Panel 9 - Silences, Histories and the Future: A book launch panel for Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976 Massacre in Bangkok (Thongchai Winichakul, 2020)

Sunday, Nov. 15, 07:45 - 9:00 (US CST)
Sunday, Nov. 15, 20:45 - 22:00 Thailand

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Moderator: Tyrell Haberkorn (UW – Madison)

Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat is an independent scholar researching the southern Thai conflict and a Ph.D. candidate at the Australian National University.

Surat Sakhunkhu is a M.A. student in the Department of History at Thammasat University and the editor of Intelligenzia.

Emily Donald is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Cornell University whose work focuses on queer sexualities and gender transing in 20th-century Siam/Thailand.

Kanokrat Lertchoosakul is a lecturer at the Department of Government, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. Her Ph.D. thesis was about the legacies and dynamics of the 1970s student activists in the post-revolutionary period. She is interested in social movements, student activism and intellectual history.

In Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976 Massacre in Bangkok, Thongchai Winichakul traces the continuing ambivalence surrounding the violent massacre of unarmed students at Thammasat University and unmasks how, as he writes, “ As cruel as it may be, history is still with us, it is part of all of us today …. It is within us.” The book arrives at a time when students are calling for democratic transformation in the Thai polity and two possible futures loom: the possibility of democracy and the suppression of this possibility through violence and dictatorship. The history of the massacre, and the broader history of state violence, is sharply visible in the present both in the fear of another crackdown on student protestors and because protestors are speaking openly about state violence and calling for an end to it. Bringing perspectives from research on current youth movements, violence and insurgency in southern Thailand, nineteenth-century intellectual history, gender and queer studies, the panelists on this roundtable will launch the book by considering how it resonates within the present protests and what comparative questions about history, unforgetting, and transformation it prompts. First, panelists will reflect on the meaning of the October 6, 1976, massacre within the context of current politics. Second, what other events of violence are unforgotten, such as assassinations under Phao Sriyanond and Sarit Thanarat, the Tak Bai massacre, the April/May 2010 killings, and others, and what are the reasons and effects? Third, what forms of writing history might redress pass violence and the unforgetting that fills Thai society and historiography?

Note: The panelists will speak in both English and Thai; there will be summary translation into both languages provided in text chat.


Kanjana Thepboriruk, Ph.D., (กัญจนา เทพบริรักษ์)
Chair, NIU Thai Studies Committee

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