Dr. Fabian Graham, 2014-2018
Fabian Graham was a Research Fellow in the “Temples, Rituals, and the Transformation of Transnational Networks” research project headed by Peter van der Veer. Having completed two years of fieldwork in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan on spirit mediumship, rituals and temple culture, he has been working on writing up his research data into a book. Previously, Fabian studied Taiwan studies, social anthropological analysis, and social anthropology in Taipei, Cambridge, and SOAS in London. His doctoral dissertation compared the folk Taoist landscapes of Taiwan and Singapore with the aim of locating historical and socio-political explanations for the recent evolution of difference between the two religious cultures. Working closely with spirit mediums and their devotees, and adopting a participatory approach to fieldwork, his analysis encompassed temple-based ritual and material culture, spirit mediumship and trance states, inter-temple organization and expanding temple networks, and the social factors that have influenced the development of these religious elements in each location. His research interests include the anthropology of Chinese religion, folk and orthodox Taoism, tang-ki spirit mediumship, temple ritual and material culture, the invention and reinterpretation of tradition, ethnographic approaches to the study of religious phenomena, and evolving forms of new syncretic practices in Southeast Asia. In December 2018, he joined the Religion and Globalization cluster at the University of Singapore as a Research Fellow.
- Chinese spirit-medium cults in Southeast Asia (completed)