Thailand has been systematically transformed into a classic neocolonial object of Western desire - an easily penetrated erotic zone that caters to the appetites of Western interlopers. In the first comprehensive critical study of Western literature about Thailand, Imagining Siam provides a thorough analysis - using Edward Said's concepts - of English language travelogues and travel literature. It offers a broad view, covering literary attempts to describe Siam in the 13th century, through the formative phase of Western engagement in the 16th century and the various competing European imperialisms in the 19th century, to today's era of mass tourism and the global reach of economically and culturally powerful 'First World' populations. Imagining Siam will appeal to those interested in Thailand, critiques of travel writing, and the Anna Leonowens' legacy (Anna of Anna and the King of Siam).
Publication Date: 12/1/2008