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Cours-conférence « Semicolonial Power in Thailand and the Separation of Public/International and Private/Domestic Spaces »

par Peter Jackson, Australian National University, Professeur invité MSH


While Thailand was not colonised and remained politically independent throughout the eras of European and American imperialism, the society and its culture have nonetheless been deeply impacted by Western forms of power. In the 19th century, Western visitors to Siam, especially Christian missionaries, were trenchantly critical of Siamese religious and gender cultures as being “uncivilised” and “semi-barbarous”. These critiques deeply challenged Siam’s ruling elites, who responded by creating divides between public forms of religious and gender culture that conformed to Western notions of civilisation, one the one hand, and private forms of everyday life beyond the gaze of critical Western observers, on the other hand. The divide between a public/international “image” and a private/domestic “cultural reality” continues to structure Thai culture today. This reflects what anthropologist Michael Herzfeld describes as forms of “cultural intimacy” that have emerged in a hierarchically structured global order.

Peter A. Jackson PhD is Emeritus Professor of Thai history and cultural studies in the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific. He has written extensively on modern Thai cultural history, with special interests in religion, sexuality and critical approaches to Asian histories and cultures. Peter Jackson is a member of the editorial collective of Hong Kong University Press’s Queer Asia monograph series and his recent books include “The Ambiguous Allure of the West: Traces of the Colonial in Thailand” (with Rachel Harrison HKUP 2010), “Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media and Rights” (HKUP 2011), and “First Queer Voices from Thailand: Uncle Go’s Advice Columns for Gays, Lesbians and Kathoeys” (HKUP 2016). He is collaborating with Prof. Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière (Centre Asie du Sud-Est, CNRS-EHESS Paris) to establish a network of scholars interested in the resurgence of spirit possession rituals in mainland Southeast Asia, and he is currently writing a book on the political dimensions of new cults of wealth in Thailand. 

Jeudi 3 mai 2018 de 14h à 16h

Auditoire AY.2.112
Bâtiment A – Porte Y – 2e niveau – Local AY.2.112
Avenue F. Roosevelt 50
1050 Bruxelles

Entrée libre et gratuite, sans inscription

Titulaire du cours : Vanessa Frangville