Professor Hjorliefur Jonsson “Seeing Thai: Interethnic relations in popular culture and ethnography in Thailand, 1950-2014”

Professor Hjorliefur Jonsson is an 2015 A.T. Steele awardee for his work “Seeing Thai: Interethnic relations in popular culture and ethnography in Thailand, 1950-2014.” Lief JonssonThis study of ethnic diversity in Thai popular culture during 1950-2014 examines fields of interethnic interaction as they appear in Thai-language ethnographies, novels, documentary and fiction film, memoirs, and newspapers. It aims for a constructive critique of the anthropological focus on representative villages, by exploring various forms of media. The project will chart by decade and by medium what interethnic relations are imaginable. Preliminary investigations suggest that official nationalism misrepresents social life, and that fiction has conveyed various kinds of credible multiculturalism whereas ethnography has in general depicted ethnic groups as homogenous, distinct, and disinclined to mix with others.