The Thai Forum is a fantastic event open to all students and lecturers with an interest in anything related to Thailand. It provides an opportunity to meet and socialise with students studying the Thai language at all levels, to learn from some of the world's leading academics in the field of Thai Studies and to build networks that will enhance your future employability. Above all, it is an all-important chance to meet Thai friends and practice your language skills in an informal and friendly environment.
Several events are organised each semester, with each one based on a theme or topic for discussion, designed to promote cultural understanding and provoke debate on important current issues in Thailand. Guest speakers are invited to give talks at each event, providing an insight from world-renowned experts in the field of Thai Studies. These talks are followed by a chance to ask questions or discuss the topic in greater detail. The topics are designed to cover every aspect of Thai Studies, including politics, religion, culture, history, development, and many more.
Each event includes refreshments and the focus is always on creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. In this way the Thai Forum not only provides an insight into interesting and important issues, but also creates a social feel in which cultural and language exchange can occur between friends, students and lecturers. This perfect blend of the social and academic makes the Thai Forum an essential part of your Thai Studies experience at Leeds.
Our contributors and guest speakers
The world-renowned Professor Duncan McCargo is a regular contributor to the Thai Forum and has given numerous talks on a variety of subjects. In addition to Professor McCargo, the Thai Forum has been privileged to host numerous guest speakers in recent years from a variety of world-renowned academic institutions and NGOs with experience on the ground in the region. Below is a selection of some of the guest speakers to visit the Thai Forum and the talks they delivered:
Dr Carlos Bonmura, University of Oxford: "The Conflict in Southern Thailand"
Dr Claudia Merli, University of Durham: "The Effect of the Tsunami on Southern Thai Muslim Communities"
Dr Louis Gabaude, L'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient: "Critical Buddhism in Thailand through Cartoons"
Dr Astrid Noren-Nilsson, University of Cambridge: "Political Legitimacy in Contemporary Cambodia"
Sarah Armitage, UK National Director, Partners Relief and Development: "Cross Border Relief on the Thai-Burmese Border"
Professor Joern Dosch, University of Leeds: "Thailand's Regional and Global Role"
Dr Jacqueline Filliozat, L'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient: "Caring for Indochinese Theravada Manuscripts"
Dr Catherine Newell, SOAS: "Dhammakaya Meditation in Thailand"
Professor Ian Harris, University of Cumbria and Kings College London: "Was Pol Pot a Buddhist?"
Dr Arjan Samran Mompagal, Chiang Mai University: "Thai Identity and Symbols"
Dr David Smyth, SOAS: "In Search of Siburpha"
Professor Nicola Tannerbaum, Lehigh University: "Magical Tattoos in Thailand and Southeast Asia"
Dr Jim Taylor, University of Adelaide: "Red Monks and Military Monks in Thailand and Burma"
Jennifer Rauch, University of Leeds: "Working with the Mines Advisory Group in Lao PDR"