Gender, sex and poetry at ANU

In an event jointly-sponsored by the Department of Political and Social Change and the ANU Southeast Asia Institute, Dr. Chris Baker and Emeritus Professor Pasuk Phongpaichit will be exploring gender and sexuality through a discussion of their important and fantastic translation of the epic poem Khun Chang Khun Phaen.

  • Title: Gender and Sexuality in old Siam: Men and Women in Khun Chang Khun Phaen
  • Speakers: Dr. Chris Baker & Emeritus Professor Pasuk Phongpaichit
  • Date: 11:00am-1:00pm, Wednesday, 28 November 2012
  • Venue: PSC Reading Room, 4.27 Level 4 Hedley Bull Building, ANU

Abstract: The social panorama in the long narrative poem, Khun Chang Khun Phaen, is a unique indigenous source on social life in pre-modern Siam, especially its intimate side. This talk examines the poem’s picture of the family, gender relations, sexuality and marriage; then uses a gender perspective to reflect on the poem’s tragic and controversial plot.

About the Speakers: Dr. Chris Baker formerly taught Asian history at Cambridge University and has lived in Thailand for over thirty years. Pasuk Phongpaichit is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Together they have written Thailand: Economy and Politics, A History of Thailand, Pridi by Pridi, Thaksin, and translated works by King Chulalongkorn, the Communist Party of Thailand, Nidhi Eoseewong, and Chatthip Nartsupha, as well as The tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen.

For more information on The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen: Siam’s Great Folk Epic of Love and War, please see the book’s homepage at Silkworm Books, which includes links to the blog about the book, reviews, and various audio and video pieces related to it.

For more information on the talk, please contact Tyrell Haberkorn at tyrell.haberkorn [at] anu.edu.au.

[The image is from the cover of The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen.]