Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29544
Title: Made in USA: Lauriston Sharp, Charles Keyes, and the American Genesis of Thai Studies
Authors: KATIE ELIZABETH RAINWATER
Keywords: History of Anthropology, History of Thai Studies, Lauriston Sharp, Charles Keyes, Southeast Asian Studies
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2011
Source: KATIE ELIZABETH RAINWATER (2011-01-20). Made in USA: Lauriston Sharp, Charles Keyes, and the American Genesis of Thai Studies. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Between 1947 and 1967 approximately a dozen American anthropologists participated in a visionary new research project on Thai peasants. The Cornell-Thailand Project had two objectives. Project participants would first determine how traditional peasant culture affected ?technical, economic, social and political development". These insights would then be applied to assist in the implementation of Thai and U.S. government programs and the formation of Thai and U.S. government policies (Sharp et al 1953:1). While the Project had minimal influence on government programs and policy, project participants succeeded in creating a body of anthropological literature focused on interpreting Thai peasants' experiences of modernization. This body of literature formed an important basis of the English language scholarly discourse about Thailand, "Thai Studies". Not a comprehensive history of the Cornell-Thailand Project, this thesis instead describes how the Project was conceived and implemented through careful attention to the biography of the Project's founder, the American anthropologist Lauriston Sharp (1907 - 1993). A secondary purpose of this thesis is to begin to grapple with how the Project influenced (and continues to influence) the development of English language scholarship about Thailand. This latter objective is achieved through consideration of the scholarship and (to a lesser extent) the biography of Sharp's student, the American anthropologist Charles Keyes ( 1937 - ). This thesis is the first in-depth, historical study of the Cornell-Thailand Project. It is the most substantial review to date of the life and scholarship of Lauriston Sharp and among the first studies to examine how Keyes' work on Northeastern Thai peasants was influenced by Sharp and the Cornell-Thailand Project.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29544
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