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One Divides into Two: Philosophical Archeology of Modern Chinese Political Thought


【The 20th Annual International Conference of Cultural Studies Association Speech Series 2】Thongchai Winichakul

2019-03-10 - 2019-03-11

Speaker :  Thongchai Winichakul
Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, IDE-JETRO

Born and growing up in Bangkok, currently Emeritus Professor of History at University of Wisconsin, and Chief Senior Researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO) in Japan. Research Interests: Cultural and intellectual history of Southeast Asia, especially Siam’s transformation under colonial modernity and the encounters between Southeast Asian societies and the West (the nineteenth to early twentieth century), and also modern Thai cultural politics and politics of memory. Published: Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation.

Topic:Moments of Silence: the Unforgetting of the October 6 Massacre in Bangkok
Venue:HC Building III Room105, NCTU
*English speech, Mandarin simultaneous translation provided.
Speech Abstract
The massacre at on October 6, 1976 in Bangkok remains a mystery. It is one of the most sensitive issues for public discourse among Thai people. Silence is not forgetting, however. It is the “unforgetting” -- the inability for memory to find voices or articulation, due to suppression, shame, guilt, and other reasons including the desire to move on and the concern for the unimaginable repercussions that might have happened if the truth is widely revealed.  Even with the political changes during the decades afterward, the ambivalence persists for different reasons. This talk is the story of those different moments of silence. For the Rest to rise, the unforgetting like the one of the 1976 massacre in Bangkok must be resolved.

Topic:Confession to Lese Majesty: a lens into the peculiar rule of law in Thailand
Venue:HC Building II Room106A, NCTU
*English speech, Mandarin simultaneous translation provided.
Speech Abstract
During the political crisis in Thailand since the coup in 2006, the number of people who were charged for lese majesty has skyrocketed from less than ten to several dozens per year. Moreover, most of them confessed.  This unprecedented phenomenon intensified even further after another coup in 2014. Is this phenomenon exceptional due to special situations after the coups? In what ways does it reflect the larger conditions of the rule of law in Thailand? The normative rule of law was developed in the Euro-American historical contexts. In Thailand, perhaps the rest of the world too, the modern rule of law was developed under the colonial, semi-colonial and post-colonial conditions with strong legacies of the pre-modern legal cultures. How does the confession to lese majesty a lens into the peculiar rule of law in Thailand?


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