Exploration and Irony in Studies of Siam over Forty Years

Exploration and Irony in Studies of Siam over Forty Years


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Benedict R. O'G. Anderson is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the politics and cultures of Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. His early studies of Indonesia led to the publication of Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, a book that profoundly changed the way people understand modern states. Banned from returning to Indonesia after his interpretation of the 1965 coup was published, Anderson shifted his attention to Thailand. This collection of essays gathers in one book Anderson's iconoclastic analyses of Siam (Thailand), its political institutions and bloody upheavals, its literature, authors, and contemporary cinema. The volume begins with the challenging essay "Studies of the Thai State: The State of Thai Studies," followed by chapters that map shifts of power between the Left and Right in Thailand, the role of the monarchy, and the significance of the military. The final essays track Anderson's own evolution as a student of Siam and his growing, more playful interest in billboards, ephemera, and film. Together, these works demonstrate an extraordinary scholar's commitment to exploring Thailand.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780877277637
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 07/15/2014
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Benedict R. O'G. Anderson is the Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government, and Asian Studies at Cornell University. His works include Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Violence and the State in Suharto's Indonesia, and The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World.

Tamara Loos is Associate Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at Cornell University. She is the author of Subject Siam: Family, Law, and Colonial Modernity in Thailand and Bones around My Neck: The Life and Exile of a Prince Provocateur, both from Cornell.

Table of Contents

Author's Preface vii

Life Commitments: Ben Anderson's Scholarship on Thailand Tamara Loos 1

Studies of the Thai State: The State of Thai Studies 15

Withdrawal Symptoms: Social and Cultural Aspects of the October 6 Coup 47

Introduction to In the Mirror 77

Murder and Progress in Modern Siam 101

Radicalism after Communism in Thailand and Indonesia 117

Two Unsendable Letters 129

The Strange Story of a Strange Beast: Receptions in Thailand of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Sat pralaat 131

Billboards, Statues, T-shirts: Revolving Ironies 147

Mundane History / Jao nok krajok 157

What People are Saying About This

Thongchai Winichakul

"Benedict R. O'G. Anderson often sees a Thailand that others do not. He makes observations and asks questions that are unexpected, unsettling, and disturbing to those of us who study Thailand. His writings in this book not only are about Thai politics and society since the 1960s to the present day, they also exemplify the art of questioning and of introducing puzzlements that often get into my head and refuse to leave, causing me headaches for years."

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