied to specific configurations of Hindu visual culture. I am currently working on the contemporary framing of ancient Hindu monuments by the institutions of cultural tourism in India.

I teach undergraduate courses on the interdisciplinary cultural studies of Asia (India, China, Japan) and the Pacific (Indonesia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia). In addition I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on values, evidence, the history and contemporary uses of the culture concept, semiotics, and the social construction of realities and meanings through visual languages and material culture.

Research

My primary area of focus has been on the contemporary practices of Hindu temple construction and use, both for locals and visitors, traditional religious functions as well as cultural tourism. My research centers on the ways that diverse contexts of production and use condition the validity of interpretations that can be applied to specific configurations of Hindu visual culture. I am currently working on the contemporary framing of ancient Hindu monuments by the institutions of cultural tourism in India.

Teaching

I teach undergraduate courses on the interdisciplinary cultural studies of Asia (India, China, Japan) and the Pacific (Indonesia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia). In addition I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on values, evidence, the history and contemporary uses of the culture concept, semiotics, and the social construction of realities and meanings through visual languages and material culture.

Selected Publications

  • Lived Cosmologies and Objectified Commodities: Reinventing the Traditional Art of India in a World of Cultural Tourism. Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Lived Cosmologies and Objectified Commodities: Reinventing the Traditional Art of India in a World of Cultural Tourism. Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 29 No 1, 2011.
  • Ritual as a Mode of Production: Ethnoarchaeology and Creative Practice in Hindu Temple Arts. South Asian Studies. Vol. 26. No. 1, March 2010.
  • Are there "decorative arts" in Asia? Reading Asian Art and Artifacts: Windows to Asia on College Campuses, P. Neitupski and J. O'Mara (eds). Lanham Maryland:Roman Littlefield-Lehigh University Press, 2011.
  • New Lives for Asian Images. Carlisle, PA.: Dickinson College and the Trout Gallery, 2008 (with introduction by David Strand).
  • What is a Trade? Donald Fels and Signboard Painters of Southern India. Tacoma, WA: Tacoma Art Museum, 2008 (with introduction, catalog notes and questions by Greg Bell, Don Fels and Rock Hushka).
  • The Renovation, Disposal and Conservation of Hindu Temples and Images: The Institutionalization of Creativity in South Indian and American Art Worlds. Museum Anthropology Review. Vol 3. No. 2. Fall, 2009.
  • Text and Practice in South Asian Art: An Ethnographic Perspective. Artibus Asiae, vol 63, no. 1, 2003.
  • Will the Real Undagi Please Stand Up? The Social Location of Balinese Architectural Knowledge. Co-authored with Professor Graeme MacRae, Massey University, Auckland New Zealand. Bijdragen, vol 158, no 2, 2002.
  • Unfinished Work at Mamallapuram, or, What is an Indian Art Object Artibus Asiae, vol. 61, no.1 in July/August, 2001.
  • The Revenge of Practical Reason? A Review Essay on Gananath Obeyesekeres The Apotheosis of Captain Cook Oceania, 64, 1995.

Affiliations

  • American Council for Southern Asian Art, Association for Asian Studies, American Anthropological Association

Professional Service

  • I am the secretary of a local sangat that serves practitioners of Surat Shabd Yoga in the South Puget Sound.

Honors and Awards

  • 2008 awarded an invitation (plus travel and stipend) to deliver the Wheedon Lecture at the University of Virginia.
  • 2007 UW T Founders Endowment award supporting sabbatical research in India.
  • 2005 Henry Luce Foundation AsiaNetwork Consultancy. Through my participation in this grant I researched and catalogued the Asian Art collection in the Trout Gallery, Dickinson College.
  • 1999 UW T Founders Endowment award for research in Bali.