Courtney Katherine Work

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

National Chengchi U.

Grant number

Gr. ERG-40

Approve Date

February 2, 2023

Project Title

Work, Courtney (National Chengchi U., Taiwan) "Intangible Heritage and Engaged Research at a Culture Frontier: Transitions to History at the Edge of a Degrading Forest"

Engaged research is at the frontier of social science methodologies, through which knowledge is co-created and the voices and visions of research participants guide data collection and analysis. We bring this method to another frontier, where after twenty years of intensive economic development the Indigenous Kuy and Khmer communities living in and around the Prey Lang Forest, Cambodia, are disenfranchised from their heritage, both tangible and intangible. This project is part of ongoing collaborations with Indigenous Kuy and Khmer members of the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) and seeks to establish community participatory management of Kuy heritage through engaged documentation of traditional practices and Prey Lang’s heritage sites, including ancient temples, trees, and rock formations: all of which are recognized sources of agentive non-human power. Collaborators want to foster the intergenerational transmission of culture, including knowledge about the region’s ancient history. Our research collective blends GIS mapping technologies, photographs, audio-video recordings, and text into ArcGIS ‘story maps’ (an easy to share multi-media online publication program) to document traditional practices, forest knowledge, and the powerful places of the forest. The people of Prey Lang want to share their heritage, their history, and their unique experiences of development and transformation.