Introducing this year’s International Studies Symposium: Thailand!

cr: Shivani Babuta

cr: Shivani Babuta

The International Studies Thailand Symposium Team is excited to finally introduce itself to the Glendon community! You may have seen us around campus already (a.k.a. that group that held a huge book sale around campus near the end of October, or the ones who held the delicious bake sale & fancy raffle in the COE just in the past few weeks), but you may have not known then who we are. As a result, we decided it’s about time y’all get to know more about us (who we are, what we do, and all that jazz!)

For those of you who are unaware, Glendon’s International Studies Symposium is a student-run project, organized and managed in its entirety by a group of eight highly motivated and professional undergraduates as part of their honours specialization. In the first semester, our team studied a country of our choice through in-class sessions, and in the second semester we create, manage, and finance a symposium. This year, the team has chosen Thailand as the focus of their colloquium and will be showcasing all that we have learned during our Thailand Symposium date on Saturday, March 10th, 2018 (Mark you calendars Glendon! Come one and come all)!
The aim of this symposium is to bring the dynamic state of Thailand into the public and academic spotlight, and to provide a setting for stimulating discussions surrounding the nation’s history, society, economics, environment, politics and culture, among other topics.
Our team chose Thailand as our focus because we wanted to more deeply understand a Southeast Asian nation. While previous symposiums have provided insight into Southeast Asia, they have not yet explored a specific nation in the region.
As the only country in the region not to have been formally colonized, Thailand’s complex engagement with colonialism sets the stage for nuanced and important discussions about history, politics, economics, culture and social relations that extend into the contemporary moment.

Just to give you a glimpse of all that you may be able to learn about if you choose to volunteer at or attend our Symposium (which you absolutely should!), in the past few months, some of what we have focused on and learned in class is the following: Thailand’s semi-colonial identity, gender norms and sexuality, Buddhism and how it’s entangled with Thai society, performance arts and how Thai culture and identity is understood through these, and many other interesting aspects of which the Thai nation is comprised.

In the upcoming term, among other outreach and fundraising events (watch out for another grand book sale, a launch party and more!), the Thailand Symposium team will be offering all kinds of information about the country leading up to the actual day of the event. You will be able to learn all about the Symposium and Thailand via our Facebook (@ThailandSymposium) and our website (which is currently in the making and will be launched in the new year)!
In the meantime, we will end off with a quick PSA: we are SEEKING VOLUNTEERS & sponsors! To any and all who may be interested, please contact us at thailandsymposium@gmail.com. We greatly appreciate any support!