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MEETINGS 2013-2019

450th  Meeting: “Wrestling with Notions about Our Neighbors: Thai-ness & the Thai”.

Tuesday, 08 October 2019.

A talk by Herbert Swanson

The Talk:

Drawing on Edward W. Said's notion of Orientalism, Herbert Swanson will share some thoughts on the related concepts of "Thai-ness" and "The Thai". How, precisely, do we define these ideas and why do we use them? What are the marks of Thai-ness? Who are the Thai? The speaker will explore the possibility of hidden, even nefarious implications to these two ideas and plans to argue that, in fact, they have no meaning outside of  themselves. They have nothing to do with the real world of 21st century Chiang Mai and Thailand, generally. Even so, they do have a certain utility—but not the ones those who talk about "the Thai" actually intend. Herbert Swanson's goal is to inspire some thoughtful discussion on how those of us who live here think about our neighbors.

The Speaker:

Herbert Swanson is the founding director of the Payap University Archives (1978-1984) and founding director of the Office of History, Church of Christ in Thailand (1988-2004). He has an M.A. from the University of Maryland (1987) and a Ph.D. from the Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne U. (2003). He is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a member of the Suwanduangrit Church steward of two websites: herbswanson.com (devoted to Thai church history) and orientalismstudies.com (devoted to the study of ideological Orientalism).

Want to read more? ....click "HERE" (PDF File for downloading or reading online - 8 pages).


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