Historian Charnvit wins Fukuoka Prize
- Published: 7/06/2012 at 11:26 AM
- Online news:
Charnvit Kasetsiri, a leading Thai historian, has won the Fukuoka Academic Prize for his outstanding achievements in the field of Thai and Southeast Asian history, the Fukuoka Prize Committee announced.
The 71-year-old Charnvit and the three other laureates for 2012 will receive their awards in Japan in September.
The citation says: "Mr Charnvit Kasetsiri is one of the leading historians not only of Thailand but also of Southeast Asia. His outstanding achievements in the field of Thai history, especially the history of Ayutthaya, and also his researches into modern Thai history, have made a significant public impact through his teaching, and have won international acclaim."
He is the sixth Thai to be awarded the prestigious Fukuoka Prize.
Previous recipients were Srisakra Valibhotama (anthropologist/archaeologist) in 2007, Thawan Duchanee (painter) in 2001, Nidhi Eoseewong (historian) in 1999, MC Subhadradis Diskul (archaeologist/art historian) Grand Prize in 1994, and MR Kukrit Pramoj (writer/statesman) a special commemorative prize in 1990.
The Grand Prize 2012 went to Vandana Shiva, of India, director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, "for her dedicated years of enlightening many people by presenting a new and original idea about loving nature and protecting the dignity of life. In particular, her penetrating view from the points of poor people and women has exposed the contradictions caused by development and globalisation".
The Indian environmental philosopher will receive five million yen.
Charnvit Kasetsiri (File Photo)
Mr Charnvit, Kidlat Tahimik (a Filipino film maker), and GR Ay Koes Murtiyah Paku Buwono, (an Indonesian traditional court dance educator) will each receive three million yen.
The prize winners were announced on Monday by Hyakutake Takanori, secretary general of the Fukuoka Prize Committee secretariat.
Mr Charnvit graduated from the Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University then studied at Cornell University in the United States and received a PhD in 1972. The following year, he started teaching at Thammasat.
"While undertaking a series of demanding positions as a professor, the dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and the president of Thammasat University, he also pioneered establishing Southeast Asian Studies as an academic discipline in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Thammasat, as the first one of its kind in Thailand," the citation says.
"He has been also instrumental in producing high quality textbooks and specialised books for education and academic work in his capacity as the Secretary of the Foundation for the Promotion of Social Sciences and Humanities Textbooks Project.
"His books, 'The Rise of Ayutthaya: A History of Siam in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries' and 'Ayutthaya: History and Politics' redefined the status of Ayutthaya as an international city, in the wider context of Southeast Asian history. This work broke new ground for research into the history of Ayutthaya.
"He has published a great number of other books. These provided the foundation for a collective volume, 'Discovering Ayutthaya' for which he secured contributions from a number of Thai scholars, and which was subsequently translated into Japanese and English. His academic contribution to modern history, including 'A Political History of Thailand 1932 to 1957', has been also considerable.
"Mr Charnvit's readiness to speak out and express his opinions about the problems in modern Thai society has also earned him notable influence as a social commentator," the Fukuoka Prize Committee said.
About the author
- Writer: Achara Ashayagachat