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Bangkok is Burning: Queer Cultural Productions of Thainess in Diaspora.

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Title:Bangkok is Burning: Queer Cultural Productions of Thainess in Diaspora.
Authors:Sookkasikon, Pahole
Contributors:American Studies (department)
Keywords:Thai Studies
Thai American Studies
Cultural Studies
Gender and Sexuality
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Date Issued:Aug 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:My project looks at how contemporary Thai popular culture and performance, as produced and consumed in Thailand and the diaspora, queers notions of Thainess informed by Western economies of desire and Thai state practices. Thailand has come to be stereotyped as “the playground of the Western world”, promoting fantasies of Thai bodily excess, availability, as well as “the benevolent creation of employment” by predominantly Western and “First World” countries.1 Hyper-eroticized depictions of Thainess have circulated through popular media—from films such as The King & I (1956) or The Hangover Part II (2011), in addition to songs such as “One Night In Bangkok” (1984) by Murray Head—orientalizing Thais as sexually willing and readily available. Even nationally-sanctioned projects, such as those by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), have marketed Thainess as an accommodating culture suited to its international campaign of the nation as the “land of smiles”.2 Yet even amongst these depictions of Thainess, contemporary communities have used modern forms of technology and alternative modes of storytelling and performance to offer different scripts of Thainess. Against and alongside to these popularized images of Thailand and of the Thai people, I have chosen to position cultural pieces and moments that do not necessarily attempt to correct narratives of Thai hypersexuality, but, rather, gravitate towards excess, the perverse, the anonymous, and, at times, the monstrous and grotesque as fantastic sites of recuperation of Thai identity that do not discard sexuality as a means for expression and for reframing notions of belonging.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - American Studies

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