An interdisciplinary collection that seeks to explore Thai literature in the wider context of the global perspectives, themes and debates within the study of World Literature. In the wake of recent unrest in the country, it offers a rare insight into the unique cultural, political and historical context of Thailand.
Disturbing Conventions draws the study of Thai literature out of the relative isolation that has to date impeded its participation in the wider field of comparative and world literature. Predominantly penned by Thai academics, the collection decentres Thai literary studies in order to move beyond the traditionalist, conservative concerns of the academy which have, until relatively recently, foreclosed the use of “Western” theory in the study of Thai literature. The book introduces new frames of analysis to the study of Thai literature to bring it into dialogue with debates in wider fields and the world beyond its national borders. As a result, Disturbing Conventions offers an essential contribution to the comparative study of world literature and Asian cultural studies.
Foreword: Decentering Siam/Thailand in Southeast Asia and the World - Thongchai Winichakul (University of Wisconsin–Madison)/ Introduction: Theoretical F(r)ictions: Cultures of Criticism, Modes of Colonialism and Thai Literary Studies - Rachel V. Harrison/ Section I: Implication, Influence and the Colonial West/ 1. The Making of the Thai Canon: Semicoloniality, Print Capitalism, and the Reconfiguration of Cultural Authority (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)/ 2. Through the Literary Looking Glass: Vajiravudh’s Writings and Siam’s Negotiations with the Imperial West - Thosaeng Chaochuti (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)/ 3. Mummies, Sex and Sand: Bangkok Gothic and the Adventure Fiction of “Victorian” Siam - Rachel V. Harrison/ Section II: Conceptualizing Thai Modernity through its Others: The Rural-Urban Divide/ 4. Luk Isan (A Child of the North East): Techniques of Composition and Issues of Cultural Nationalism - Nopphorn Prachakul (Thammasat University, Bangkok)/ 5. Orientalisation from Within and Consuming the Modern World: Rural-Urban Contact in Thai Popular Literature of the 1970s - Janit Feangfu (Chiangmai University, Chiangmai)/ Section III: Individuality, Noncomformity and Sexuality: Reading Against the Grain/ 6. New Readings of The Verdict and Somsong’s Appeal - Chusak Pattarakulvanit (Thammasat University, Bangkok) / 7. Feminist Perspectives in the Analysis of the Modern Thai Novel - Kham Phaka (Chiangmai University, Chiangmai)/ 8. Gender, Sexuality and Family in Old Siam: Women and Men in Khun Chang Khun Phaen- Chris Baker (Independent scholar) and Pasuk Pongphaichit (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)/ Section IV: Going Global and its Effects / 9. Cosmopolitanism and its Limits in Contemporary Thai Novels - Suradech Chotiudompant (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)/ Afterword / Part 1: Thai Literature as World Literature - Chusak Pattarakulvanit, Ben Tran, Suradech Chotiudompant and Rachel V Harrison / Part 2: Disturbing Crossings: The Unhomely, the Unworldly and the Question of Method in Approaches to World Literature - Ayman El-Desouky / Bibliography/ Index