On Saturday, July 6, around ten students met for the first time in the credit course “Voice of LGBT” in the graduate program in Women’s Studies at Thammasat University in Bangkok.
Thammasat is the second oldest Western style university in the Kingdom. Its graduate campus is in the old royal city, close to the Grand Palace, the National Museum and the most auspicious Buddhist Temples. Thammasat is known as the more activist or leftist of the major universities. It has a memorial on the campus to students killed in political resistance. The founder of the university was the leader of the People’s Party, which overthrew the absolute Monarchy in the 1930s.
Thammasat has the oldest Women’s Studies program in Thailand. Perhaps there is only one other, at Chiang Mai University in the northern capital.
The revised Thammasat University course catalogue, published early this year, lists two new courses, “Voice of Transgender”, and “Introduction to Queer Theory”.
A new lecturer has been hired, Pogkrong Boon-Long, whose thesis was on gay saunas. He is the only male teaching in the Women’s Studies program. He changed the title of “Voice of Transgender” to “Voice of LGBT”. He is unwilling to teach “Introduction to Queer Theory”, personally critical for much of what passes as “Queer theory”.
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