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Fusion of East and West

Children, Education and a New China, 1902-1915


Limin Bai

In Fusion of East and West, Limin Bai presents a major work in the English language that focuses on Chinese textbooks and the education of children for a new China in a critical transitional period, 1902–1915. This study examines the life and work of Wang Hengtong (1868–1928), a Chinese Christian educator, and other Christian and secular writings through a historical and comparative lens and against the backdrop of the socio-political, ideological, and intellectual frameworks of the time. By doing so, it offers a fresh perspective on the significant connection between Christian education, Chinese Christian educators and the birth of a modern educational system. It unravels a cross-cultural process whereby missionary education and the Chinese education system were mutually re-shaped.

Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India


Hans T. Bakker

The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.


Edited by Masamichi Sasaki

Trust in Contemporary Society, by well-known trust researchers, deals with conceptual, theoretical and social interaction analyses, historical data on societies, national surveys or cross-national comparative studies, and methodological issues related to trust. The authors are from a variety of disciplines: psychology, sociology, political science, organizational studies, history, and philosophy, and from Britain, the United States, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and Japan. They bring their vast knowledge from different historical and cultural backgrounds to illuminate contemporary issues of trust and distrust. The socio-cultural perspective of trust is important and increasingly acknowledged as central to trust research. Accordingly, future directions for comparative trust research are also discussed.

Contributors include: Jack Barbalet, John Brehm, Geoffrey Hosking, Robert Marsh, Barbara A. Misztal, Guido Möllering, Bart Nooteboom, Ken J. Rotenberg, Jiří Šafr, Masamichi Sasaki, Meg Savel, Markéta Sedláčková, Jörg Sydow, Piotr Sztompka.

Puttipong Oungkanungveth

Natawan Wongchalard

This paper contextualises a cultural construction of hegemonic masculinity and discusses ways in which Thai action film heroes in historical and Muay Thai films are represented. Traditionally, the quality of nakleng is desirable for Thai action heroes along with having mastery in a particular skill. In the moral realm, the idea of gratitude or khwam-katanyu in Thai, is prioritised and highly regarded to be the inevitable requisite for good men, which includes action heroes. This sense of gratitude extends to one’s ideological obligations to one’s motherland or matuphum, which is often thematically portrayed in Muay Thai and historical films through the struggle of the hero. Based on a reading of the two exemplar films, Ong Bak (Muay Thai Warrior 2003, dir. Prachya Pinkaew) and The Legend of King Naresuan: The Elephant Duel (2014, dir. Chatri Chalerm Yukol), the different social backgrounds of the two heroes, their hegemonic masculinity, autonomy and lack can be explained in relation to the discourse of Buddhist spirituality. In addition, the ways in which the two heroes are differently depicted is a cinematic device with the aid of which, in addition to the observance of filmic verisimilitude, the representations are designed to cater to segmented subject/citizen audiences. In psychoanalytic terms, each hero from the two films is similarly made to acquire autonomy and experience ‘lack’ in different realms of the symbolic order.

Rhys William Tyers

Many of Murakami’s novels demonstrate his appropriation of the terminology, imagery and metaphor that are found in hardboiled detective fiction. The question of Haruki Murakami’s use of the tropes from hardboiled detective stories has been discussed by scholars such as Hantke (2007), Stretcher (2002) and Suter (2008), who argue that the writer uses these features as a way to organize his narratives and to pay homage to one of his literary heroes, Raymond Chandler. However, these arguments have not adequately addressed the fact that many of Murakami’s novels fit into the definition of the metaphysical detective story, which is “a text that parodies or subverts traditional detective-story conventions” (Merivale & Sweeney 1999:2). Using this definition as a guiding principle, this paper addresses the issue of the metaphysical detective features apparent in Murakami’s third novel, A Wild Sheep Chase, and, more specifically, looks at his use of the non-solution and labyrinth as narrative devices. The main argument, then, is that Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase fits in with the metaphysical detective novel and uses the familiar tropes of the labyrinth and the non-solution to highlight our impossible search for meaning.

“Remember Me, in Your Stories and in Your Songs”

The Magical Journey to Celtic Cultural Resurrection and the Re-Discovery of Self in Song of the Sea

Wisarut Painark

This study examines the deployment of magical realism along with cinematic techniques in Song of the Sea. Analysing the animated film as a cultural text in light of magical realism, it argues that the film intermingles two different worlds, the mundane and the fantastic, to provide audiences with a more inclusive view of reality. The existence of Celtic mythical beings, selkies, brought to life by magical realism, becomes the cornerstone in the protagonists’ healing process as their interactions with these mythical beings gradually reshape their conception of reality. A new “reality” is, thus, employed to vex the protagonists’ mind and make them reconsider reality in a new light by helping them vividly see Irish cultural aspects in their mundane life. Taking two selkies, Bronagh and Saoirse, as a metaphor for Irish cultural roots, this paper asserts that the protagonists’ embarking on their magical journey to retrieve the selkie’s coat not only heals their shattered selves but also induces them to hark back to their cultural roots. Ultimately, the research posits that the protagonist’s newly developed self, which eventually allows him and his family to come to terms with their loss, resolves his conflict with Saoirse, who successfully prevents the Irish cultural roots from being forgotten.

Adis Idris Raksamani

The objective of this study is to examine the purpose and meaning of portrayals of Muslims in the Thai traditional art and architecture of temples and palaces. The focus is on the Siamese concepts of Muslims and the features of Muslims that Siamese people in the past intended to communicate to Siamese society. The study deals with the concept and design of painting found in Thai traditional mural paintings. The findings reveal that the portrayals of Muslims in the mural paintings represent the symbolic meanings which can be traced according 4 chronicle stages as follows:

  • The otherness of Muslims from afar in the late Ayutthaya.

  • The trace of Islamic civilization in the end of Ayutthaya, the Thonburi and the Reigns of King Rama i-ii.

  • The multicultural guests in the Reigns of King Rama iii-iv.

  • Unity under the royal patronage in the Reigns of King Rama v-vi.

The benefit of the research can be applied to enhance the good relationship and understanding among different cultures in Thai society.

Porranee Singpliam

The reality of global capitalism and development ideology has made Thailand uncertain. In the 1980s, Thailand’s reduced political activity accelerated the export-oriented economy. The move in policy from political control to development ideology for the pursuit of economic advancement can be argued to have presented a collective threat to the people. The economic disparity prevalent in Thai society shows that people at the community level must face hazardous and insecure treatment from the more dominant party. In this paper, I have conducted an in-depth analysis of the film Khru Somsri (1986) which is a “social mirror” of Thai society amid this economic growth. I argue that statist development ideology, which is interchangeable with modernity, engenders two things. They are, firstly, the discourse on participation pertaining to class and gender and, secondly, the empowerment discourse, particularly of women. This paper shows that people at the local level must struggle in order to prolong their survival in the slum community. Furthermore, how the discourse of participation is being maneuvered is manifold. Participation, as seen in this film, is hierarchical and gendered. The latter aspect of gender relations amid the accelerated market economy ultimately challenges the propriety of how Thai women embody their femininity. This paper re-examines the enmeshed affiliations between the development discourse and disintegrated participation with special attention to gender relations where women’s participation in the development discourse unveils them as ardent, impassioned actors and empowered women.