Prof. Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Political Atrocities as Dangerous Anomalies in Thai History:
How to Make Them Harmless"
A lecture by Thongchai Winichakul, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thailand remains ambivalent over the fact that its path to democracy in the late 20th century has involved three major bloody political uprisings (the anti-dictatorship uprising in 1973, the massacre of radical students in 1976, and the unrest that ended the military rule in 1992). Official and public recognition of these events range from evasive to almost non-existent. The country still doesn't know how to come to terms with past atrocities. This ambivalence produces high political and social costs, since under the dominant historical ideology in Thailand the uprisings are almost incomprehensible. Nevertheless, they keep haunting. Given such ambivalence, how has Thai society dealt with the troubling memories of these events, and how can Thai history accommodate or silence them?
Thongchai Winichakul is currently Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He also has been awarded Guggenheim and SSRC-ACLS fellowships, and the Harry J Benda Book Prize by the Association for Asian Studies. He was a former student leader in Thailand during the 1970s.
Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies