Tonan Talk on Dec 9 by Dr. Patrick Jory

Title: The Roots of Conservative Radicalism in Southern Thailand’s
Buddhist Heartland

Speakers: Dr. Patrick Jory, Senior Lecturer, School of Historical and
Philosophical Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
University of Queensland

Date: December 9th (Mon.) 2019, 14:30 – 16:00
Venue: Small Meeting Room II (Room no. 331) on the 3rd floor of Inamori
Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Since the beginning of Thailand’s protracted political crisis in 2005
the country has experienced a conservative political turn centred on the
monarchy. One of the regions where this turn has been most pronounced
has been in southern Thailand. Studies of the south have tended to focus
on the border provinces, its Malay Muslim community, and the
long-running separatist movement. The more populous parts of the upper
south with a Thai-Buddhist majority have been largely overlooked. In
recent decades the south’s old Buddhist heartland has witnessed a high
level of cultural and religious dynamism. This region has given birth to
an influential new academic field of southern Thai studies and a
distinctive southern Thai literature. These factors have contributed to
the hardening of a southern Thai Buddhist identity. Politicians and
activists from the south have played a prominent role in Thailand’s
on-going political crisis. This article explores the rise of
conservative radicalism in southern Thailand’s Buddhist heartland with
reference to the roles of southern academics, writers, poets, activists,
and politicians over the last half century. It offers a regional case
study of the roots of Thailand’s political crisis as well as the rise of
Buddhist radicalism in Southeast Asia.

About the speaker:
Patrick Jory teaches Southeast Asian History at the University of
Queensland. His most recent book was Thailand’s Theory of Monarchy: The
Vessantara Jataka and the Idea of the Perfect Man (New York: SUNY Press,
2016). He is co-host of the book podcast channel, New Books in Southeast
Asian Studies.

Organizer: Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun Associate Professor and Dr. Junko
Koizumi, Professor, CSEAS, Kyoto University