Chuenchat, Pantipa
The Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg
Brief bio :
Pantipa Chuenchat, M.A., graduated in Thai Literature from Kasetsart University in 2007. After graduation she taught at St. John’s University before joining the Department of Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Kasetsart University, as lecturer in 2008. Since then she was also visiting lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat University. Her specialization is traditional Thai literature and folklore. She has also done research on the representation of Thai literature in modern media, such as film, soap operas and cartoons. In 2010, she enrolled as a PhD student at the Asia-Africa-Institute, University of Hamburg. Her thesis is on the “Legend of Queen Chamadevi and the construction of local identity in Lamphun (Northern Thailand)”. She also teaches Thai language and literature at the Department of Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Hamburg.
Individual Project :

The Construction of Regional Identities Challenging the Nation-state: Hero Cults in Lan Na (Northern Thailand)

The upper north of Thailand is demand autonomy of old Lan Na. In the cultural sphere, Northern Thai historical legends and myths are used to construct a particular Lan Na identity by popularizing these legends and myths through theatre plays, historical films, monuments, and other means. It will be analysed how the (re-)construction of this ethno-regional identity is achieved through modern media and how it potentially challenges schemes of national integration, as devised by Bangkok and its agencies in the North. This process shall be studied by focusing on the case studies of Queen Camadevi (the legendary female-founder of Hariphunchai who introduced Buddhism to present-day Lamphun), King Mangrai (the founder of Chiang Mai and Lan Na), and King Kawila (ruler of Lampang who, in alliance with Siam, defeated the Burmese in the late eighteenth century). Literary and historical-philological research of the written sources (such as chronicles, folktales, popular histories, theatre-plays, etc.) is combined with qualitative approaches of social anthropology.

Hero cults in Northern Thailand the construction of regional identities