- Code ASIA2076
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
While Thailand is often marketed to international tourists as a peaceful, pleasurable holiday destination, the massive political upheavals of recent years have proven to be a shocking counter-narrative to the touristic image of the serene, devoutly Buddhist kingdom. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will examine the history, culture, and politics of Siam/Thailand, in both national and regional perspective.
Some of the important historical and anthropological tropes covered in the content of the course will be:
- Siam has the unique status of never having been a colony of a European colonial power. How did this occur historically, and what have been the repercussions of this?
- What is the role of Buddhism in Thai society? Conversely, how do non-Buddhist practices and other organized religions fit into the public and political arena?
- What was Thailand’s role during the Cold War? To what extent are the current security/refugee issues dominating the Thai-Burma border a result of ongoing militarism in the region?
- How has Thailand’s ethnic and gender pluralism shaped popular discourse and state policies? In what way are these social issues universal or particular to this context?
- How can we understand popular culture in Thailand as embedded in local cultural practices of production and reception, or as part of a global trend?
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Students will have a nuanced, critical understanding of historical and social processes in Thailand. Essay assignments will hone their expository and analytical skills, and a guided research project will sharpen their library research skills, as well as their ability to formulate effective research questions.
Essay Assignment 1 – 1,500 words 25%
Essay Assignment 2 – 1,500 words 25%
Final independent research project – 3,000 words 30%
Attendance/Participation 20%: The 20% valuation for attendance/participation in addition to showing up and participating in tutorials also includes two student-led presentations and critical summaries of the assigned readings.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Thongchai Winichakul, Siam Mapped.
Pasuk and Baker, A History of Thailand.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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