Revisiting a Classic Study of Field Research in Northern Thailand
Edited by Søren Egerod and Per Sørensen
- Rediscovered research on Thailand and its environs from the 1970s.
- A time capsule of research before the advent of mass education and travel.
- Offers insights into the massive changes sweeping higher education today.
The creation in 1969 of a field research station near Lampang in northern Thailand by the recently established Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies was something of a gamble. The Vietnam War was spreading into Laos and Cambodia with a communist insurgency also growing in Thailand, not least in the north. Some scholars feared being compromised by Cold War schemes and maneuvers. Yet in the five years of the station’s existence a large number of Nordic scholars, often in partnership with Thai and other foreign colleagues, undertook research based at Lampang. Significant new research was initiated here, including archaeological excavations that rewrote the prehistory of mainland Southeast Asia and a mapping of the folklore and languages of upland minorities that helped decipher the linguistic history of the region’s lowland majority peoples.
Professor Søren Egerod (1923–95) was a distinguished Danish linguist and sinologist who played a key role in the development of Nordic Asia scholarship in the modern era. He helped establish the Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies (SIAS, now NIAS) in 1968 and led the institute through to his retirement in 1987.Go to author page