Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Thailand: Memory, Place and Power

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By Ross King

Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Thailand explores the intersections of memory, place, power and tourism in the production of Thai heritage and identity. The author shows that underlying officially promulgated ideas is a much deeper, richer and sometimes darker substratum of memories and practices that both undermine and enrich conventional ideas of Thailand as a Kingdom, a nation and a culture.

The book views Thai culture and its heritage from a variety of perspectives that are derived from the work of Thai scholars but refracted through a more Western epistemology and its attendant critical theory. Through a juxtaposition of Thai and Western critical scholarship, it highlights key elements of Thai identity or, more accurately, the diversity of Thai identities. In the process, the book raises questions about both Thai and Western thinking about knowledge and its production.


“will become a standard reference for those interested in heritage and identity in Thailand” - Greg Wall, Journal of Heritage Studies

“Elegantly presented, the book offers comprehensive, insightful and penetrating analyses of its deep subject and sound conclusions in the light of leading scholarship in the field." - John H. Stubbs, Tulane School of Architecture

"Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Thailand examines the interrelationship of politics and culture in modern Thailand. The book’s wide ranging analysis offers striking insights on tourism, heritage, and national identity." - William Chapman, author of A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation

Ross King is a professorial fellow and formerly Dean in the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is currently engaged in research and graduate supervision in various Southeast Asian universities.

Publication Year: 2017
334 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-981-4722-27-8

NUS Press